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Bernardine Evaristo, Lara Maiklem, Sophie Anderson and Chris Haughton win the Indie Book Awards 2020

Independent Booksellers Reveal their Top Books for the Summer as part of Independent Bookshop Week

London, 26th June 2020: With Independent Bookshop Week currently taking place across the UK (20-27 June), the top summer reads according to indie booksellers have been revealed today, with Bernardine Evaristo, Lara Maiklem, Sophie Anderson and Chris Haughton named as winners of the 2020 Indie Books Awards.

Winning in the Fiction category is Booker winner Bernardine Evaristo with her lyrical and compelling exploration of gender and identity Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin), while Mudlarking, a journey through objects unearthed from the river Thames by Lara Maiklem (Bloomsbury) won the Non-Fiction category, a new category for this year. The winner of the Children’s Fiction category is Sophie Anderson with The Girl Who Speaks Bear (Usborne), a playful adaptation of myth, folklore and fairytales, and winning the Picture Book award is Don’t Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton (Walker Books), the award-winning creator of Shh! We Have a Plan.

Chosen by a judging panel of independent booksellers, authors and industry influencers, the awards celebrate the best books in paperbacks to read this summer. The Adult categories were judged by bookseller Matt Taylor (Chepstow Books & Gifts), Elizabeth Perry (Daunt Books), Zool Verjee (Head of Marketing and Publicity at Blackwells), Sarah Shaffi, (freelance journalist and #BAMEinPublishing co-founder) and Hachette author William Shaw. The Children’s categories were judged by chair bookseller Vanessa Lewis (The Book Nook), Layla Hudson (Round Table Books), Jessica Paul (Max Minerva’s Marvellous Books & More), Jonathan Douglas (CEO of National Literacy Trust) and Hachette author Piers Torday.

Upcoming events with the authors as part of Independent Bookshop Week include:

  • Bernardine Evaristo will be joining the series of virtual events “At Home with 4 Indies”, created by booksellers from Book-ish (Crickhowell), Linghams (Wirral), Forum Books (Corbridge) and Booka Bookshop (Shropshire). She will be live on their Facebook page on Friday 26th June at 7pm.
  • Sophie Anderson will hold a special Twitter chat with Sam Reads Bookshop (Lake District) on Friday 26th June at 4pm.

Matt Taylor of Chepstow Books & Gifts, Chair of Judges, said: “We were delighted to select Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo as winner of the Fiction category. We felt it was such an engaging, vibrant, funny and important book it should win every prize going, be thrust into the hands of browsers in bookshops and be read by everyone. The panel found Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem fascinating and felt we were down in the mud with her at 5am going through broken pieces of pottery looking for that one hidden gem.  It is a brilliant mix of social history and archaeology written in a highly engaging voice.”

Vanessa Lewis of the Book Nook, Chair of Judges said: “Don’t Worry, Little Crab was deemed the perfect picture book with its vibrant colour palette and heart-warming message about being brave and trying something new. Chris Haughton’s unique style and delightful illustrative details makes this book a pleasure to read aloud. Sophie Anderson’s magical interweaving of narrative and traditional stories makes for an exhilarating tale. As Yanka sets out to discover more about her past and befriends the animals of the snow forest she learns to accept who she is. This is a beautifully crafted story and the perfect antidote to these uncertain times.”

For more information about the Indie Book Awards and previous winners, please visit www.indiebookshopweek.org.uk/IBWBookAward.

Follow the latest developments via social media: #IndieBookshopWeek @BooksAreMyBag

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