In Other Words 2018

The 2018 In Other Words shortlist is here!

In Other Words 2018 Shortlist

Eight titles have been selected by our judges from nearly 200 submissions from around the world. They include stories from internationally acclaimed authors; an adventure with a badly-behaved gang of thieves set in Finland; a story about immigration and tolerance set in Switzerland; a laugh-out-loud tale of dinosaurs running amok in Iceland, and more.

The shortlist showcases outstanding books for children age 6-12 picked by our judges for their literary merit as well as commercial potential. All shortlisted titles have been partially translated (available to read by viewing the titles below) and World English Language Rights are available to buy. A marketing bursary of £1500 is available from BookTrust to support the UK publication of each of the shortlisted titles.

Three Honour Titles – books that are highly recommended for English translation and publication – will be revealed on 11th April at London Book Fair with Children's Laureate Lauren Child and former Children's Laureate Chris Riddell.

Download the Shortlist Announcement Press Release

Download the 2018 In Other Words Rights Guide

And keep your eyes peeled for these titles being published from last year's list:

If you have any queries, please email


The Shortlist


Author: Anna Woltz Translator: Laura Watkinson from Dutch

An epileptic boy, an insecure girl, and the dog that brings them together – witty and wry with echoes of John Green.

Sven knows he must do something brilliant on the first day of a new school year or he'll be the epileptic kid that everyone feels sorry for. So he targets Parker, a girl who just wants to be invisible after surviving the worst summer of her li…

Read more about Alaska

Dinosaurs in Reykjavik

Author: Ævar Þór Benediktsson Illustrator: Rán Flygenring Translator: Meg Matich from Icelandic

A rip-roaring Jurassic Park-esque adventure about friendship and some rather destructive dinosaurs.

Aevar doesn't have many friends but at his surprise eleventh birthday party, he and his unexpected guests – three classmates from school he barely knows – make their way into the basement of his family home, where they discover rocks that turn out to be dinosa…

Read more about Dinosaurs in Reykjavik

Red Stars

Author: Davide Morosinotto Translator: Denise Muir

An epic wartime drama set in the USSR in 1941 about truth and what it means to be a hero.

Viktor and Nadia are 12-year-old twins. They live in Leningrad and share a diary; Nadia uses black ink, and Viktor red. When war breaks out the children are evacuated from the city before the bombs begin to drop. Nadia is assigned to train number 76, Viktor to train 77.…

Read more about Red Stars

The All Mine Academy

Author: Fabrizio Silei Illustrator: Adriano Gon Translator: Denise Muir from Italian

A hilarious story of an unwanted boy's determination to do good despite the efforts of his dastardly parents.

First is the kindest, most trusting boy on the planet, but is born to Katiuscia and Gregor Smirth, two penny-pinching, egocentric parents who hate children and merely wanted him as an heir. Despite their efforts to teach First that only greed and sel…

Read more about The All Mine Academy

The Film of Our Life

Author: Maite Carranza Illustrator: Iratxe López de Munáin Translator: Laura McGloughlin from Catalan

When crisis strikes, a girl convinces her brother that they are the stars of a film to protect him from the harsh realities of their new life.

Twelve-year-old Olívia Tancredi lives in Barcelona with her actress mother Íngrid and her little brother Tim. When Íngrid can't find work, money to pay the bills runs out, their furniture is repossessed, and they are …

Read more about The Film of Our Life

The Immortal

Author: Ricard Ruiz Garzón Illustrator: Maite Gurrutxaga Translator: Rahul Bery from Spanish

A coming of age story about chess, tolerance, immigration and what it means to be a true champion.

Judit is an 11-year-old girl who lives in Geneva with her mother and grandfather. A keen artist, she draws in charcoals by the giant chess boards in her local park, practicing for a prestigious art competition. She gradually becomes interested in chess, until o…

Read more about The Immortal

The Robbersons

Author: Siri Kolu Translator: Owen Witesman from Finnish

In the hilarious anarchic tone of Pippi Longstocking, a high-speed-loving bandit family who usually steal sweets kidnap a girl instead.

Vilja Vainisto's summer is going nowhere until a van flying a pirate flag bears down on her family's BMW. While the thieving Robberson clan strips Vilja's family car of any sweets they can find, their leader, Crazy Kaarlo, k…

Read more about The Robbersons

Wolf, Edda and the Stolen Relic

Author: Kristín Ragna Gunnarsdóttir Illustrator: Kristín Ragna Gunnarsdóttir Translator: Larissa Kyzer from Icelandic

Warring siblings, villains and Norse gods star in this Rick Riordan-esque adventure about a quest to recover a stolen archaeological treasure.

When her father rents out their house in Reykjavík and takes a summer job at a historical site in the Icelandic countryside, 11-year-old Edda is miserable. For one, she can't bring her science experiments, but worse, …

Read more about Wolf, Edda and the Stolen Relic


Sarah ArdizzoneSarah Ardizzone

Award-winning translator

Sarah Ardizzone is an award-winning translator from French. She translates everything from picture books and children's and YA fiction to graphic novels and grown up literary fiction. She has a special interest in translating sharp dialogue, urban and migrant slang.

Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn

Writer, editor and translator

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator from Portuguese, Spanish and French with some 50 books to his name.. His work has won him the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award, among others. He is a past chair of the Translators Association and the Society of Authors. 

Emma Langley

Emma Langley

Arts Council England

Emma Langley is responsible for international literature and translation at Arts Council England. She has a background in children's publishing and freelances in research and evaluation for various education projects.


Candy Gourlay

Candy Gourlay

Award-winning author

Candy Gourlay is the award-winning author of two children's novels, Tall Story and Shine. She is also a committee member of CWIG (the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group) of the Society of Authors, as well as an enthusiastic volunteer for SCBWI (the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) in the British Isles.

Nicolette Jones

Nicolette Jones

Writer, critic and broadcaster

Nicolette Jones is a writer, critic and broadcaster specialising in literary and arts journalism. She has been the Children's Books Reviewer of The Sunday Times for more than two decades, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished service to the world of children's books. 

Elaine McQuade

Elaine McQuade

Children's books consultant

Elaine McQuade is a children's books consultant. Her career in children's publishing included working at Puffin, Oxford University Press and Scholastic, and she is currently a Trustee of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE).

Jill Coleman

Jill Coleman

BookTrust's director of children's books

Jill Coleman is Director of Children's Books. She is responsible for BookTrust's expert selection and recommendation of great books, managing book purchasing across the organisation, and working with arts organisations, publishers, authors, and illustrators to promote excellence in children's books. 

Florentyna MartinFlorentyna Martin

Children's Book Buyer at Waterstones

Florentyna Martin is the Children's Book Buyer for Waterstones, where she looks after book ranges for ages 0-12 and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. She has always enjoyed reading and recommending great books across children's and adult publishing.

Gary PowellGary Powell

Buyer at Foyles

Gary has worked in the book retail industry for close to 15 years, in some of the busiest stores in central London. In that time, he has progressed from the shopfloor and managing his own store into the buying team at Foyles, where he is responsible for all new titles buying for the six Foyles branches beyond the flagship store.

Simon KeySimon Key

Co-Owner of the Big Green Bookshop in London

Simon Key is the co-owner of the award winning Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green. Simon's love of book stems from when he "accidentally" started working in a bookshop at 16 and realised that books weren't just things that teachers made you read at school.

More about In Other Words

In Other Words 2017

Catch up on last year

Find out about the shortlisted books and honour titles celebrated during In Other Words 2017.


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