London | The Lie Tree, a Victorian mystery for young readers, has won Britain’s Costa Book of the Year prize, a rare triumph for youth fiction at a major literary prize.
Author Frances Hardinge said she was surprised and delighted to receive the 30,000 pound (USD 50,000) prize last night. She said that sometimes children’s fiction is seen as a bit lightweight, in a way that I think is not deserved.
Open to writers form Britain and Ireland, the prize selects a champion from winners in five categories: novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children’s book.
Hardinge beat Kate Atkinson’s wartime novel A God in Ruins; Andrew Michael Hurley’s debut horror novel The Loney; Andrea Wulf’s biography of scientist Alexander Von Humboldt The Invention of Nature; and poet Don Paterson’s 40 Sonnets.