Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2017 | Winner in the Young Fiction category and the overall Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 ‘Here be dragons’ it says on old maps, but Isabella finds creatures even more terrifying in the unchartered lands of Joya, the island that is her home. Joya is a place of limited horizons and hidden stories: the governor has closed its ports and banned travel by sea; half the island is out of bounds to the population. When her friend the governor’s daughter gets lost in those Forgotten Territories, Isa accompanies the search party as a cartographer and, unknowing, follows the path of a girl whose brave defence of Joya has long since turned into myth. Map-making and story-telling are linked, says the author, and we all carry the map of our lives on our skin. This is a magical adventure, beautifully told and full of striking ideas on themes of loyalty, courage and redemption. ~ Andrea Reece
The Branford Boase Award Judges' Comments - ‘Wonderfully readable’; ‘quick without being shallow, some beautiful writing’; ‘fresh and different’.
Millwood Hargrave told The Bookseller: "The only thing that has been better the past year has been being a reader; to be shortlisted alongside such beautiful books was an honour. Winning at this stage feels unreal, but I'm looking forward to it sinking in and to what the coming year will bring. Thanks to Waterstones."
Florentyna Martin, Waterstones children’s buyer, said: “The Girl of Ink and Stars is an absolute joy to read. It is always exciting when we see this level of outstanding talent in a new writer and Kiran has crafted a mesmerising world full of myths, magic and adventure that evokes an atmosphere akin to Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Our booksellers have assuredly chosen a writer who delivers the whole package: a beautifully written and hugely imaginative story with a strong and loveable protagonist and a page-turning plot.”
James Daunt, Waterstones managing director, added: “We have a sensationally good winner, a work of imagination and drive that will command a special place on the bookshelves of many generations of readers to come. The overall strength of our shortlist and the category winners reflects the vibrant health of children's publishing which we are delighted to celebrate."