Shortlist for the Branford Boase Award 2020

The shortlist for the Branford Boase Award 2020 was released last week. This award celebrates debut authors in the world of children’s literature. The winner would normally be announced in July. But this year, it is being delayed until the 24th September. Here are the books that have been shortlisted this year. How many of them have you read?


Cover of Little BadmanLittle Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties

by Humza Arshad & Henry White
(Suitable for 9+)

“A raucous and very funny contemporary school story, starring 12-year-old wannabe ninja-rapper Humza Khan, and the band of Pakistani aunties who mysteriously take over his school, armed with delicious, sugary snacks.”




Cover of The Space We're InThe Space We’re In

by Katya Balen and illustrated by Laura Carlin

(Suitable for 10+)

“The story of brothers Frank, who loves code and numbers as a way to make sense of the world, and his five-year-old brother Max, for whom the world is often a scary place, where anything unexpected, too loud or too bright can upset him. An examination and ultimately uplifting celebration of neurodivergence.”



Cover of A Pocketful of StarsA Pocketful of Stars

by Aisha Bushby

(Suitable for 9+)

“When her mum falls ill, something strange happens and Safiya finds herself transported back to her mother’s childhood home in Kuwait, and presented with a magical puzzle to solve. An unusual and skilful examination of grief, love and growing-up.”

This book is also shortlisted for FCBG’s Children’s Book Award this year.



Cover of BearmouthBearmouth

by Liz Hyder

(Suitable for 12+)

“Since the age of four, Newt has worked in the labyrinthine coalmine Bearmouth, ruthlessly exploited in appalling conditions and a virtual prisoner for life. But with the arrival of a young rebel, things are about to change. A claustrophobic dystopian novel of oppression and hope.”

This book is also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize(Books for Older Readers) this year.


Cover of A Good Girl's Guide to MurderA Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

by Holly Jackson

(YA novel)

“The murder of schoolgirl Andie Bell was the talk of Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s town, and she’s convinced the police got the wrong guy. Under the guise of writing an EPQ on the media’s coverage of the crime, Pippa sets out to discover the truth. An unusual and clever YA whodunnit.”

This book is also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize(Books for Older Readers) this year.



Cover of FrostheartFrostheart

by Jamie Littler

(Suitable for  8+)

“Life or death battles against terrifying monsters, an orphan’s desperate search for home and family, escapes in the nick of time, a snowy other-world setting, a crew of lovable outsiders, and big questions about right and wrong – Frostheart has them all!”



Cover of The Million PiecesThe Million Pieces of Neena Gill

by Emma Smith-Barton

(YA novel)

“Neena’s brother Akash disappeared 10 months ago and her parents are broken with grief. As she tries to find out what’s happened to him, her grip on reality starts to crack.”

This book is also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (Books for Older Readers) this year.


Best of luck to all of the authors shortlisted.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *