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The Branford Boase Award

The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of award-winning author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books. The 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. Uniquely, the Branford Boase Award also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

Find out more about The Branford Boase Award here.

Winner of the 2022 Branford Boase Award

Struan Murray, author of Orphans of the Tide and 2021 winner

Our shortlist was extremely strong and each of the books featured is exceptional in some way, but Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths stands out. It is warm-hearted, funny and brims with real emotion, painting a vivid picture of the trials and joys of growing up. The character of Nai Nai in particular is a triumph; though we rarely hear her speak, Maisie Chan succeeds in giving us an unforgettable character we can’t help but love.

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths - Maisie Chan

Eleven-year-old Danny Chung loves drawing more than anything - certainly more than maths, which, according to his dad and everyone else, is what he is 'supposed' to be good at.

He also loves having his own room where he can draw in peace, so his life is turned upside down when a surprise that he's been promised turns out to be his little, wrinkly, ex-maths-champion grandmother from China. What's worse, Nai Nai has to share his room, AND she takes the top bunk!

Nai Nai can't speak a word of English, which doesn't make things easy for Danny when he is charged with looking after her during his school holidays. Babysitting Nai Nai is NOT what he wants to be doing!

Before long though it becomes clear to Danny that there is more to Nai Nai than meets the eye, and that they have more in common than he thought possible...



2022 Branford Boase Award Shortlist

Julia Eccleshare, co-founder of award and chair of the judges

Each year we are impressed by the quality of new voices and the skilful work done by editors to nurture them. Now in its 23rd year, the Branford Boase Award has become a touchstone for the world of children’s books, identifying not just the most talented and promising new authors but the direction of writing for children. No wonder the 2022 shortlist is longer than any previous year: it reflects a moment of noticeable change in the types of stories being told. The authorial ambition demonstrated in these eight books is inspiring as it reflects the writers’ understanding of the needs of today’s readers; their confidence in those readers’ willingness to read outside their own experiences is exhilarating.

2022 Brand Boase Award Longlist