The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is a prize for radical fiction aimed at children aged 0-12. The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and was established in conjunction with Letterbox Library. The award is now administered by Letterbox Library and Housmans Bookshop. Now in its 8th year, the Little Rebels Award is designed to recognise the rich tradition of radical publishing for children in the UK.
Boy, Everywhere (Old Barn Books) is the 2021 Little Rebels Award winner. Congratulations to the author, A.M. Dassu.
Boy Everywhere describes the fraught journey 13-year-old Sami and his family take from Syria to the UK, exposing the unyielding, sometimes cruel and often dehumanising obstacles refugees face in their flight to sanctuary. The book has attracted praise, awards and prizes from numerous well-respected sources, as you can see in A.M. Dassu’s profile here.
Speaking about the winning title, Little Rebels Award Judge, Darren Chetty, said, “Boy Everywhere is everything that I look for in a Little Rebels book – it’s politically interesting, it’s timely, but first and foremost it’s beautifully written. Often with political books we forget that aspect…that the writing itself needs to sing and it really does in this book.”
The titles on this year’s shortlist explore environmental activism, neurodiversity, the legacy of the Scottish witch trials, the pressure of social conformity, the ethics of AI, tech politics and data privacy, fake news, feminism, labelling and expectation, fleeing warfare and seeking asylum, homelessness, body positivity, and more.
The Little Rebels 2021 shortlist in full:
- Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes by Sophie Deen, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar (Walker Books)
- Boy, Everywhere by AM Dassu (Old Barn Books)
- Brand New Boy by David Almond, illustrated by Marta Altes (Walker Books)
- Fearless Fairy Tales by Konnie Huq & James Kay, illustrated by Rikin Parekh (Bonnier)
- The Goody by Lauren Child (Orchard Books)
- Hope Jones Saves the World by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Beatriz Castro (Andersen Press)
- It Isn’t Rude to be Nude by Rosie Haine (Tate Publishing)
- A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll (Knights Of)
- The Soup Movement by Ben Davis (OUP)
Previous winners of the Little Rebels Award include include Catherine Johnson for Freedom; Zanib Mian for The Muslims; Andrea Beaty and David Roberts for Ada Twist, Scientist; Alexis Deacon and Vivian Schwarz for Henry Finch; Gill Lewis for Scarlet Ibis; Gillian Cross for After Tomorrow; Sarah Garland for Azzi in Between.
Letterbox Library is a not-for-profit children’s booksellers and social enterprise. They specialise in children’s books which celebrate diversity, equality and inclusion. One of London’s longest surviving and last remaining radical bookshops, Housmans is a founder member of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, and stocks a wide range of radical books and magazines, including children’s books.