The Essex Serpent taking the top prize for fiction. However, I am concerned with childrens' books, as you all know. The prize in childrens' book of the year went to the amazing book, The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Hargraves' debut won out over JK Rowlings' script, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as a host of other fine books and authors, such as David Walliams, Tom Fletcher and Nadiya Hussain, all of whom had high sales and many accolades. But The Girl of Ink and Stars truly shines. Not only has it won this award, but has already been honoured with the Waterstones childrens' book prize 2017 and is shortlisted for both the Branford Boase award and the Carnegie medal.
An extraordinarily beautiful book package coupled with an unusual, refreshing and innovative story made The Girl of Ink and Stars one of my personal favourites last year. From the "What Are You Reading?"page on this blog:
"Woven with all the magic of fairy tales and childhood memories...The
presentation of the book is simply perfect, each page illustrated with
cartographic references that gives the physical book the feel of the
journey, of movement as you weave through the tale with Isabella. Truly
beautiful writing, magical, mythological and positively spell-binding..."
Congratulations to Kiran, and to all at Chicken House who worked so diligently to create this magical tale.
As mentioned above, The Girl of Ink and Stars is shortlisted for yet another prize, the Branford Boase Award, along with seven others of outstanding quality. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to reward new writers and their editors, and to celebrate excellence in writing and editing. This years' shortlist certainly indicates such excellence. The nominees for the 2017 award are: Cogheart by Peter Bunzl, editor:Rebecca Hill; We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd, editor: Niamh Mulvey; Little Bits of Sky by Sue Durrant, editor: Kirsty Stansfield; The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster, editor: Rachel Mann; The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, editor:Rachel Leyshon; Beetle Boy by M G Leonard, editors: Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyshon and Riverkeep by Martin Stewart, editors: Shannon Cullen and Sharyn November. This must be a particularly difficult decision for the judges, for each of these novels is utterly different, yet each one is exceptional in so many ways.
The very best of luck to all of you!