In Other Words 2017

In Other Words is a project to promote the translation and UK publication of outstanding children's literature from around the world.

The inaugural In Other Words prize in 2017 saw then Children's Laureate Chris Riddell and Carnegie Award-winning author Kevin Brooks unveil four Honour Titles at a special event at the Bologna Book Fair: Sputterfly by Simon van der Gees, translated from Dutch by Laura Watkinson; A Good Day for Climbing a Tree by Jaco Jacobs, translated from Afrikaans by Kobus Geldenhuys; Elise and the Second-hand Dog by Bjarne Reuter, translated from Danish by Sian Mackie; and The Raven's Children by Yulia Yakoleva, translated from Russian by Maria Kozlovskaya Wiltshire.

The four titles were selected from nearly 400 submissions from around the world, and were chosen for their strong narratives and commercial potential.

All eight shortlisted titles are available for English language publication - three have already been acquired by UK publishers - and the partially translated texts can be found by clicking on the books below. A marketing bursary of £1500 is available from BookTrust to support the UK publication of each of these titles. 

For full information about the titles, including rights contacts and funding opportunities for translation, please download the In Other Words rights guide 2017.

You can also keep up to date with In Other Words 2018 here.

Michael Morpurgo, BookTrust President, said:

'This is a time when it was never more important for young people in this country to read stories of other peoples who have other cultures, other histories, other landscapes, other languages; to discover difference, and most importantly what it is that unites us all. Perhaps it is the power literature has to help us empathise that is its greatest gift to us in a world where empathy is so badly needed, and seemingly in such short supply.'

Honour titles

Sputterfly

Simon van der Geest Translated from Dutch by Laura Watki...

Written in diary form, Sputterfly is the story of insect-lover Hidde, his brother Jeppe, and their mum. Three years after the death of Ward, their big brother, they're all still feeling the impact. Hidde hides away in his secret cellar with his menagerie of insects, carrying out experiments without realising how cruel he's being. Jeppe's become a bully who l…

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A Good Day For Climbing Trees

Jaco Jacobs Translated from Afrikaans by Kobus Geldenhuys

Marnus's older brother breaks hearts as well as swimming records, his little brother is a precocious entrepreneur, but middle child Marnus feels invisible. Then, one day, a girl called Leila shows up at his house with a petition to save a tree in the local park. When she takes Marnus to the tree, it is the start of an extraordinary adventure that changes his…

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Elise and the Second-Hand Dog

Bjarne Reuter Translated from Danish by Sian Mackie

Elise lives with her mum and dad in Vesterbro, Copenhagen. Her dad plays the violin at weddings and funerals, and sometimes outside department stores. Her mum is in the Amazon rainforest supervising the building of a suspension bridge, and Elise misses her terribly. This is what finally persuades Elise's dad to give in to her pleas for a dog.

However, the…

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The Raven’s Children

Yulia Yakovleva Translated from Russian by Maria Kozlovs...

Shura, Tanya and little Bobby live in Leningrad with their parents, but when their father, mother and Bobby disappear, it's rumoured that they have been kidnapped by the mysterious Black Raven, because their parents were spies. Tanya and Shura are determined to find their family. There are touches of magical realism, as the children learn that birds can spea…

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Shortlist

Her Name's Not Cruella De Vil

Anna Lavatelli Translated from Italian by Denise Muir

This book starts as a garrulous tale of teenage angst and turns into a slower-paced, dramatic account of life in fascist Italy and Stalinist Russia. The young narrator, Katia, tells how she used to be at odds with her world and how misplaced anger led her to vandalise the property of an elderly lady. Her friends are sent on work placements but Katia is order…

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Jigsaw Puzzle

Maria Fernanda Maquieira Translated from Spanish by Sera...

Jigsaw Puzzle is set in a run-down suburb of Buenos Aires in 1982. Our narrator, Mora, is a 10-year-old orphan who has been raised by her maternal grandmother. A somewhat precocious narrator, Mora humorously describes her daily school life, her close-knit group of friends and the eccentric characters in her neighbourhood. The narrative is also ridden with da…

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Some Kid Lived Here & Other Stories

Mi-Kyoung Song Translated from Korean by Sophie Bowman

Sometimes there are strange worlds lurking inside our everyday lives. Sometimes our 'normal' everyday lives turn out to be anything but. This collection of five stories contains a range of eerie and unsettling variations on the theme of the ordinary.

In Some Kid Lived Here, a lone kid roams undetected from home to home with nowhere to call his own, and le…

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The Amazing Adventures of Groana Schmitt

Finn-Ole Heinrich Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire

Mona's parents call her Groana because she's sometimes grumpy and loses her temper. She and her mother have moved out of their home and into a strange flat on the other side of town. Mona doesn't know why, and plans to put things right as soon as possible. At her new school, she reluctantly makes friends with a boy called Mo. Mo knows why the new flat is so …

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Judges

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 HahnDaniel 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 LangleyEmma 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.

 


Florentyna MartinFlorentyna Martin

Children's Book Buyer for 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. A bookworm through-and-through, Florentyna has always enjoyed reading and recommending great books across children's and adult publishing.


Nicolette JonesNicolette 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 McQuadeElaine 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 ColemanJill 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.

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