This year's top summer reads according to indie booksellers have been revealed, with Bernardine Evaristo, Lara Maiklem, Sophie Anderson and Chris Haughton named as winners of the 2020 Indie Book Awards.
Evaristo has won the Fiction category with her "lyrical and compelling" exploration of gender and identity Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin), while Maiklem's Mudlarking, a journey through objects unearthed from the river Thames (Bloomsbury) won the Non-Fiction prize, a new category for this year.
Matt Taylor of Chepstow Books & Gifts and chair of judges for the adult category said: “We were delighted to select Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo as winner of the Fiction category. We felt it was such an engaging, vibrant, funny and important book it should win every prize going, be thrust into the hands of browsers in bookshops and be read by everyone. The panel found Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem fascinating and felt we were down in the mud with her at 5 a.m. going through broken pieces of pottery looking for that one hidden gem. It is a brilliant mix of social history and archaeology written in a highly engaging voice.”
The winner of the Children’s Fiction category is Anderson, with The Girl Who Speaks Bear (Usborne), a "playful adaptation" of myth, folklore and fairytales. Winning the Picture Book award is Don’t Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton (Walker Books).
Vanessa Lewis of the Book Nook and chair of judges for the children's category said: “Don’t Worry, Little Crab was deemed the perfect picture book with its vibrant colour palette and heart-warming message about being brave and trying something new. Chris Haughton’s unique style and delightful illustrative details makes this book a pleasure to read aloud. Sophie Anderson’s magical interweaving of narrative and traditional stories makes for an exhilarating tale. As Yanka sets out to discover more about her past and befriends the animals of the snow forest she learns to accept who she is. This is a beautifully crafted story and the perfect antidote to these uncertain times.”
Chosen by a judging panel of independent booksellers, authors and industry influencers, the awards "celebrate the best books in paperbacks" to read this summer. The adult categories were judged by bookseller Elizabeth Perry (Daunt Books), Zool Verjee (head of marketing and Publicity at Blackwells), Sarah Shaffi, (freelance journalist and #BAMEinPublishing co-founder) and Hachette author William Shaw. The Children’s categories were judged by Layla Hudson (Round Table Books), Jessica Paul (Max Minerva’s Marvellous Books & More), Jonathan Douglas (c.e.o. of The National Literacy Trust) and Hachette author Piers Torday.