Organised by the Czech section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the Golden Ribbon Awards were first presented in 1992 and are the main Czech awards for children’s books. More than 150 titles were entered into this year’s competition, which had thirteen separate categories. The winners were selected by an expert jury of academics, translators, illustrators, authors and publishers.
Literary section: Literature for youth
Martin Vopěnka: Nová planeta (New Planet)
In his latest novel, Vopěnka focuses on societal inequality. The main character, twelve-year-old Daniel, grows up in a technically advanced but completely isolated civilisation for the privileged members of society, which is called New Planet. The inhabitants pretend to have left Earth, but in reality they have only built an impenetrable wall around themselves. When Daniel finds himself on the other side of the wall, he has to fight for survival in the underdeveloped world outside and discovers the terrifying foundations the civilisation of the New Planet has been built on.
Literary section: Literature for children
Miloš Kratochvíl: Zajatci stříbrného slunce (Prisoners of the Silver Sun)
A six-year-old boy named Mark, who lives in the near future, becomes addicted to a video game called The City. Eventually he manages to destroy the City and still have one or two lives left. In a dream, Mark suddenly finds himself within the City’s ruins, guided by a little boy whom he had wounded. Mark, who is responsible for all the destruction, now ponders the City’s ruins and is faced with disquieting questions concerning the limits of the virtual world.
Comics for children and youth
Toy Box: Moje kniha Vinnetou (My Book Winnetou)
An existential comic book about how friendship and fantasy can win even over death. The author masterfully combines the stories of a young woman who lives in a squat and young boy who is writing a book where the hero of Karl May’s westerns, Winnetou, never dies. The plot follows squatters at wild parties all over Europe as well as those living in the legendary Czech squat Milada.
Literary section: Non-fiction for children and youth
Art section: Literature for children and youth
Robin Král: Vynálezárium (House of Inventions)
This book aims to make poetry popular among school children. Robin Král strolls around the Mediterranean in search of the roots of the sonnet, rondel or Villonesque balad, throws us a cunning wink in the five verses of an Irish limerick, or shows us how the Arabic ghazal and Malaysian pantun are written. House of Inventions also won the Magnesia Litera for children and youth.
The complete list of winners can be found on the Golden Ribbon website.