The Sleeping Stones, written by Beatrice Wallbank and edited by Janet Thomas and Rebecca F. John, and Digging for Victory, written by Cathy Faulkner and edited by Leonie Lock have both been longlisted for the prestigious Branford Boase Award 2024.

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 Sleeping Stones

Gruff and his new friend Matylda live on a small island off the Welsh coast, where legends are beginning to stir. Islanders find themselves irresistibly drawn to the Sleeping Stones, a line of rocks like stepping stones out to sea, and Gruff and Mat soon realise they must risk everything to save each other and their community from a terrifying storm driven by an ancient, magic anger.

“A gripping and magical tale of friendship and belonging, deeply rooted in the landscape and myths of a tiny Welsh island. Stones that call to the unwary, ferocious seas, ancient half-forgotten tales – this has all the ingredients of my favourite kind of story.” Tamsin Mori


Digging for Victory

Set in Devon in 1941, Digging for Victory tells the story of twelve-year-old Bonnie Roberts who is desperate to play a valuable part in the war effort. For her, tending the family vegetable patch just doesn’t cut it; she wants to be a hero like her RAF pilot brother, Ralph.

But when the mysterious Mr Fisher is billeted at her farmhouse, and Ralph is reported missing in action, she starts to question what heroism actually involves. And as Bonnie attempts to find out who Mr Fisher really is, she embarks on a life-changing and emotional voyage of discovery.

“Adventure-filled with beautiful verse and a very satisfying ending. Perfect for middle grade readers.” Lucy Cuthew

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