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Firekeeper’s Daughter Wins CrimeFest Award for Best Crime Novel for Young Adults

Firekeeper’s Daughter has won the CrimeFest Award for Best Crime Novel for Young Adults, honouring the best UK books in the crime writing genre.  

The award is given to the best crime novel for young adults (aged 12-16) first published in the United Kingdom in 2021.

The winner receives a commemorative Bristol Blue Glass award.

Adrian Muller, co-host of CrimeFest, said: “The crime genre has dominated the book charts and our TV screens, keeping many of us company, particularly in the past two challenging years. The genre never fails to offer escapism and entertainment, as well as often exploring big issues and emotions. As a genre that also often makes sense of a chaotic world, it’s helped many people and is something we need today more than ever. We’re proud to celebrate the best the genre offers.” 

Rock the Boat signs Middle Grade Debut from Xiran Jay Zhao

Rock the Boat has secured Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor, an action packed middle-grade fantasy novel from Xiran Jay Zhao.  

Commissioning editor Katie Jennings acquired UK and British Commonwealth English language rights, excluding Canada, from Stephanie Voros at Simon & Schuster US. It will be published in July 2022.  

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor is a hilarious  middle-grade debut, blending Chinese history with modern gaming technology in a fun, fast-paced read. 

As the UK publishers of #1 bestseller Iron Widow we were already massive fans of Xiran’s writing here at Rock the Boat and their MG debut blew us away,” Jennings said. “Xiran tackles a range of social issues as our Chinese Muslim protagonist learns about his cultural heritage while also trying to save the world. A chaotic (in the best way!) mash-up of cutting-edge tech, Chinese history and myth, with some killer one-liners to boot, this is the blockbuster fantasy we’ve all been waiting for.” 

Zhao commented: “Rock the Boat has been such an amazing and supportive home for my debut novel Iron Widow, and I could not be happier to be working with them on Zachary Ying as well!” 


Firekeeper’s Daughter Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Older Readers.

Every year Waterstones booksellers are called on to vote for the books they believe are the very best in new children’s writing and illustration across three categories.   

The awards sees six books compete to be crowned a £2,000 category winner, with the winners then vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year and an extra £3,000. 

Firekeeper’s Daughter is a ground-breaking YA thriller about a Native American teen who must root out the corruption in her community, that was also voted the winner of the YA Fiction Goodreads Choice Awards.

Florentyna Martin, Waterstones head of children’s, said: “At a time when books are increasingly relied on to help us navigate an uncertain world, our booksellers have keenly chosen shortlists that inspire readers. Offering varied perspectives on themes of belonging and identity, the shortlisted books invite young readers to find comfort in familiar communities, discover engaging new worlds, or adventure to the unknown, all while being guided by unique, life-changing and relatable characters. The skill and talent of these writers and illustrators showcases the dynamism of children’s books, and the power of sharing stories.”



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