The winner of this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize is A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee! This book was chosen – and unanimously loved by – a panel of four experienced children’s book specialists from Readings along with guest judge, author and illustrator Elizabeth Honey.
A Most Magical Girl is an imaginative and charming tale set in Victorian London and perfect for readers aged 9-12. The prim but gutsy Annabel, and her somewhat wild companion Kitty, struggle against a malevolent villain in a quintessential battle of good and evil.
Honey says: ‘This is a great swirling sensual story. You can hear and smell the London of Dickens, the clanking, creaking, murky fog, within which is found the dusty old, slow covens of fading magic. There are unforgettable characters – Miss Henrietta Vine and Miss Estella, Kitty, the faeries, Hafwen, and the Finsbury Wizards – familiar old magic written with originality, and powerful scenes befitting an action movie. Nothing is easy. The instructions are not clear. Annabel must discover her powers, while the shadowlings, like a Dickensian Alien, await their chance. This is fine reading for young humanlings.’
Foxlee’s first book for children, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, was shortlisted for the Prize in 2015. As this year’s winner, she will receive prize money of $3000.
You can read the judges’ report here.
Alongside A Most Magical Girl, the shortlist for this year’s Prize included Escape to Moon Islands by Mardi McConnochie, Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters by Ailsa Wild, The Secrets We Keep by Nova Weetman, Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller and Grover finds a Home by Claire Garth.
You can read more about this year’s shortlist here.
You can read more about the award here.