By Tim Coronel
Australian authors Shaun Tan and Marcus Zusak have been announced as winners in two of the major categories at the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis, Germany’s most prestigious awards for children’s and YA books. [Pictured: the display of Shaun Tan’s books at the Frankfurt Book Fair by his German publisher Carlsen]
The awards ceremony, held on Friday night as part of the Frankfurt Book Fair, saw Tan take out the award for best illustrated book for Tales From Outer Suburbia (published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and in Germany by Carlsen). The award jury said that: “The way that pictures and words work together in this carefully designed book is perfect.”
Markus Zusak won the Youth Jury prize for The Book Thief (Picador Australia/CBJ Germany). In the opinion of the jury: “many individual stories of the experience of youth in the Second World War have been written, but none match up to the narrative of this book.” Zusak also won this award in 2007 for The Messenger.
Allen & Unwin rights manager Angela Namoi attended the awards ceremony and she said: “we’re so very pleased for both Shaun and Markus: this is a major international recognition of the quality of Australian writing for young people.”
For the list of all category winners, see the Jugendliteraturpreis website (in German).
Tim Coronel is the publisher of Australia’s Bookseller and Publisher magazine.