Usborne publishes four of the seven titles on the shortlist for this year’s Branford Boase Award for a debut novelist and their editor, including titles by Sophie Anderson and Matt Killeen.
Anderson is shortlisted for The House with Chicken Legs, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker and Killeen for Orphan Monster Spy, edited by Sarah Stewart and Kendra Levin. Usborne also publishes The Train to Impossible Places by PG Bell (edited by Hill and Walker) and Rosie Love Jack by Mel Darbon, edited by Stewart.
Three other books are shortlisted this year: The Goose Road by Rowena House, edited by Mara Bergman (Walker Books); I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan, edited by Lucy Pearse (Macmillan Children’s Books); and The Boy at the Back of the Class by Ojali Q Rauf, edited by Lena McCauley (Orion Children’s Books).
The Branford Boase Award is now in its 20th year and is for the author and editor of an outstanding debut novel for children. It was created to commemorate author Henrietta Branford and Walker Books editor Wendy Boase.
“In its twenty-year history, the Branford Boase Award has given a crucial early career boost to the most exciting and important young authors, and prompted publishers to seek out new talent,” said chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare. “What’s more, it continues to reflect the shape and preoccupations of contemporary children’s literature: this year’s shortlist is weighted towards fiction for readers aged 8 – 11, but themes explored include terrorism, resilience, identity and a sense of self, plus an uneasy distrust of those in authority.”
This year’s judging panel includes Sanchita Basu De Sarkar of the Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill and Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive of CLPE. The winning title will be announced on 27th June and the author will receive a cheque for £1,000.