Bold, uncompromising narratives tackling prejudice and foreshadowing far-right dystopias dominate this year’s shortlist for the Little Rebels Award for Radical Children’s Fiction.
The Little Rebels 2022 shortlist in full:
Hey You!: An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black by Dapo Adeola, illustrated by various (Puffin Books/PRH)
No Country by Joe Brady, illustrated by Patrice Aggs (David Fickling Books)
No Man’s Land by Joanna Nadin (UCLan Publishing)
Proud of Me by Sarah Hagger-Holt (Usborne Publishing)
Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll(Knights Of)
Sunflower Sisters by Monika Singh Gangotra, illustrated by Michaela Dias-Hayes (Owlet Press)
What Happened to You? by James Catchpole, illustrated by Karen George (Faber & Faber)
Three picture books and four (including one graphic) novels present powerful indictments of homophobia, racism, disablism and colorism. Dystopic novels by Nadin and Brady/Aggs highlight all-too-relatable challenges to civil society, including fake news, dictatorships, authoritarian ideologies, fuel and food shortages and, in the case of McNicoll, the extremes of corporate capitalism and the encroachment of eugenics.
The shortlist includes work by three debut creators: literary agent, James Catchpole, who co-runs The Catchpole Agency and the team behind Sunflower Sisters: illustrator Michaela Dias-Hayes and author Monika Singh Gangotra, winner of The 2017 BBC Big Family Cooking Showdown. Elle McNicoll appears on the shortlist for the second time.
Congratulations to all of the shortlisted authors, illustrators and publishers!