The Branford-Boase Prize Longlist was announced last week. It’s an interesting prize, as it looks for the best first novels for children aged seven and up and includes the books’ editors as well as the authors. The idea is to highlight new talent and recognise the work editors do in nurturing that talent. This year the Longlist has particularly caught my eye. It has books I’ve read and loved, books I’ve been meaning to read, and books I hadn’t previously heard about.
Despite not being a children’s bookseller at the moment, I still passionately believe in the importance of giving children access to a wide range of stories and stimulating their imaginations with well-told tales. I love the Book Club I have with my nieces and nephews; hearing them talk about what they’ve been reading is a joy. And I don’t deny for a moment that reading children’s books still gives me a huge amount of pleasure.
The Branford-Boase Longlisthas me excited and I’d like to tap into that by featuring all of the books on my blog over the next 13 weeks in the run up to the Shortlist being announced. I can’t promise that I’ll definitely be able to read them all before then, but I’ll do my best. With any luck I’ll have help from some actual children!
I’ll talk about the books on Twitter too, using #BranfordBoase. I’d love to hear what other people think about the Longlist books, so please get in touch via comments, email, or on Twitter.
Here’s my tentative schedule, barring any difficulties getting hold of the books or other major disasters!
This week: C.J. Flood, Infinite Sky and Fletcher Moss, The Poison Boy
W/C 3 Feb: Rob Lloyd Jones, Wild Boy and Claire McFall, Ferryman
10 Feb: Emma Carroll, Frost Hollow Hall and Julie Mayhew, Red Ink
17 Feb: Laura Dockrill, Darcy Burdock and Dan Smith, My Friend the Enemy
24 Feb: Ross Montgomery, Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door and
Sarah Naughton, The Hanged Man Rises
3 Mar: Alison Rattle, The Quietness and Holly Smale, Geek Girl
10 Mar: Laure Eve, Fearsome Dreamer and Piers Torday, The Last Wild
17 Mar: Julia Lee, The Mysterious Misadventures of Clemency Wrigglesworth
and Amy McCulloch, The Oathbreaker’s Shadow
24 Mar: Alexia Casale, The Bone Dragon and Celia Bryce, Anthem for Jackson
31 Mar: Michaela Clarke, Tiger Thief and C.J. Harper, The Disappeared
7 Apr: Hilton Pashley, Gabriel’s Clock, Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Child’s
Elephant and Helen Douglas, After Eden
14 Apr: Natasha Carthew, Winter Damage, Jackie Morris, East of the Sun,
West of the Moon and Emma Pass, ACID
21 Apr: Tom Moorhouse, The River Singers, Neil Bushnell, Sorrowline and
Sheila Rance, Sun Catcher
Right then, I’ll be off to do a spot of reading and blog writing. I’ll put the first book post up this weekend. There’s more information about the prize on the Branford-Boase website, including a writing competition for young writers.