A graphic novel about refugees forced to flee their homeland has won the inaugural Little Rebels Children’s Book Award, given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers.
Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln) was praised by judges for its power and simplicity, as well as tackling a topical and important subject in the contemporary climate.
Fen Coles, director of Letterbox Library, who administered the award, said: “At a time when there are so many damaging myths circulating about refugees and asylum seekers, it is heartening to see a book which tells the truth—and in a way which children can relate to.”
The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing has also been awarded to a ‘shocking’ account of the working lives of Chinese rural migrants, Scattered Sand: The Story of China's Rural Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai (Verso).
Guest judge Nina Power said the title presented a “vivid, intimate and highly-engaging picture of work in contemporary China”. She added: “Pai's book evidences compassion and passion in equal measure for the workers she talks to, and presents a highly convincing, if often depressing, portrait of rural to urban migration and economic exploitation.”
Both titles were awarded at the first London Radical Bookfair, in Conway Hall, London, on Saturday (11th May). Booktrust founder and guest judge Sarah Garland presented winners with a cheque for £500 and a framed picture created by Guardian cartoonist, Ros Asquith.
Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) founder Nik Gorecki said: “Book prizes tend to gravitate towards the conservative. I imagine partly this is due to a culture formed of corporate sponsorship, but also a more general conformism . . .
"The Alliance of Radical Booksellers is working hard to promote radical publishing and raise awareness of the great independent booksellers who work tirelessly to get the books out there.”