The UK’s 2015 Little Rebels Award shortlist has been announced – and it’s an exciting, diverse selection of eight books, featuring both new and well-established book creators.
Trouble on Cable Street by Joan Lingard (Catnip Books, 2014), set in 1936 London during the rise of Mosley’s Fascist Blackshirts.
Girl With a White Dog by debut novelist Anne Booth (Catnip Books, 2014), exploring prejudice and discrimination and linking the Holocaust directly through to the present.
Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press, 2014), which examines the care system and attitudes towards mental health; this is Gill Lewis’ 2nd appearance on the Little Rebels shortlist after Moon Bear was selected last year.
Nadine Dreams of Home by Bernard Ashley (Barrington Stoke, 2014), a dyslexia-friendly book about a child who has fled the Congolese civil conflict to settle in the UK.
Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton (Walker Books, 2014); a subtle picture book about kindness and friendship winning out over force and enmity.
Grandma by another debut author/illustrator, Jessica Shepherd (Child’s Play, 2014); a child- friendly exploration of dementia.
Pearl Power by Mel Elliott, published by newcomer indie, I Love Mel (dis. Turnaround Publisher Services) about a little girl and her encounters with gender inequality.
The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award recognises fiction for ages 0-12 which promotes or celebrates social justice and equality. It is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and is administered by specialist children’s booksellers and 2015 ALMA nominee, Letterbox Library. The judges, Kim Reynolds (Professor of Children’s Lit. Newcastle University), Wendy Cooling, (Bookstart co-founder & editor) and Elizabeth Laird (children’s author) are meeting this month to discuss the shortlist.
Kerry Mason, Co-Director of Letterbox Library, said of this year’s submissions: “The award is really gathering momentum in its 3rd year. We’ve had submissions from over 30 publishers and the final shortlist highlights some wonderfully distinctive texts which will stir children to ponder big ideas such as gender stereotypes, racism, conflict and mental health”.
Speaking about the award, Kim Reynolds, author of Radical Children’s Literature (Palgrave MacMillan: 2010) said, “This prize focuses on books that help readers become the kind of ‘little rebels’ who one day will catalyse social change rather than carrying on in the same old ways regardless of the costs and consequences”.
The winner of the Little Rebels Award will again be announced at The London Radical Bookfair and Alternative Press Takeover. This year the event will take place on Saturday May 9th at a brand new venue: a 5 storey Victorian warehouse based near Tower Bridge. This is a free event, designed to champion all radical publishing. It is organised by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) in partnership with the Alternative Press Fair. The Little Rebels winner will be announced alongside the ARB’s sister adult award, the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing.