Thursday, January 13, 2011

Out of Shadows wins the Costa Children's Book Award

OUT OF SHADOWS by Jason Wallace
wins the Costa Children's Book Award*
one of the UK's most prestigious national literary awards!


Out of ShadowsOUT OF SHADOWS by debut author Jason Wallace has been awarded the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award (previously known as the Whitbread Literary Award) and will be published in the United States by Holiday House this spring. The judges declared the book an "extraordinary debut novel" and "unanimous winner," saying: "This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us from start to finish and has stayed with us since."

OUT OF SHADOWS will hit the ground running when it is published in the United States after also being nominated for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Carnegie Medal and receiving many rave reviews in the UK. The Telegraph called it "a powerful coming of age story," and Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, said: "Sometimes a book takes you somewhere and keeps you there. Honest, brave, and devastating-OUT OF SHADOWS is more than just memorable. It's impossible to look away."

Set in 1980s newly independent Zimbabwe, under the rule of Robert Mugabe, OUT OF SHADOWS tells the powerful and compelling story of twelve-year-old Robert Jacklin, who comes face-to-face with bigotry, racism, and brutality when he is uprooted from England and moves to Zimbabwe with his family during the aftermath of Zimbabwe's war for independence. Robert, enrolled in one of the country's most elite boarding schools, must make careful alliances in a newly integrated school that has become a microcosm of the horrible problems the country now faces.

In this extraordinary first novel, Jason Wallace takes a recent period in history and opens a window into a gut-wrenching, firsthand experience that will be illuminating both for those who are just learning about the repercussions of the war in Zimbabwe and for those others who knew of the events but could not comprehend their magnitude until taking this closer look at the devastation and heartbreak of the time. 

* From the Costa website: "The Costa Book Awards is one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognizes some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland." "Previous winners of [this award] include J. K. Rowling in 1999 for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Philip Pullman for The Amber Spyglass in 2001." (The Independent) For more information, go to www.costabookawards.com.

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