Winners announced in the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize

The winner of the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize – Children and Young Adult (CYA) Category is

Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief

by Katrina Nannestad. ABC: An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. H/B, RRP $19.99 Ages 10+

The ARA Historical Novel Prize is worth a total of $100,000 in prize monies. In the Children and Young Adult (CYA) category, the winner will receive $30,000, while the two shortlisted authors will receive $5,000 each.

Chair and Program Director of the Historical Novel Society Australasia, Elisabeth Storrs, said, “Selected from over 130 entries, the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize winners demonstrates the true depth of talent of historical fiction authors. The winning novels demonstrate the irresistible prose, unforgettable characters, meticulous research, and epic storytelling for which historical fiction is known.”

The 2022 judging panel for the CYA category included Paul McDonald (Chair), Deborah Abela and Rachael King.

According to Paul McDonald, “In Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief, award-winning writer Katrina Nannestad once again transports us to World War 2 as she did in her previous award-winning children’s novel ‘We are Wolves’. This time the reader arrives in Russia and the Great Patriotic War and we share the life of Sasha, a soldier at only six years old. Based on a true story of a boy soldier in the Red Army, Nannestad has created a beautiful, poignant and compelling narrative. The author’s gift is her ability to find the light in this story, to offer a tale that in the end still offers hope and love and joy. The writing is beautiful, the research seamless and the reader- appeal broad, the novel an ideal choice for readers aged 10 or 80.”

“Both Corporal Hitler’s Pistol and Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief demonstrate the power of the historical fiction genre to illuminate unspoken truths and connect the past with the present. This fosters an understanding of the complicated nature of the world today and humanises the lives of our predecessors. The Prize is a true celebration of historical fiction, and a real opportunity to foster the genre on a grander scale,” said Storrs.

The winner of the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize – Adult Category is Corporal Hitler’s Pistol by Tom Keneally (Penguin Random House).

See Review here