WELL-DESERVED: Wheatle is "chuffed" after book win
ALEX WHEATLE has been named the 50th winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for his second novel for young adults, Crongton Knights. The 53-year-old Londoner was recognised at a ceremony on Thursday 16 November 2016.
This novel is the second in a planned trilogy set on a fictitious inner city council estate overrun by crime. The first novel in the trilogy, Liccle Bit, was nominated for the Carnegie medal in 2015.
Widely hailed as ‘the Bard of Brixton’, Wheatle says that he is “chuffed to the max” about this achievement. Past prolific winners of this prize include Ted Hughes, Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson.
The Guardian children’s fiction prize is unique in being the only children’s book award judged by authors; this year’s panel consisted of David Almond (winner of the prize in 2015), SF Said which was shortlisted in 2014 and Kate Saunders who was shortlisted in 2015. The jury was chaired by Guardian children’s books editor, Julia Eccleshare.
Married father of three Wheatle currently lives in Clapham, South London, and had written six novels for adults before transitioning to Young Adult and Children’s fiction.
His 1999 debut novel, Brixton Rock, explored the anger of a teenager who had been released from care into a hostel. His second novel, East of Acre Lane (2001) was set against a backdrop of building tension which lead to the Brixton riots.