Wheatle wins ‘Guardian’ children’s fiction prize
Alex Wheatle has won the 2016 Guardian children’s fiction prize for his YA novel Crongton Knights (Atom Books), the second book in a planned trilogy ‘set on a fictitious inner city estate overrun by knife crime and phone-jacking gangsters’. Chair of the judging panel Julia Eccleshare said Crongton Knights was ‘a wonderfully life-affirming story despite the all-too credible challenges its characters face’. ‘Alex Wheatle really likes and believes in teenagers. He captures their energy, positivity and exuberance and, with them, celebrates the value of family, community and above all friendship as the sustaining forces in life.’ Wheatle is the first black writer to receive the award in its 50-year-history. His novel was chosen from a shortlist of four, which included Australian author Zana Fraillon’s The Bone Sparrow (Lothian). The Guardian children’s fiction prize is open to works of fiction written for children aged eight and above. For more information, click here.