US author Angie Thomas has been crowned the overall winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018 for her debut YA novel, The Hate U Give (Walker Books).
Thomas was given the £5,000 prize after winning the award for older fiction earlier on Thursday evening (22nd March).
Florentyna Martin, Waterstones children’s buyer, said The Hate U Give was an “outstanding piece of writing”.
“Angie Thomas has crafted a narratively rich world, with a captivating plot and characters so vibrant they leap off the page. Drawn from personal experiences, this book has provided an important step-change in children’s publishing and our booksellers have championed this from the get-go… She is a unique and powerful new voice for teenagers and adults and this book will undoubtedly be discussed for years to come.”
The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr, who lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer.
Wasterstones m.d. James Daunt said the novel should have a readership beyond young adult.
“Ours is a children’s prize, but there is no upper age limit to being stunned by beautiful writing of this visceral power,” he said. “It is an extraordinary achievement, and it triumphs in a year of wonderful quality and creativity in children’s publishing.”
The winner of the younger fiction category was Nevermoor, a magical adventure story by Australian author Jessica Townsend, and the winner of the illustrated books prize was Joe Todd-Stanton for the picture book The Secret of Black Rock (Flying Eye).
The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018 shortlists in full:
Superbat by Matt Carr (Scholastic)
Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann (Flying Eye)
The Night Box by Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay (Egmont)
I Really Want The Cake by Simon Philip and Lucia Gagiotti (Kings Road Publishing)
Fergal Is Fuming by Robert Starling (Andersen Press)
The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye)
A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan (Usborne)
Who Let The Gods Out? by Maz Evans (Chicken House)
Kid Normal by Greg James, Chris Smith and Erica Salcedo (Bloomsbury)
The Five Realms: The Legend of Podkin One–Ear by Kieran Larwood (with illustrations byDavid Wyatt), (Faber)
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (Scholastic)
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend (Hachette Children’s)
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy (Pushkin Children’s)
Troublemakers by Catherine Barter (Andersen Press)
Ink by Alice Broadway (Scholastic)
Thornhill by Pam Smy (David Fickling Books)
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (Penguin Random House Children’s)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker)