Gill Lewis wins Little Rebels award

Gill Lewis wins Little Rebels award

Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis (OUP Children's) has won this year’s Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for radical fiction.
 
The award, which is for children’s fiction for readers any age up to 12 that promotes social justice, went to Scarlet Ibis because it “raises awareness of the care system, mental health issues and the challenges facing young carers”, said the judges.
 
Kim Reynolds, professor of children’s literature at Newcastle University, and a judge of the award, said: “All the judges agreed that Scarlet Ibis stands out as a book that not only fulfils the criteria for the award but is also excellently crafted. Birds, especially the scarlet ibis, weave the book’s multiple storylines together and provide a moving backdrop for a story that celebrates the often overlooked courage, loyalty and competence of children.”
 
Also on the judging panel were Wendy Cooling, co-founder of Bookstart, and author Elizabeth Laird.
 
Lewis was given the prize at an event in London. Her novel beat seven other shortlisted titles: Trouble on Cable Street by Joan Lingard (Catnip), Girl With a White Dog by Anne Booth (Catnip), Nadine Dreams of Home by Bernard Ashley (Barrington Stoke), Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton (Walker Books), Grandma by Jessica Shepherd (Child’s Play), Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz and Margaret Chamberlain (Janetta Otter-Barry Books/Frances Lincoln), and the self-published title Pearl Power by Mel Elliott.
 
Kerry Mason, co-director of Letterbox Library, which administers the award on behalf of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB), said: “From boys who take up knitting to peace-loving forest birds to fighting fascism, this year’s shortlist entertained, tickled, provoked and rallied - but in the end, for all of our judges, Scarlet Ibis stood out for wrapping up very ‘live’, pressing, social concerns within skilled, gripping,