Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Little Rebel Awards 2016 Shortlist features a cornucopia of gorgeous books and a couple of hat-trick winners! Come along and see!

The awesome Little Rebels Children's Book Awards are back for a 4th year! (Image © Ros Asquith)

It's time for our favourite book award of the year, the truly spectacular and brilliant Little Rebels Children's Book Awards for Radical Children's Fiction.

Two authors have scored a hat-trick on this year’s shortlist.

The shortlist of six books includes an anarchic appraisal of Michael Gove’s education policies, the dramatic rescue of an indie bookshop and existential questions for the very young. Authors Gill Lewis and John Boyne both appear for the 3rd time. Publishers Bloomsbury has scored twice on the list.

The truly glorious "I'm a Girl" by Yasmeen Ismail not only wins book of the week on our blog but is shortlisted for the 2016 Little Rebel Book Awards! YAY YASMEEN!
The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is now in its 4th year. The shortlisted 2016 titles (for books published in 2015) include 3 chapter books/fiction and 3 picture books; these are:

➔ Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Neal Layton (Bloomsbury Books); an anarchic story which shames many aspects of contemporary culture but, in particular, the government’s current education ideology.

➔ Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press); a novel set in the Democratic Republic of Congo which explores how the farming of a mineral needed for mobile phones is destroying the gorilla’s natural habitat; Lewis’ Moon Bear was shortlisted in 2014 and she was the winner for the Little Rebels Award 2015 with Scarlet Ibis.

➔ The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne (Doubleday/Penguin Random House UK); the story of one child’s moral corruption when he goes to stay in Hitler’s holiday house, the Berghof, in 1935; Boyne was previously shortlisted for The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket in 2013 and Stay Where You Are and Then Leave in 2014.

➔ I’m a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail (Bloomsbury Books); a picture book which blasts gender stereotypes by portraying a girl character whose behaviour leads to her being called a boy.

➔ The Little Bookshop and the Origami Army! by Michael Foreman (Andersen Press); a community bookshop threatened by big business is saved by Origami Girl and local action.

➔ I Am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz (Walker Books); a philosophical book for the very young, addressing individualism, bravery and finding your way.

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award recognises fiction for ages 0-12 which promotes or celebrates social justice and equality. It is run by specialist children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library and is awarded by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB). The judges, Kim Reynolds (Professor of Children’s Lit. Newcastle University), Wendy Cooling, (Bookstart co-founder & editor), Catherine Johnson and Elizabeth Laird (children’s authors) are meeting this month to discuss the shortlist.

Kerry Mason, Co-Director of Letterbox Library, said of this year’s submissions: “This was the first year that the shortlisters felt overwhelmed by choices. It seems there is a taste right now for children’s books with a message, particularly where that message is communicated in an imaginative and original way. This year’s shortlist pokes fun at our institutions, brings corporate powers to their knees and ponders vast questions such as ‘who am I?’ through the smallest of finches”.

Speaking about the award, Little Rebels judge, Kim Reynolds, said, “This prize identifies well-informed and high-quality books that can help children understand that the way the world is currently organised is not inevitable and that even the youngest members of society can help to change it” (in Books for Keeps May 2015).

The winner of the Little Rebels Award will again be announced at The London Radical Bookfair. This year the event will take place on Saturday May 7th at Goldsmith’s University. This is a free public event organised by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB). The Little Rebels winner will be announced alongside the ARB’s sister adult award, the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing.

Come along to the awards and celebrate some truly radical books!