The Guardian Children’s fiction prize for the year 2012 was awarded to Frank Cottrell Boyce. This is one of the unique awards which is judged by the writers. In its 45th year now, this award has a prize of ₤1,500. With this award in hand, Frank Cottrell Boyce joins the likes of Alan Garner, Dick King-Smith and Diana Wynne Jones who have been popular names in the children’s literature circuit.
This book by Cottrell Boyce was the most unusual winner amongst all, because it was not written for commercial purposes. Cottrell Boyce was commissioned to write the story for charity by the Liverpool based Reader Organisation. 50,000 copies of this book were given out for free. Cottrell Boyce won the race by beating Roddy Doyle, the late Russell Hoban and Eva Ibbotson, to win the grand prize.
This is not Frank Cottrell Boyce’s first achievement in the field of children’s literature. He also won the Carnegie medal in 2004 for his novel named Millions which was later made into a movie by Danny Boyle in the same year.
The judging panel consisted of Julia Eccleshare, editor of the Guardian’s children’s books along with authors Cressida Cowell, Tony Bradman and Kevin Crossley-Holland. The judges claimed that the “The Unforgotten Coat” contained a reflective and insightful message which was rolled well into an humorous story in its original state.
The story talks about two brothers from Mongolia who are studying at a school in Bootle, Merseyside, however, situations force them to return to their homeland. The story is narrated from the perspective of their friend Julie who is almost as old as them.
Inspired by a true story, this book is a must read for everyone. Do read this interesting tale of two brothers and their homeland.
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