Edebé (publisher) awarded this year’s prizes for the following works.
Best children’s book: Rodrigo Muñoz (Madrid, 1967), El signo prohibido [The forbidden sign]. Jorge, an eleven year old boy, when confronted with the disappearance of Aleksandra, his best friend, decides to convert his life into a lipogram, to not pronounce the letter “A” until his friend reappears. The text talks about friendship, love, how to live with the absence of a loved one; but its main topic is language, because “beyond being a medium of communicaton and a mirror of the world, it is a world to be constructed and to be lived in.” (Muñoz, who won for the third time)
Best juvenile book: Care Santos (homepage, Wikipedia), Mentida [Lie]. Her protagonist is called Xènia, a normal adolescent who exchanges emails with a guy called Marcel on the basis that both of them have read Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye; a plot that allows Santos to talk about the dangers of the Internet and about the distance between two radically different worlds. The two establish a strange relationship, and Xènia discovers very quickly that what Marcel told her is not true. “Why does he lie? The answer is the novel’s reason,” Santos declared before revealing that her male protagonist is a guy condemned at age 14 for first degree murder. The author explained that the idea for her book came from an aggression in the form of a young guy kicking a girl in the Barcelona subway. When she found out the name of the aggressor, a minor, the author invenstigated on his past and found out that he had been abandoned by his mother and raised by a sort of uncle: “this boy had a terrible personal and family history. […] I was attracted to talk about the penal and social treatment we give to minors.” (Santos) Another influence was a poem by Charles Bukowski, himself with a dysfunctional family background, that reading had saved his life. “This library prevented that he evolved into somebody who didn’t have any reason to live. It’s a hymn to what culture can do for a person.” (Santos)
SOURCE: La Vanguardia, Jan. 28, 2015