Mitch Johnson and editors Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker of Usborne have won the 2018 Branford Boase Award for Kick.
Last year’s winner, M.G. Leonard, a judge for the 2018 award said: “Kick is a skillfully written and perfectly paced. Mitch Johnston has produced a fantastically original debut that champions hope, dogged optimism in the face of adversity, and friendship. This book needs to be on the bookshelf of every school library, not just because it will encourage empathy, but because it’s a great book. Mitch Johnston is definitely one to watch.”
Johnson the winning author said: “The Branford Boase Award has recognized many of my favourite authors over the years, and so to receive the award myself is a wonderfully surreal experience. Kick is a novel that I came close to abandoning on several occasions, but the thought that kept me going was that perhaps one day my book would get published, and perhaps if it got published someone might read it, and perhaps if someone read it they might question the way things are made. The plight of garment workers is a global issue affecting millions of people, and yet somehow it manages to remain largely out of sight. My hope is that Kick will make this problem more visible, and winning the Branford Boase will undoubtedly encourage more readers to find out about the subject for themselves, and for this I am extremely grateful.
I am very fortunate that Kick found two brilliant editors, Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker, who understood exactly what I was trying to achieve and shared my passion for telling Budi’s story. Their insight, expertise, and sensitivity improved Kick immeasurably, and I am thrilled that the Branford Boase acknowledges the crucial role they played in making this book a success.”
Inexplicably and highly annoyingly I missed being at this award, one of the most pleasurable to attend, owing to it disappearing from my online calendar.
Can recommend checking the set of photos taken at the event by its regular photographer Paul Carter: