The organisers of this year’s Branford Boase Award have longlisted 20 titles, including Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe (Zephyr), The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (Scholastic), Ink by Alice Broadway and Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist by John Young (Floris).
The Branford Boase is given every year to the author of a debut novel and their editor, and two books edited by last year’s winning editor, Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House), are also on the list: Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans and The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr.
Julia Eccleshare, one of the founders of the prize, said: “It is the eighteenth year of the Branford Boase Award, yet every longlist has brought books that surprise us, and this year has been no exception: here are a wealth of original stories, new viewpoints, and settings that take us from ancient Japan to the island of Lewis. UK children’s literature is as exciting as it’s ever been, and we were particularly pleased to have submissions this year from so many different publishers.”
This year the judges are Urmi Merchant of children’s bookshop Pickled Pepper Books; Helen Swinyard, librarian at Heartlands High School and founder of the Haringey Children’s Book Award; reviewer Philip Womack; and M.G. (Maya) Leonard, author of Beetle Boy, which won the 2017 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Eccleshare.
The shortlist will be announced on 2nd May and the winner on 4th July.
The Branford Boase Award longlist in full:
A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus: Zephyr)
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr, edited by Ruth Knowles (Penguin)
Troublemakers by Catherine Barter, edited by Chloe Sackur and Charlie Sheppard (Andersen Press)
Ink by Alice Broadway, edited by Genevieve Herr (Scholastic)
The Starman and Me by Sharon Cohen, edited by Sarah Lambert (Quercus Children’s Books)
No Filter by Orlagh Collins, edited by Hannah Sandford (Bloomsbury)
Notes on My Family by Emily Critchley edited by Mikka Haugaard (Everything With Words)
Fish Boy by Chloe Daykin, edited by Leah Thaxton (Faber)
Knighthood for Beginners by Elys Dolan, edited by Clare Whitson and Elv Moody (OUP)
Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans, edited by Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House)
Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green, edited by Linas Alsenas (Scholastic)
Countless by Karen Gregory, edited by Hannah Sandford (Bloomsbury)
Kick by Mitch Johnson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)
The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr, edited by Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House)
Potter’s Boy by Tony Mitton, edited by Anthony Hinton (David Fickling Books)
The Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles, edited by Polly Lyall-Grant (Hodder Children’s Books)
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson edited by Lauren Fortune (Scholastic)
The City of Secret Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein, edited by Gill Evans (Walker Books)
A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson, edited by Lucy Pearse (Macmillan)
Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist by John Young, edited by Lois Wilson-McFarland and Sally Polson (Floris)