Sarawakian author Nadia Mikail has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with her apocalyptic road trip debut novel entitled ‘The Cats We Meet Along the Way’.
According to The Guardian, Nadia, who is from Kuching, won the older readers category as well as the overall prize, along with £5,000 (RM27,236).
The awards are voted on by Waterstones’ booksellers, and ‘The Cats We Meet Along the Way’ was inspired by the pandemic and Nadia being away from her family as she is currently studying law in London.
The Guardian quoted her as saying the book is a “sort of a worst-case scenario situation, like what would happen if the apocalypse was about to happen, and I was away from my loved ones”.
“In the midst of trying to kind of work out those anxieties through writing, I realised the only thing we can do is care for the people we love every day and hope for a better future for them even when things seem hopeless.”
Meanwhile, Waterstones head of children’s Florentyna Martin called Nadia’s book “a phenomenal debut” and that Nadia’s work sparkles in the growing market for older readers.
“Booksellers were overwhelmed by the tenderness woven through each chapter; the moments of silence between the characters are as truthful and evocative as their conversations,” she said.
“Mikail has ultimately crafted a novel of hope, set against an eventful road trip, that encourages us to share stories and dreams.”
The books are currently on display and are available for purchase at a number of Waterstones outlets.
Congratulations to Nadia for her win! We hope that her future novels see the same success.
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