UK authors Tanya Landman and Alex Wheatle are amongst the writers shortlisted for this year’s Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
Wheatle is shortlisted for his contemporary YA drama Crongton Knights (Atom), whilst Landman is on the list for her historical novel Hell and High Water, set in 18th-century England (Walker Books).
They face competition from Brian Selznick, the US author of The Marvels (Scholastic), which is about an actor shipwrecked on a whaling ship in 1776, and from the Australian writer Zana Fraillon, who is shortlisted for her story about refugees, entitled The Bone Sparrow (Hachette Children’s Books).
The four shortlisted titles were chosen from a longlist that included books by Malorie Blackman and Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock and the winner, chosen by judges David Almond, Kate Saunders and SF Said, will be announced next month.
Almond said Wheatle’s novel was “elegant, authentic and humane” and that Selznick's The Marvels “shows what is happening and what is possible in the extraordinarily inventive world of children’s literature today”. Landman, on the other hand, “handles a complex, wide-ranging plot with vivacity, verve and skill”, he added.
Said said Fraillon’s book “deserves to be read by all who care about our common humanity”.
The chair of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize is the newspaper’s children's books editor, Julia Eccleshare.