2013 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation Presented to Howard Curtis for In The Sea there are Crocodiles!Thursday, February 21st, 2013
The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation, awarded biennially since 1996, was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children’s book from a foreign language into English and published in the UK. It aims to spotlight the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers and seeks to address a situation in the UK in which less than 3% of work published for children and young people has been from the non-English speaking world. The impact of the award has been reflected in the growing number of children’s books published in translation since it began. The Award is administered by the ESU on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust.
On January 23, 2013 at a gala reception in London, UK, the 2013 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation was presented to Howard Curtis for In the Sea there are Crocodiles, written by Fabio Geda and published in the UK by David Fickling.
From thepress release:
In the Sea there are Crocodiles is the harrowing story of a young boy traveling from his home in Afghanistan to Italy, in search of safety. Based on the experiences of Enaiatollah Akbari, his story is told with a sense of humour and adventure, and with great pace and tension. The judges described it as ‘a book of commendable literary quality, one that will nourish and inspire young people’.
Upon hearing the news that Curtis had won the award David Fickling, publisher, had this to say: “By every tweet, bulletin and news flash comes grim confirmation that there are indeed crocodiles in the sea, how wonderful then to hear the heart-warming news that Howard Curtis has won the Marsh Award for his brilliant translation of Fabio Geda’s amazing book, which shows indisputably that is is possible to swim safely in dangerous waters and reach our goal if we share the dogged determination, the sense of lightness and the pure human spirit of young Enaiatollah Akbari, oh, and if we listen carefully to our mothers too. This book is an inspiration, may the Marsh Award help carry it to every corner of the globe. It simply must be read.”
The 2013 shortlist – 5 books, 6 translators, 5 languages – demonstrates the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers. The complete shortlist was:
Howard Curtis for In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda, translated from Italian,and published by David Fickling Books.
Fatima Sharafeddini for My Own Special Way by Mithaa Alkhayyat (retold by Vivian French), translated from Arabic and published in the UK by Orion Children’s Books.
Ros and Chloe Schwastz for The Little Prince by Antoine de St-Exupery, translated from French and published in the UK by The Collector’s Library.
Lucia Graves for The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, translated from Spanish and published in the UK by Orion Children’s Books.
Karin Chubb for Themba by Lutz van Dijk, translated from German and published in the UK by Aurora Metro Books.