March 29 2014 - Little Rebels Award 2014 Shortlist

The shortlist has been announced for the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for radical children’s fiction. Now in its 2nd year, the shortlisted 2013 titles are: Moon Bear by Gill Lewis (OUP); After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross (OUP); Real Lives: Harriet Tubman by Deborah Chancellor (A&C Black); Stay Where You Are by John Boyne (Doubleday); The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean (Usborne); Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts (Abrams); The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin (Walker).   

The shortlist was announced at a special event hosted by Housmans Bookshop on Saturday evening (29th) and followed a panel discussion, chaired by Letterbox Library, on B.J.Epstein’s new book, ‘Are the Kids All Right?: The Representation of LGBTQ Characters in Children’s and YA Lit’ (HammerOn Press).      

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. The judges Kim Reynolds (Professor of Children’s Lit Newcastle University), Wendy Cooling, (Bookstart co-founder & editor) and Elizabeth Laird (children’s author) will be meeting in early April to discuss the shortlist.

Kerry Mason, Co-Director of Letterbox Library, said of the shortlist: “We’re delighted with the range of titles on offer this year. From novels to picture books, the shortlist showcases, we believe, the best in bold, provocative and thoughtful children’s fiction of 2013. The shortlist embraces dystopian, historical and contemporary tales and travels across the globe, from South East Asia to the Australian outback. All stir a sense of social justice and all look to a better world, mostly through the actions of children, all little rebels themselves.” 

Speaking about the award, Kim Reynolds, author of Radical Children’s Literature (Palgrave MacMillan: 2010) said, “Little Rebels is the most recent manifestation of an honourable but for the most part over-looked tradition in children’s publishing that uses stories to celebrate human rights, equality [and] diversity…Often transforming society requires bold thinking and bold action, and so this prize focuses on books that help readers become the kind of ‘little rebels’ who one day will catalyse social change rather than carrying on in the same old ways regardless of the costs and consequences”.

This year, the winner of the Little Rebels Award will be announced at a new event, The London Radical Bookfair and Alternative Press Takeover 2014. This will take the form of a mass ‘occupation’ of Bishopsgate Institute, London on May 10th. It is a free event, organised by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) in partnership with the Alternative Press Fair. Nik Gorecki, Bread & Roses Trustee said of the event, “our combined efforts should make for a wonderful event”. The Little Rebels winner will be announced alongside the ARB’s sister adult award, Bread & Roses. 

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