Gillian Cross has been awarded the Little Rebels children's book award at the London Radical Bookfair, for her book After Tomorrow, published by OUP.
Little Rebels judge Wendy Cooling called After Tomorrow: "a frighteningly believable story, a real page-turner with a strong sense of danger always present, and many big issues of a possible future just below the surface".
Gillian Cross explains why she thinks fiction can help readers see the world more clearly and understand it better: "It's is not because authors are super-wise people with special insights to share (we aren't) or because fiction is a form of propaganda (certainly not!). It's simply that telling a story involves exploring how the characters affect each other and everything around them. So After Tomorrow, for example, isn't a story 'about refugees'. It's the very specific story of Matt and his family. But, because I wanted it to be convincing and authentic, it inevitably reflects the experiences of real people, in places all over the world. Writing the book made me acutely aware of the hardships they face – and I'm delighted that it has won this award, which recognises the importance of engaging with the real world."
Read the first chapter After Tomorrow and see this gallery of images from CORD , the organisation which inspired Gillian to write her story.
Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors for the award.