Alex Nunn's exploration of the Jeremy Corbyn "phenomenon" has won this year's Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, while Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beatty and illustrated by David Roberts has taken the Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2017.
Praised by the judges as a "cogent, optimistic, well-written and thoroughly researched" book, The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn's Improbable Path to Power by Alex Nunns (OR Books) was awarded the £500 prize at this year's London Radical Bookfair, which took place at Goldsmiths University, London on Saturday (24th June).
In The Candidate, Nunn shows "that Corbyn's victories weren’t the accidental consequence of other candidates' failures, but were built on the work of an energised, thoughtful and committed movement of citizen-campaigners," said the judges.
Also shortlisted for the award were Gary Younge for Another Day in the Death of America (Guardian Faber), Dawn Foster's Lean Out (Repeater Books), The Hammer Blow: How 10 Women Disarmed a War Plane by Andrea Needham (Peace News), This is the Place to Be by Lara Pawson (CB Editions); The Egyptians: A Radical Story by Jack Shenker (Allen Lane), and See Red Women's Workshop - Feminist Posters 1974-1990 by See Red Members & Sheila Rowbotham (Four Corners Books).
The ARB also announced that the winners of this year’s Little Rebels Children’s Book Award as Andrea Beaty and David Roberts for their book, Ada Twist, Scientist (Abrams & Chronicle Books). It’s second time lucky for Beaty and Roberts, who were shortlisted for the award in 2014 with Rosie Revere, Engineer (Abrams).
Now in its fifth year, the Little Rebels Award recognises children’s fiction which promotes social justice or social equality, challenges stereotypes or is informed by anti-discriminatory concerns.
Ada Twist is the story of a young girl with boundless curiosity who can’t stop asking ‘Why?’ Her quest for answers and her many scientific experiments occasionally lead her in to trouble.
Little Rebels judge Catherine Johnson said of the winning book: “This is a story where words and pictures work brilliantly together. Its subject matter shouldn't be radical but sadly given the nature of the world (of books and in general) it meets all the criteria for this award.”
Catherine Barter, co-manager of Housmans Bookshop which coordinated the award this year, added: “Ada Marie Twist is a true little rebel and, like the pioneering scientists she is named after (Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace), a fantastic feminist role model. We’re delighted that this book has won the award.”
Also shortlisted for the award were Kiran Milwood Hargrave with The Girl of Ink and Stars (Chicken House), G. R. Gemin with Sweet Pizza (Nosy Crow), Emily Gravett with Tidy (Macmillan/Two Hoots), Richard O’Neill, Katharine Quarmby and Hannah Tolson with Ossiri and the Bala Mengro (Child’s Play), and Bethan Woollvin with Little Red (Macmillan/Two Hoots).
Susan Van Metre, editor-in-chief of children’s book imprints at Abrams in New York, collected the award on behalf of Beaty and Roberts.
Van Metre read a statement from the authors in which they heralded the power of stories to help children make sense of the “confusing and worrying times” we live in. “We must help [children] become critical thinkers and doers. Encourage them to read, question, and think about everything so they will be ready to tackle the work ahead of them. We must offer them hope and comfort and understanding", the statement read.