We are delighted that middle grade author Kieran Larwood has been nominated for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018 for The Five Realms: The Legend of Podkin One-Ear. Eighteen titles have been shortlisted in three categories, and the winners of each and one overall winner will be crowned at a reception at Waterstone’s Piccadilly on 22ndMarch.

Published by Faber & Faber in October 2016, The Five Realms: The Legend of Podkin One-Ear is the first in a fantasy adventure series for kids telling the story of Podkin, the eldest son of a rabbit warrior chieftain. Podkin knows that one day it will be up to him to lead his warren, but for now, he’s quite happy to laze around annoying his older sister Paz, and playing with his baby brother Pook. Then their home is brutally attacked, and the young rabbits are forced to flee. The terrifying Gorm are on the rampage, and no one and nowhere is safe. With danger all around them, Podkin must protect his family, uncover his destiny, and attempt to defeat the most horrifying enemy rabbitkind has ever known.

Podkin’s inclusion on the shortlist adds to an ever-growing series of accolades for the book, previously the winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2017, Waterstones Book of the Month for June 2017, and currently nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018. Translation rights have been sold in five territories (China, France, Germany, Netherlands and Slovakia) with more deals currently underway. Podkin published in the US last Autumn with Terry Pratchett’s former editor Anne Hoppe.

Kieran said of Podkin “I’ve been completely overwhelmed at the response to Podkin.  I always hoped it would do well, but to have so many children saying they love the book, dressing up and drawing pictures of characters is amazing.  It’s the reason I put so much blood, sweat and tears into becoming a writer, and it definitely makes it all worthwhile.

“I would love it if children who read the stories felt empowered to tackle things they find difficult with more confidence, even if – like Podkin discovers- it isn’t an easy thing to do.”

Kieran is also the author of Freaks (republished 2018 as The Peculiars), as a result of winning the Times Chicken House Competition 2011.