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The Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation

A literary prize awarded in the United Kingdom since 1996 to the translator of an outstanding work of fiction for young readers translated into English.

The award is given every two years, and was administered by the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature at Roehampton University, and in 2007 was sponsored by the Marsh Christian Trust and subsidised by the Arts Council of England. From 2008 the award has been administered by the English-Speaking Union.

2009 | 2007 | 1997 to 2007

2009 Winner

Sarah Ardizzone has won the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 2009 for her translation of Toby Alone, at a ceremony at the English-Speaking Union, on 20th January 2009. The Award of £2000 was presented by Anthony Horowitz.

2009 Judging Panel

· Patricia Crampton - winner of the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 1999
· Wendy Cooling - Book Consultant, author and critic.
· Dr Gillian Lathey - Director of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature, Roehampton University
· Dr Colin Niven OBE - Former Headmaster
· Becky Stradwick - former Head of Children's Books at Borders Children's Books

Judges Comments About the 2009 Shortlist

Toby Alone by Timothée de Fombelle (below left) , illustrated by François Place, and translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone (Walker Books, 2008) ardizzone-sarah

First published in 2006 as Tobie Lolness and already published in 22 languages, this major bestseller in France, has been translated by award-wining Sarah Ardizzone.

This book is a visual feast and a desirable object that children will want to pick up. Read the first chapter and fombelleyou will be hooked. There is great humour as well as danger in this highly original book, with a strong environmental message. Set in a miniature world, the story can be read on many levels.

The judges were sorry that the story ends on a cliff-hanger, but feel certain readers will be queuing up to find out what happens to Toby and the Tree world he lives in. All will be revealed in the sequel, which is due out in Spring 09

About the translator

Sarah Ardizzone (née Adams) was born in Brussels in 1970 and lives in London with her husband,. Having originally trained at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris, Sarah began translating books in 1997.

Sarah won the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation (2005) for Eye of the Wolf by Daniel Pennac. Her translation of Timothée de Fombelle's sequel to Toby Alone, entitled Toby and the Secrets of the Tree, will be published by Walker Books in June 2009. Outside In, the children's world literature charity, hopes to bring Timothée de Fombelle to the UK in June 2009 to run national workshops with author and translator

My Brother Johnny by Francesco D'Adamo translated from Italian by Sian Williams (Aurora Metro Press, 2007)
Johnny is welcomed back from a war ‘over there' by his small-town community. To them he is a hero but Johnny knows the truth about war, a truth that somehow can't be communicated.

The haunting story of his return and the community's reaction is told through the eyes of his 14-year-old sister in this memorable and timely book.
Francesco D'Adamo's original anti- war novel, first published in Italy in 2005 as Johnny II seminatore, received tremendous reviews when it was published in the UK in 2007. It is beautifully translated by Sian Williams.

When the Snow Fell by Henning Mankell translated from Swedish by Laurie Thompson (Andersen Press, 2007)
An honest and insightful account of growing up and discovering the important things in life. Joel makes three New Year's resolutions: to see a naked lady, to toughen himself up so that he can live to be a 100 and to see the sea. How he sets out to fulfill these is powerful story of self-discovery. In this loosely autobiographical story, best-selling author Henning Mankell transports us into the frozen Swedish landscape and the minutiae of daily life while also creating real drama.
Originally published in Swedish as Pojken som sov med snö i sin säng in 1996, When The Snow Fell is the third book in a quartet about Joel. The first book, A Bridge to the Stars, was shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 2007 and the judges also thoroughly recommend Shadows in the Twilight and Journey to the End of The World. Laurie Thompson, one of our most outstanding translators, has translated the quartet.

Letters from Alain by Enrique Perez Diaz translated from Spanish by Simon Breden (Aurora Metro Press, 2008)
The panel welcomed the first ever entry from Latin America, a novel by Enrique Perez Diaz (a Cuban author who has won awards in his own country). Letters from Alain, reflecting the experiences of illegal immigration, is the moving story of 12-year-old boy Arturo, who tries to understand why his good friend Alain has leftsecretly. Adults confuse him by providing conflicting views on whether Alain's move was selfish, brave or necessary. The author writes from a clear perspective about complex contemporary issues, which are relevant to the current generation of readers.
Award-winning translator Simon Bredon translated Las Cartas de Alain, first published in Spain in 2001.

Tina's Web by Alki Zei translated from Greek by John Thornley (Aurora Metro Press, 2007)
Alki Zei is an award-winning Greek author whose books have been translated into many languages. I Konstantina kai or arachnes tis won awards when it was first published in Greece in 2002.
Tina's Web deals with the confusion of parental divorce, the lure of drugs and the blessing of loving and determined friends. The judges commend Aurora Metro Press, an enterprising publisher with an impressive three books on this year's short list, and translator John Thornley, for bringing this important book to English readers. The author spares the young reader from excessive horrors, but also tackles the subject without sentimentality. The story of a sensitive young girl who spirals out of control is told with great compassion, humour and spirit. The reader will gain an insight into Greek history and the legacy of World War II, but the themes of the novel are universal

Message in a Bottle by Valérie Zenatti translated from French by Adriana Hunter (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008)
Valérie Zenatti, born in France in 1970, moved with her family to Israel when she was 13. Her experiences there inspired Une Bouteille dans la Mer de Gaza, first published in France in 2005. Translated by Adriana Hunter,Message in a Bottle is a truly enlightening novel dealing with the human suffering and horrors of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.


After a suicide bomb attack on her local café in Jerusalem, a 17-year-old Israeli girl sends a message in a bottle to Gaza. A young man picks it up and a remarkable email correspondence begins. The author reaches out to young people with the conviction that communication is the key to understanding conflict and the hope that seeing the conflict through other eyes will help to re-build the world. Outstanding.

2007 Winner

Anthea Bell's translation from German of Kai Meyer's The Flowing Queen published by Egmont Press won the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 2007

2007 Shortlist

The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer translated from Dutch by John Nieuwenhuizen (Young Picador)
A Bridge to the Stars by Henning Mandell translated from Swedish by Laurie Thompson (Andersen Press)
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke translated from German by Anthea Bell (The Chicken House)
The Flowing Queen by Kai Meyer translated from German by Anthea Bell (Egmont Press)
Just Like Tomorrow by Faiza Guene translated from French by Sarah Adams (Random House)
Mimus by Lilli Thal translated from German by John Brownjohn (Allen & Unwin)

Winners 1996 TO 2007

2007
Anthea Bell
for Kai Meyer’s The Flowing Queen , translated from German (Egmont Press)
2005
Sarah Adams
for her translation from French of Eye of the Wolf by Daniel Pennac (Walker Books)
2003
Anthea Bell
for her translation from German of Where Were You Robert? by Hans Magnus Enzensberger (Puffin)
2001
Betsy Rosenberg
for her translation from Hebrew of Duel by David Grossman (Bloomsbury)
1999
Patricia Crampton
for her translation from German The Final Journey by Gudrun Pausewang (Viking)
1997
Anthea Bell
for her translation from German of A Dog’s Life by Christine Nostlinger (Anderson Press)

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