We are more than a little delighted to announce the 8 books on the 2015 shortlist for the Little Rebels Award (for titles published in 2014)! Full details are below. The judges are meeting this month and the winner will be announced at the London Radical Bookfair on May 9th 2015 at our new fair venue, 47/49 Tanner Street, London (nr. Tower Bridge). The event is FREE and open to all. Any of the shortlisted titles can be bought from the not-for-profit indie booksellers Letterbox Library. This award is run voluntarily and unfunded by Letterbox Library on behalf of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers. To keep this award (and the sister, adult, award Bread & Roses) running, we do ask you to buy from Letterbox Library or from other members of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers wherever possible. Thank you.
And now, drum rolllllllllllll (and in alphabetical order), here’s the shortlist:
Girl With a White Dog by Anne Booth
Jessie’s Grandma is sounding confused- and she keeps harking on about past events which are clearly troubling her. Meantime, at school, Jessie is learning about the rise of fascism during the 1930s. Jessie starts to realise that these historical events are not so far removed from the present day prejudices she is witnessing in her immediate neighbourhood. A story about social justice which makes direct links between present-day Britain and Nazi Germany. Ages 9-12 Buy your copy here.
Grandma by Jessica Shepherd
Oscar loves spending time with his Grandma but lately she has been getting forgetful and soon she has to go into a care home. A child-friendly exploration of what dementia is. Includes factual information to help children talk about their feelings and find new ways to enjoy the changing relationship. Ages 4-7 Buy your copy here.
Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz, ill. by Margaret Chamberlain
(Janetta Otter-Barry Books/Frances Lincoln)
Raffi feels different from the other children at school. He doesn’t like noise and rowdy play. When he discovers the delights of knitting and sewing, he stands out even more. But when he uses these new skills to make a costume for the school play, his classmates become rather more appreciative. A celebration of difference and a challenge to gender stereotypes. Ages 4-7 Buy your copy here.
Nadine Dreams of Home by Bernard Ashley
By specialist publishers in dyslexia-friendly books and books for reluctant readers. Nadine and her family flee the civil conflict and rebel army in Goma to start over in the UK. But school is a strange and frightening place to Nadine until a teacher finds her a special picture which reminds her of home. Reading Age 7+ Interest Age 7-12 Buy your copy here.
Pearl Power by Mel Elliott
(I Love Mel)
Pearl has had to move house because her mum has been promoted to ‘The Boss’. Pearl’s new big school works out fine until she encounters Sebastian, a little boy who is keen to suggest that Pearl goes about everything ‘like a girl’. A book about a brave little girl who challenges sexist stereotyping head on. Ages 4-7 Buy your copy here.
Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis
(Oxford University Press)
Scarlet is used to looking after her little brother so when her mum’s depression results in them being split up into different foster homes, Scarlet is determined to get her brother back. Explores mental health and the complexities of the care system (without demonizing any social workers!) Ages 9-12 Buy your copy here.
nb: Gill Lewis was on the Little Rebels shortlist last year with Moon Bear.
Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
A band of forest folk spot a bird. Three of them have a plan: to sneak up on it and capture it with their nets and cage. One of them, the smallest one, wants to chat to birdy and feed it crumbs, a gesture which has unexpected consequences. A subtle, minimal words picture book about kindness and friendship winning out over force and enmity. Age 2-6 Buy you copy here.
Trouble on Cable Street by Joan Lingard
A second title from Catnip Books. Set in the East End (London), 1936, Isabella’s family and neighbourhood are surviving in a time of huge transitions. Brother William has gone to join the revolution in Spain; her other brother, Arthur, has joined the Fascist movement spearheaded by Mosley’s Blackshirts. Meantime they’re all trying to get by in a time of low wages, sweatshops and insecure employment, the backdrop to a rise in anti-immigrant sentiments… Ages 9-12 Buy your copy here.