Little Rebels Book Awards 2023

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award, now in its 11th year, recognises children’s fiction (for readers aged 0-12) which promotes social justice or social equality, challenges stereotypes or is informed by anti-discriminatory concerns. The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and was established in conjunction with Letterbox Library. The award is now administered by Letterbox Library and Housmans Bookshop.

Winner: Needle. Patrice Lawrence (Barrington Stoke) ISBN: 978-1800901018

Needle tells the story of Charlene Yewless, a young, looked after, teenager who gets caught up in the criminal justice system through a single, grief-driven, act. Charlene’s journey spotlights a range of urgent social justice issues including the treatment of young people by the UK’s welfare and legal institutions and the ‘adultification’ of Black girls.

Judges said “a really important representation of a child in care and the complex challenges of being part of the British care system.” with “exceptional skill in conveying the vulnerability of the main character and nuances of her character and the wider cast, resulting in a heart breaking insight into the ways in which children in care are often so poorly let down”.

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