BLOOD RED ROAD WINS 2011 COSTA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD
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This issue’s cover illustration is from Crowns and Codebreakers (The Marsh Road Mysteries) by Elen Caldecott. The illustration is by Nathan Reed. Thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for their help with this July cover.
For the second year in succession, a debut novel has won the Costa Children’s Book Award. The 2011 prize went to Jason Wallace for his novel Out of Shadows; this year’s prize has gone to Moira Young for her book Blood Red Road.
Set in a dystopian future world, Blood Red Road tells the story of 18-year-old Saba, a tough young woman who embarks on an epic quest to rescue her twin brother when he is kidnapped by four mysterious horsemen.
The Costa judges, Eleanor Updale, bookseller Tony West and TV presenter Helen Fospero, described Blood Red Road as “an astonishing debut novel which had us all hooked from the beginning to the unpredictable end.” Young was one of the twelve writers and illustrators featured in last year’s Books for Keeps feature on rising talent, and the article praised her fluent, witty and irreverent style, as well as her inventiveness with future world technologies and customs.
Moira Young was born in 1959 in New Westminster, British Columbia, and is of Scots and Cornish descent. After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in European History, she moved to the UK to attend The Drama Studio, gaining her equity card on the alternative comedy circuit in the mid-80s. She became a tap-dancing chorus girl in London’s West End, appearing in High Society, directed by Richard Eyre, before returning to Canada and retraining as an opera singer.
Although she wrote her first book aged nine, she didn’t take up writing again until 2003, when she enrolled on Elizabeth Hawkins’ Writing for Children course and workshop at the City Lit. In 2006, Moira moved to Bath, where she still lives. She is now a full-time writer and is currently working on Rebel Heart, the sequel to Blood Red Road.
Blood Red Road is also currently longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2012.
Blood Red Road is published by Marion Lloyd Books, for Scholastic.
The other books on the short-list were Flip by Martyn Bedford, The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans.