Earlier this week the winners of this year’s Branford Boase Award were announced. It’s an unusual annual award as it is given to the author and editor of the most outstanding debut novel for children each year.
This year Dave Shelton and his editor David Fickling won the Branford Boase Award for A Boy and a Bear in a Boat. Chair of the judges, children’s books editor of The Guardian Julia Eccleshare said, ‘The UK children’s book market is flourishing and the 2013 shortlist was extraordinarily strong, even so A Boy and a Bear in a Boat stood out: the judges loved it for its originality, for the unique way it tells its story. We all agreed we had never read anything like it.’
Lydia Syson and her editor Sarah Odedina were Highly Commended for A World Between Us, published by Hot Key Books, the first time since 2004 that a book has been highlighted in this way, and proof of the strength and depth of the 2013 shortlist.