The Alliance of Radical Booksellers is delighted to announce that FREEDOM by Catherine Johnson (Scholastic) has been crowned the winner of this year’s Little Rebels Award for Radical Children’s Fiction.
A short historical novel, Freedom tells the story of Nat, a young boy enslaved on a Jamaican plantation, brought over to England in the late eighteenth century. Hopeful that, once on UK soil, he will finally be free from bondage, Nat instead witnesses the pivotal role Britain played in building the slavery industry.
Little Rebels Judge Darren Chetty commented:
“‘Freedom’ is radical in a number of ways. It tells a story of a young enslaved man in Britain. It explores the humanity of those whose humanity was denied through chattel slavery. It subtly examines the similarities and the differences between class oppression and a system of slavery rooted in racism. It tells a story of Britain that continues to be neglected. Johnson’s writing is a masterclass in the maxim ‘show don’t tell’ – through the point of view of her protagonist we are brought into his world and yet we are afforded space to emotionally engage with the story she offers us.”
Congratulations to Catherine and to all of this year’s shortlisted authors!