The Adrien Prize 2023 – Winner Announced!

24 May, 2023

Cover image of a Flash of FirefliesCongratulations to Aisha Bushby whose magical middle grade novel A Flash of Fireflies was declared the winner of the inaugural Adrien Prize. When Hazel moves to England to stay with her Great Aunt while her parents pack up their home in Kuwait, she struggles to adjust to her new life and is visited by three ominous fireflies who have a sinister quest in store for her… Real life and fairytale lore merge in this thought-provoking exploration of OCD and anxiety.

Set up by best-selling author Elle McNicoll, and named after one of the neurodivergent characters in her second novel Show Us Who You Are, The Adrien Prize celebrates middle grade and YA fiction that provides a positive portrayal of a main character with a disability. You can find out more about why Elle McNicoll felt she needed to establish a new prize and her aims for the award in this interview in Books for Keeps.

This year’s winner was chosen by a panel of young judges from Broughton High School who praised ‘the gorgeous characterisation, the dynamic use of metaphor, the inventive storytelling and the authentic portrayal of the young narrator’. Young readers can hear Aisha talk about her book with award-founder Elle McNicoll and the authors of the other two shortlisted titles in a free, online event on 4th October as part of the Reading is Magic Festival.

Also shortlisted for The Adrien Prize 2023

The Secret of Haven Point by Lisette Auton (Puffin)

Wilder Than Midnight by Cerrie Burnell (Puffin)


Cover images of the two other shortlisted titles for the 2023 Adrien Prize


Find more book awards for children and young people here.

Picture of the Adrien Prize inscribed glass trophy.