The Branford Boase Award is awarded annually for an outstanding first novel to a first-time writer of a book for young people. At the same time, it marks the important contribution of the editor in identifying and nurturing new talent.
The opening of Orphans of the Tide must surely be one of the most arresting and memorable in recent children’s literature: a whale washes up and is caught on the rooftops of a partly submerged city. As crowds gathers to stare, young inventor Ellie realises the danger they are in. Cutting into the whale’s belly to avert a build up of gas, the incredible happens and a living boy falls out. The story continues at similar levels of drama, the City’s religious authorities dragging the boy to prison and a death sentence, believing his body is home to The Enemy, the god they hold responsible for putting the world in its watery grave. Only Ellie is convinced of his innocence and determines to save him.
- ANDREA REECE (LoveReading4Schools Reviewer)
Set up in memory of award-winning author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, the Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. It has a notable record in picking out the most talented authors at the start of their career. Past winners and shortlisted authors have included Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness as well as Frances Hardinge, M G Leonard and Philip Reeve.