April 9 2013 - Little Rebels Award 2013 Shortlist

The shortlist has been announced for the new award for radical children’s fiction, The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award. Shortlisted 2012 titles are: Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln), Hans and Matilda by Yokococo (Templar/Bonnier), Wild Child by Jeanne Willis (author) and Lorna Freytag (ill.) (Walker) and The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne (Random House UK: 2012).

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award recognises fiction for ages 0-12 which promotes or celebrates social justice and equality. It is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and is administered by specialist children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library. Guest judges Wendy Cooling, (Bookstart co-founder & editor) and Elizabeth Laird (children’s author) will be meeting next week to discuss the shortlist.

The winner of the inaugural award will be announced at the new ARB London Radical Bookfair to be held on May 11th at Conway Hall, London. The winner will receive a cash prize and a framed print by children’s author/illustrator and Guardian cartoonist, Ros Asquith. The print has been especially created for the award and features little rebels waving banners, including child-friendly slogans such as “Save the Whale, Save the Snail”.

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award will be marked by a panel discussion on ‘progressive children’s literature’ which will be chaired by Wendy Cooling and will include author Sarah Garland. The winner of the sister award for adult non-fiction, The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, will also be announced at the bookfair- 8 titles have been shortlisted and will now be judged by author and lecturer,  Nina Power, former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone and author, Laura Oldfield-Ford. 

Kerry Mason, Co-Director of Letterbox Library said of the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award, “we were surprised and delighted by the many publisher submissions we received for Little Rebels. There is a real excitement and buzz about the award which we hope to build on for next year”.

She added, “Hard economic times can sometimes lead to publishers sticking to safe and tested book series and reprints. It is heartening to see that even when the going gets tough, some UK children’s publishers are still happy to take risks, to stay creative, to venture out into the unusual and deliver us thoughtful, provocative and radical yarns. This wonderful shortlist includes the true-to-life story of a refugee family, an anarchic feline adventure, an untamed & unkempt child within a visionary picture book and a protagonist who has no business being ‘ordinary’”.

Nik Gorecki of Housmans Bookshop and co-ordinator for the ARB 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 two ARB book prizes are free from such pressures- the prizes being administered by bookshops reverses the usually top-down nature of such awards”.

Keep updated on the Little Rebels award by visiting www.littlerebelsaward.wordpress.com or following @LetterboxLib / @ARB_information.