GLLI Translated YA Prize 2020 winners and honor titles

The GLLI Translated YA Book Prize 2020 has been announced. Congratulations to all the authors, illustrators and publishers, and to translators Cathy Hirano (of ‘spark joy‘ fame) and A. A. Prime for their winning titles, and Nanette Guinness and Rosie Hedger for the honor titles.

Administered by the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, the two-year-old prize recognizes publishers, translators, and authors of books in English translation for young adult (YA) readers.

The two winning titles were…

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano (Pushkin UK, left, and Henry Holt & Co.  USA, right)

MARESI RED MANTLE by Finnish author Maria Turtschaninoff (translated from Swedish by A. A. Prime (Pushkin Press UK, left, and Abrams Books USA, right, where it’s called RED MANTLE.)

The two novels feature young women protagonists in strikingly different fantasy worlds.

The Beast Player takes elements that frequently appear in conventional YA novels–an orphan, a school, magical beasts, and warring factions—but creates something totally fresh and unexpected, amidst a spectacularly developed world all its own,” said Committee Chair Annette Y. Goldsmith.

Maresi Red Mantle is a stirring epistolary novel that presents a young woman caught between two homes, cultures, and communities,” Goldsmith commented. “It is the concluding title in the Red Abbey Chronicles trilogy, but we were very impressed with how beautifully it works as a stand-alone title.”

“The worldwide spread of the Covid-19 pandemic shows just how interconnected we have become,” said GLLI Director Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds, “There couldn’t be a better time for teens to develop a global perspective on issues of concern to them, and reading is a great way to do that, especially when everyone is spending so much time indoors right now.”

The committee also selected two honor books:

ALMOST AUTUMN by Marianne Kaurin, translated from Norwegian by Rosie Hedger (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) – NORWAY

LUISA: NOW AND THEN by Carole Maurel, translated from French by Nanette McGuinness (Life Drawn) – FRANCE

The 2020 Shortlist

ALMOST AUTUMN by Marianne Kaurin, translated from Norwegian by Rosie Hedger (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) – NORWAY

THE BEAST PLAYER by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano (Pushkin/Henry Holt & Co.) – JAPAN

THE BOOK OF PEARL by Timothée de Fombelle, translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon (Walker Books) – FRANCE

THE CASKET OF TIME by Andri Snær Magnason, translated from Icelandic by Björg Arnadóttir and Andrew Cauthery (Yonder/Restless Books) – ICELAND

GO by Kazuki Kaneshiro, translated from Japanese by Takami Nieda (Amazon Crossing) – JAPAN

LUISA: NOW AND THEN by Carole Maurel, translated from French by Nanette McGuinness (Life Drawn/Humanoids) – FRANCE

MARESI RED MANTLE, Book 3 of the Red Abbey Chronicles by Maria Turtschaninoff, translated from Swedish by A. A. Prime (Pushkin Press). The US edition, just out in February 2020 from Abrams Books, is titled, RED MANTLE – FINLAND

The Mirror Visitor Quartet: A WINTER’S PROMISE (Book 1) and THE MISSING OF CLAIRDELUNE (Book 2) by Christelle Dabos, translated from French by Hildegarde Serle (Europa Editions) – FRANCE

TAMBA: CHILD SOLDIER by Marion Achard, translated from French by Montana Kane (NBM Publishing) – FRANCE

TORTOT, THE COLD FISH WHO LOST HIS WORLD AND FOUND HIS HEART by Benny Lindelauf, translated from Dutch by Laura Watkinson (Pushkin Press) – NETHERLANDS

TREES FOR ABSENTEES by Ahlam Bsharat, translated from Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland (Neem Tree Press) – PALESTINE

WINTER IN WARTIME by Jan Terlouw, translated from Dutch by Laura Watkinson (Pushkin Press) – NETHERLANDS

About the prize

The prize committee included Annette Y. Goldsmith, chair and international youth literature specialist; Abigail Hsu, Morristown & Morris Township Library; David Jacobson, author and translator; Lynn E. Palermo, Susquehanna University; Kim Rostan, Wofford College; Elaine Tai, Burlingame Public Library; and Bobbie Xuereb, MiraCosta College. They were assisted by GLLI Director Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds.

The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative brings together translators, librarians, teachers, editors and others dedicated to helping librarians identify and raise the visibility of world literature for children, teens, and adults. Activities include creating pan-publisher catalogs; maintaining a database of translations; sharing ideas for selecting, evaluating, using and promoting world literature for all ages; and administering the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize. Follow their work on Facebook, Twitter (@GlobalLitinLibs), as well as at our website.

For more information about the prize and instructions for 2021 submissions, see:

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