The longlist for the 2019 Branford Boase Award is announced today. This important award is celebrating its twentieth year. Set up in memory of author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, the Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author and editor of an outstanding debut novel for children and has highlighted many of the twenty-first century’s leading children’s authors at the start of their careers. Over its twenty year history winners and shortlisted authors have included Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness as well as Frances Hardinge and Philip Reeve.
This year more than 40 books were submitted, twice as many as in its first year, and by two dozen different publishers; 20 have made it onto the longlist.
The 2019 Branford Boase Award longlist in full
The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)
Boy Underwater by Adam Baron, edited by Nick Lake and Sarah Hughes (HarperCollins)
The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)
Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon, edited by Sarah Stewart (Usborne)
The Fandom by Anna Day, edited by Kesia Lupo (Chicken House)
Me Mam. Me Dad. Me by Malcolm Duffy, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus)
Twister by Juliette Forrest edited by Lauren Fortune (Scholastic)
Flight by Vanessa Harbour, edited by Janet Thomas (Firefly)
Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy, edited by Linas Alsenas (Scholastic)
The Goose Road by Rowena House, edited by Mara Bergman (Walker Books)
Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James, edited by Rachel Denwood and Sarah Hughes (HarperCollins)
The Mystery of the Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus)
I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan, edited by Lucy Pearse (Macmillan)
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen, edited by Sarah Stewart (Usborne)
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf, edited by Lena McCauley (Orion Children’s Books)
On a Scale of One to Ten by Ceylan Scott edited by Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House)
Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw, edited by Bella Pearson and Anthony Hinton (David Fickling Books)
Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton, edited Emma Matthewson (Hot Key)
Run Riot by Nikesh Shukla, edited by Emma Goldhawk (Hodder Children’s Books)
The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson, edited by Jennie Skinner and Sally Polson (Floris Books)
This year’s award judges are
- Sanchita Basu De Sarkar of the Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill
- Ellen Krajewski, librarian at Hemel Hempstead School, Hertfordshire
- Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive of CLPE
- Mitch Johnson, author of Kick, winner of the 2018 Branford Boase Award
As usual, the panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival
The Branford Boase Award is sponsored by Walker Books who have pledged new funding to ensure its future. Jane Winterbotham, publishing director said: “Walker Books is delighted to continue its support for the Branford Boase Award. We hugely value the contribution the award has made in encouraging and highlighting new writing talent, as well as in recognising the role played by the editor in supporting writers at the start of their career. The award is an inspiring memorial to the work of gifted novelist Henrietta Branford and Walker’s founding editor, Wendy Boase, in whose names the award was established 20 years ago.”
The shortlist for the Award will be announced on 1st May 2019. The winner will be announced on 3rd July at a ceremony in London.
Walker Books have published a new edition of Henrietta Branford’s multi-award-winning book Fire, Bed and Bone. The story of the Peasants’ Revolt seen through the eyes of an old hunting dog, it gives a long-ago past an immediacy and freshness as it tells of working people’s struggle for survival in the face of cruelty by landlords and the church. Branford’s last book, it won the Guardian prize, a Smarties Award and was highly commended for the Carnegie Medal.