They join Macmillan and Scholastic, making a total of three of the Big Five publishers among the participants in the Lee & Low survey. The decision is a great step forward in acknowledging the very real lack of diversity in the publishing industry, and identifying the ways in which the publishers can change that among their staff and booklists alike.
While List of the Lost has yet to appear in bookstores in the U.S. and Canada, fans might be surprised at the subject of the novel: a demon who curses a relay race team after said team kills it, thinking it’s a impoverished criminal. Not quite what one might expect from the former indie rock vocalist, but the story might surprise readers yet.
The Buy Books for Syria campaign will see signed books from Keyes, Rankin, Neil Gaiman, Hilary Mantel, and several other authors sold in Waterstones, with all proceeds going to Oxfam to help support the organization’s efforts in Syria. Books will be available starting October 1.
After seven years of marking the best in humorous children’s literature, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize will go into retirement, though it will certainly be missed. As 2009 awardee Philip Ardagh explained:
Sometimes, humour is a great way to entice more reluctant readers to pick up a book, too. What’s more–and don’t tell anyone–funny books can tackle serious issues. To offer a prize for such books–which are nearly ALWAYS ignored by the other book prizes–gives them value, worth and helps to spread the word. The Roald Dahl Funny prize was great, but we mustn’t waste any time looking for a successor.
The Roald Dahl estate is currently working on a new children’s literature prize to be based in the U.S.