Nigerian-American first-time author, Tomi Adeyemi has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. The 25-year-old is shortlisted in the ‘older fiction’ category for her acclaimed fantasy novel Children of Blood and Bone.
Taking to social media to share the news, she tweeted: “thank you to @Waterstones and to every single bookseller who’s shared CBB with the UK!! so many readers there have touched my heart ???? I’m eternally grateful for all the amazing work you do!”
Adeyemi is listed alongside authors and illustrators including; Sophie Anderson, Jessica Love and Onjali Q. Raúf.
Waterstones’ children’s buyer Florentyna Martin said: “Children’s books are firmly at the heart of our shops. Knowledge of their local communities and the pleasure in recommending the best books to their customers gives our booksellers a unique and pivotal role in championing new talent. Now, more than ever before, there is real playfulness and creativity noticeable in children’s books.
“This year’s list showcases an exploration of wide topics including world-folklore, black history, mental health, refugees and the world around us, through dynamic forms of poetry, fables and sweeping fantasies. It is a truly enthralling time for children’s writing, and our booksellers have keenly chosen shortlists that they are inspired to share with readers and, in doing so, recognise the creators who will shape the future of children’s stories.”
Celebrating its 15th year, the prize is open to authors’ first or second book (or third in the illustration category. The winner of each category will receive £2,000 and one overall winner – chosen from the three category winners – will be given an additional £3,000 at a ceremony at Waterstones Piccadilly on 21st March.
James Daunt, m.d. at Waterstones, said: “We are immediately proud of our children’s book prize. It has chosen unfailingly wonderful books and in so doing propelled the careers of a succession of exceptional authors. Who knows how many might otherwise not have achieved such success? The prize is the work of our booksellers and represents Waterstones at its very best.”
Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019 Ful List
The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie (Little Tiger Press)
Mini Rabbit Not Lost by John Bond (HarperCollins)
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison (Penguin)
The King Who Banned the Dark by Emily Haworth-Booth (Pavilion)
Julian Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love (Walker Books)
100 Dogs by Michael Whaite (Penguin)
The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson (Usborne)
The Train To Impossible Places by P.G. Bell (Usborne)
Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy (Scholastic)
The Mystery Of The Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz (Head of Zeus)
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf (Hachette Children’s)
The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd (Templar)
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Egmont)
Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (MacMillan Children’s Books)
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos (Europa Editions)
The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton (Little Tiger Press)
Me Mam. Me Dad. Me. by Malcolm Duffy (Head of Zeus)
Boy 87 by Ele Fountain (Pushkin)