Rosie Rowell and her editor Emily Thomas at Hot Key Books have been selected as the winners of the Branford Boase Award 2015 for the young adult book, Leopold Blue. The prize is awarded to outstanding debut novels for children and is the only award to acknowledge the role of the editor in the book’s success. The editor, Emily Thomas says of the book:
“Not a book for the faint-hearted, Leopold Blue is set in 1980s South Africa, at a time when AIDS was rife and nationwide fear had left its people frozen. And in the midst of this horror, teenager Meg is battling with her changing self. Her courageous AIDS-campaigner mother is nothing but a major embarrassment, and all Meg wants is to fit in, to not feel different, and to get away from her family. When exotic and devil-may-care Xanthe arrives at school, Meg seizes the chance to befriend her, and to be seduced by Xanthe’s seemingly unshakeable self-belief and independence. By the story’s end, Meg comes to realise the value of her mother’s stance, and the harm her own woeful selfishness could have caused her. It is beautifully written, evocative and not afraid to portray its characters as humanly dislikeable. It also smartly brings a shocking historical neglect to the fore of its readers mind. Wonderful.”
Perfomance poet and playwright Joseph Coelho has won the 2015 CLiPPA Poetry Award run by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) for his collection, Werewolf Club Rules (Frances Lincoln). Aimed at ages 7+, the collection is based on the familiar world of the primary classroom with playful poems best read out loud for maximum effect. You can watch Joseph perform his poems on his website here.
Roger McGough, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2015 judges praised the winning collection:
“The shortlist this year was very strong and very diverse, it showed the real range of poetic writing that is available. Joseph’s collection showcases his work as a fresh new voice in children’s poetry. The book is a wonderful mixture of lyrical verse, personal experience, humour and insight. His delight in language, ability to tell everyday stories and use of comedy and pathos are what made this book our winner.”
A shadowing scheme ran alongside the awards with more than 1000 children from 40 schools taking part. 50 films were made of children performing their favourite poems from the shortlist and the winners were invited to perform at the award ceremony at the National Theatre in London alongside the shortlisted poets. For resources and more information on the shadowing scheme and how your school could take part in 2016, visit the CLPE website here. Joseph Coehlo has also put together his list of top ten new poetry books that every child should read here.
2 thoughts on “Winners announced for Branford Boase Award and Poetry Prize”
I heard the winning poet Joseph Coelho on Front Row last night. He read a poem about his infant teacher, it was great…
Yes, I had a look at the videos on his website and he is a great performer!