Dassu, Child, McNicoll shortlisted for Little Rebels Award

Debut authors A M Dassu, Rosie Haine and Elle McNicoll have been shortlisted for this year’s Little Rebels Award, which recognises children’s fiction (for readers aged 0-12) that promotes social justice or social equality, challenges stereotypes or is informed by anti-discriminatory concerns.

Also shortlisted are Konnie Huq, Lauren Child and David Almond.

Now in its ninth year, the winner receives a cheque for £2,000, funded by the Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust.

This year, 147 titles were submitted to the award in 2021 by a total of 46 publishers, an overall increase of 120% on the award’s inaugural year in 2012. Novels dominate the 2021 list with recurrent themes of technological progress, the moral challenges thrown up by those advances as well as the growth of young activists.

The shortlist features Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes by Sophie Deen, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar (Walker Books), Boy Everywhere by Am Daau (Old Barn Books), Brand New Boy by David Almond, illustrated by Maria Altes (Walker Books), Fearless Fairy Tales by Konnie Huq and James Kay, illustrated by Rikin Parekh (Bonnier) and The Goody by Lauren Child (Orchard Books).

Also shortlisted are 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) and The Soup Movement by Ben Davis (OUP).

The award is run by Housmans Bookshop and Letterbox Library and is awarded by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers. 

This year’s judges are author Patrice Lawrence; Emily Drabble, head of children’s book promotions/prizes at BookTrust; Jim MacSweeney, manager of LGBT bookshop Gay’s the Word; Darren Chetty, teacher and writer; and Shaun Dellenty, trainer in LGBT+ inclusive education.

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