The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017
Waterstones Children's Book Prize Winner 2017 The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
We’re proud to announce Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s extraordinary debut The Girl of Ink & Stars as the overall winner of our thirteenth Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Also clinching the Younger Fiction category, Hargrave’s storytelling prowess takes a tale already rich with invention and delivers a fantasy of real emotional heft.
Drawn from a bookseller-voted shortlist of 18, the evening also saw the crowning of two fellow category winners - writer and illustrator Lizzy Stewart, clinching the Illustrated Books category for the imaginative romp that is There's a Tiger in the Garden, and Patrice Lawrence, who won our Older Fiction category for searing urban tale Orangeboy.
Younger Fiction Category and Overall Winner
Isabella Riosse is the daughter of a cartographer who lives on the island of Joya; an isle both steeped in mythology and shrouded in mystery. For the last thirty years, a strict Governor has forbidden the island inhabitants from venturing beyond their small township.
Isabella is fascinated with the ancient myths of Joya, which is said to have once floated freely over the seas. Preoccupied with ideas of exploration and inspired by the far-flung places her father once documented, she yearns for adventure.
When her best friend Lupe runs away, disappearing into the forbidden forest, Isabella volunteers to bring her back. With only her knowledge of ancient myths and one of her father’s maps to guide her, Isabella ventures into the perilous world beyond, where monsters lurk and magical rivers run.
Younger Readers: The Shortlist
Illustrated Books Category Winner
“Why don’t you play in the garden?” says Nora’s grandma. “I thought I saw a tiger in there earlier.”
There can be few picture books which climax with a philosophical debate on existence between a backyard tiger and a dubious little girl, but this is exactly what Lizzy Stewart’s frankly brilliant There’s a Tiger in the Gardenmanages to pull off. As our Category Winner for Illustrated Books, Stewart’s vibrant, immersive illustrations pull us straight into the make-believe world of Nora (accompanied by her toy giraffe Jeff) and her garden-bound exploration of her grandma’s seemingly unbelievable promises.
“Bold, bright and beautiful. Lizzy’s immediately assured artistic style conveys a classic tone, allowing her charmingly told story of imagination to leap off the page. This is a timeless picture book which will be much loved by children and adults alike, and is a promising start to what will be an inspiring career.” - Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children’s Buyer
‘A stunning testament to the power of the imagination.’ – The Metro
Illustrated Books: The Shortlist
Older Fiction Category Winner
‘I stared at the reflection in the window. Was this my future?’
Marlon. He’s sixteen, a boy trying his best to rise above the empty promise of the inner city. Despite a solemn pledge to his mother not to follow his brother Andre down a darker path, fate and event conspire to force Marlon toward a life he has resisted: when everything he loves is at stake, which is the worse choice? Patrice Lawrence is a bold and much-needed new voice in British teen literature, bringing an almost effortless lyricism and sense of moral drama to an urban environment almost every teenager will recognise. Orangeboy’s win of our Older Fiction category recognises Lawrence’s storytelling chops and will undoubtedly herald future tales of similar power and empathy.
“A truthful and gripping novel from a fantastic new talent in YA. We were particularly struck by the energy and flair of the writing, and Lawrence’s gift for creating rounded, believable teen characters, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.” - Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children’s Buyer
Older Readers: The Shortlist