Winners of the Young Quills awards for 2016

Young Quills 2016

Paula Kitching, published 29th June 2016

The Winning Entries

The Young Quills awards are for historical fiction produced by adult authors for young readers.

The Young Quills awards for historical fiction are presented each year by the Historical Association. They recognise the best historical fiction for young and youth readers released in the previous year.

The Historical Association is pleased to announce that the Young Quills awards for Historical Fiction this year are:

Younger readers/early years:

Flo of the Somme, by Hilary Robinson and illustrated by Martin Impey (Strauss House Productions, 2015)

Primary school aged readers

Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes (Walker Books, 2015)

Secondary age readers

The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis (Usborne, 2015)

The shortlist for the categories is created by young readers contributing their own reviews of the books submitted for the year.

 “In that shortlist there was not a book I wouldn’t encourage a young person to read. The winners this year continue to prove the outstanding quality of literature that is available to young readers. These books also show how important fiction is for helping young people to engage with the past and draw ideas and an understanding from it.”  Rebecca Sullivan CEA of the Historical Association

Flo of the Somme

"I feel privileged to be recognised by the Historical Association which does much to promote the love of history amongst children." Author Hilary Robinson

Illustrator Martin Impey said: "Learning and studying about history is the beginning of finding out who we are and where we came from. The Historical Association is at the forefront of that, enthusing children to find out more! I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to be recognised by such a prestigious association."

The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis

Vanessa Curtis said: “I am really thrilled to win this award for The Earth is Singing. It's a novel which was inspired by my own family history and as such, means a great deal to me.”

Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes

Shirley Hughes said: ‘It is a very special honour for ‘Whistling in the Dark’ to win this Young Quills award which is shortlisted by children themselves. As you know, I am a latecomer to writing for this age group, but I love doing it and to have an accolade like this is wonderfully encouraging.’Shirley Hughes: ‘It is a very special honour for ‘Whistling in the Dark’ to win this Young Quills award which is shortlisted by children themselves. As you know, I am a latecomer to writing for this age group, but I love doing it and to have an accolade like this is wonderfully encouraging.’

The final decision of the winners is selected by an adult judging panel who are interested in the historical accuracy and presentation as well as by the engaging narrative and the strength of the fictional representation of history.

This is the only awards for historical fiction that has young people involved as an important part of the selection process.  All the reviews of the books by the young people can be found here: primary  secondary

The Full shortlist for 2016 is:

Shortlisted for Younger Readers

  • Flo of the Somme by Hilary Robinson and illustrated by Martin Impey (Strauss House Productions, 2015)
  • Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes (Walker Books, 2015)
  • Romans on the Rampage by Jeremy Strong (Puffin, 2015)
  • The Dance of Death by Andy Croft (Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • Apple Spy by Terry Deary and James de la Rue (Bloomsbury, 2015)

Shortlisted for Older Readers

  • Bomber by Paul Dowswell (Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss (Anderson Press, 2015)
  • The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis (Usborne, 2015)
  • Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper (Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • Daniel by Craig Simpson (Alsvith Books, 2015)
  • Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis.(Chicken House, 2015)

The awards will be presented at the Historical Association Awards evening in central London on 5 July.

For further information please contact Paula Kitching: pkitching@hotmail.com 07720809481