Brighton-born author Patrice Lawrence has taken one of this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prizes for her coming-of-age drama Orangeboy. She is this year’s winner of the Older Fiction category, as voted for by booksellers in Waterstones stores across the UK.
Set in contemporary East London, Orangeboy follows the story of 16-year-old Marlon. He made a promise to never follow his brother down the wrong path, but has trouble keeping that promise when the daring and beautiful Sonya enters his life. Before he knows what’s going on, everything changes and he’s faced with some sudden and impossible choices.
Florentyna Martin, Waterstones children’s buyer, said:“Orangeboy is a truthful and gripping novel from a fantastic new talent in YA. We were particularly struck by the energy and flair of the writing, and Lawrence’s gift for creating rounded, believable teen characters, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.”
The award is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world of children’s books – so what a way to put Brighton on the (modern literary) map!
Sadly, Brighton author M.G. Leonard was pitted to the post in the Younger Fiction category. Her first book, Beetle Boy, was shortlisted but ultimately lost out to The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave – the title which also took the overall award.