Debut authors and Information book award shortlists

The Branford Boase Award and the School Library Association Information Book Award have both announced their 2015 shortlists.

The Branford Boase Award celebrates outstanding debut novels for children. The award is unique in recognising the role of the editor in nuturing new talent and has a great track record of picking future best-sellers – past winners include Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, Kevin Brooks, Meg Rosoff and Frank Cottrell Boyce!

The 2015 shortlist is:

Bone Jack by Sara Crowe, edited by Charlie Sheppard and Eloise Wilson (Andersen Press). A boy’s participation in a traditional race is entwined with ancient myths, murderous ghosts and the return of his war damaged father. Ages 11+

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss, edited by Jane Griffiths (Simon & Schuster). Pearl struggles to forgive her new baby sister when their mother tragically dies in childbirth. Ages 13+

Cowgirl by Giancarlo Gemin, edited by Kirsty Stansfield (Nosy Crow). The community of a run-down council estate in South Wales are united in their effort to rescue 12 cows from the abattoir. Ages 9+

Half Bad by Sally Green, edited by Ben Horslen (Puffin). Supernatural modern world thriller with warring white and black witches deciding the fate of Nathan, a dangerous teenager with genes from both sides. Ages 13+

Trouble by Non Pratt, edited by Annalie Grainger & Denise Johnstone-Burt (Walker Books) 15 year old Hannah and Aaron take turns to narrate their story of teenage pregnancy. Ages 14+ (due to some graphic content)

Leopold Blue by Rosie Rowell, edited by Emily Thomas (Hot Key) Coming of age story set in 1990s rural South Africa during a period of racial tension and controversial AIDS education programmes. Ages 14+

The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis, edited by Jane Griffiths (Simon & Schuster) A haunting fantasy parallels a teenager’s journey in coming to terms with his mother’s death. Ages 13+


The School Library Association’s Information Book Awards, now in their fifth year recognise outstanding non-fiction books for children. They have 3 age categories – Under 7, Ages 7-12, and Ages 12-16, and as well as the judges choosing category winners and an overall winner, children also choose their winner from each group and an overall winner. This year’s list features a range of topics including money, animals, Antarctic exploration, family diversity, stress, microbes, molecules and city explorations.

The 2015 shortlist is:

Under 7

Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes by Nicola Davies & Emily Sutton (Walker)

Welcome to the Family by Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith (Frances Lincoln)

Ali’s Story: His Journey from Afghanistan by Salvador Maldonado & Andy Glynne (BBC Learning, Wayland)

A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino (Walker)


Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill (Flying Eye Books)

The Story of Money by Martin Jenkins & Satoshi Kitamuri (Walker)

Pop-Up New York by Jennie Maizels (Walker)

Animalium by Katie Scott & Jenny Broom (Big Picture Press)


The Story of Buildings by Patrick Dillon & Stephen Biesty (Walker)

Molecules by Theodore Gray (photographs by Nick Mann) (Black Dog & Leventhal)

The Teenage Guide to Stress by Nicola Morgan (Walker)

Special Mention and Commendation

The Comedy, History and Tragedy of William Shakespeare by Adria Meserve (ill) & Anna Claybourne with Timothy Knapman (Watts)


The winner of the Branford Boase Award will be announced in the summer and the SLA Information Book Award winners will be announced in November.

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