This year's Branford Boase Award, the lengthiest longlist in the award's history, sees last year's winning editor Sarah Odedina in the running again, with her author Kereen Getten, alongside previous winners Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker.
The award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children, and also recognises the editor of the winning title.
More than 60 books were submitted this year, while 25 have made the longlist.
The list in full is:
The Infinite by Patience Agbabi, edited by Jo Dingley (Canongate)
The Sky is Mine by Amy Beashel, edited by Shadi Doostdar (Rock the Boat, an imprint of Oneworld)
Wranglestone by Darren Charlton, edited by Katie Jennings (Stripes)
Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes, edited by Lena McCauley (Orion)
Boy, Everywhere by A M Dassu, edited by Emma Roberts (Old Barn Books)
The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliott, edited by Annalie Grainger and Megan Middleton (Walker)
When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten, edited by Sarah Odedina (Pushkin Press)
A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth by Francesca Gibbons and illustrated by Chris Riddell, edited by Nick Lake (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Last Lesson by James Goodhand, edited by Ben Horslen (Penguin)
Orla and the Serpent’s Curse by C J Haslam, edited by Frances Taffinder (Walker Books
Witch by Finbar Hawkins, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus)
And the Stars were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando, edited by Jane Griffiths (Simon and Schuster)
The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley, edited by Lucy Mackay-Sim (Bloomsbury)
The Wolf Road by Richard Lambert, edited by Mikka Haugaard (Everything with Words)
The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L D Lapinski, edited by Lena McCauley (Orion)
A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll, edited by Eishar Brar (Knights Of)
Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann, edited by Carmen McCullough (Penguin)
Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray, illustrated by Manuel Sumberac, edited by Ben Horslen (Puffin)
Anisha Accidental Detective by Serena Patel and illustrated by Emma McCann, edited by Stephanie King (Usborne)
The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson and illustrated by Rob Biddulph, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)
Are You Watching? By Vincent Ralph, edited by Tig Wallace (Penguin)
The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler, edited by Jane Griffiths and illustrated by Chris Mould (Simon & Schuster)
The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke and illustrated by Ayesha L Rubio, edited by Naomi Colthurst (Puffin)
The Pure Heart by Trudi Tweedie, edited by Kesia Lupo (Chicken House)
Diary of a Confused Feminist by Kate Weston, edited by Sarah Lambert (Hodder Children’s Books)
This year the judges are Zoey Dixon, YLG Librarian of the Year 2020; Scott Evans, teacher, consultant and founder of TheReaderTeacher.com; Natasha Radford of Chicken and Frog bookshop, Brentwood; and Liz Hyder, author of Bearmouth, winner of the 2020 Branford Boase Award.
The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival. She said: "After the disruptions and challenges of 2020 we were delighted to receive so many entries for the 2021 award, and of such huge variety. Here are books to make readers laugh, to provoke and make us think, to make us hope. We are excited to share them with this year’s panel of judges."
The award is sponsored by Walker Books. The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 29th April, while the winner will be announced on 15th July, Covid-19 rules permitting, at an awards ceremony in London.
The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, the annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the award, will open on 1st February.
- Murray and Horslen win Branford Boase Award
- Hyder and Odedina win Branford Boase Award
- Lu wins Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration
- Mendez, Anappara and Persaud longlisted for Authors' Club Best First Novel Award
- Walker Books teams up with indies to give Halls and Litchfield book to community heroes