Strega Prize Ragazze e Ragazzi 2022

The Premio Strega Ragazze e Ragazzi Scientific Committee - chaired by Giovanni Solimine and made up of Marco Bartolomucci, Laura Bellacicco, Flavia Cristiano, Fabio Geda, Grazia Gotti, Maria Greco, Martino Negri, Elena Pasoli, Ilaria Tagliaferri and Virginia Tonfoni - has announced the finalists for the seventh edition in its three categories: the 6+ (readers aged 6 to 7); the 8+ (8 to 10 years); and the 11+ (11 to 13).

"Each in their different way, the books selected in the three categories open a window onto the wonder and complexity of the adventure we call life” declared Committee member Fabio Geda. “They do so by telling exciting stories that move effortlessly between magic and reality."

Below are the three groups of finalists and the comments of the Scientific Committee.

The 6+ Category:

  • David Almond, La Guerra è finita, translated by Giuseppe Iacobaci (Salani). One of the most powerful and incisive writers of books for children, Almond here tells a gripping story - set during the First World War - that captures readers from the start. Although far apart, the main characters - two children - are united in their yearning for exchange, salvation, and peace.
  • Lisa Lundmark, Jenny lo squalo, translated by Lucia Barni (La Nuova Frontiera Junior). Jenny is a quiet little girl who doesn’t join in with her classmates at school. Feeling a "shark" rather than an "octopus", she tries in vain to make her teacher understand. Only Amina, her friend, seems to understand, so when they are together, they each do their own thing. Told with great delicacy but also irony, the story looks at the whole question of shyness and reserve, giving a voice to children like Jenny who prefer – and have the right – to be what they are.
  • Jane Riordan, Winnie Puh. C’era una volta un orsetto, translated by Giuseppe Iacobaci (Nord-Sud). Creating the prequel to a timeless classic like “Winnie the Pooh” is no easy task. This account of the friendship between the famous teddy bear, Christopher Robin and the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood is told with great tenderness in a way that respects the style and atmosphere of Milne's stories. When Christopher Robin asks Winne the Pooh to tell him a story from the past, starting with their first meeting, the reader is immediately plunged into the captivating world of characters who retain all their original fascination and charm.

The 8+ Category:

  • Antonia Murgo, Miss dicembre e il Clan di luna (Bompiani). This debut novel weaves together fantasy and classical literature in a way that will delight children and engage adults. The two different readers, children and adults, will both be captivated by the author’s magical flair for telling a well-crafted, delicately nuanced story.
  • Rieke Patwardhan, La banda della zuppa di piselli. Il mistero della nonna, translated by Valentina Freschi (Emons Edizioni). The world of contemporary German children includes young people originally from Syria. This book looks at the whole question of accepting newcomers and how we come to understand the universal human condition through the indispensable resource that is friendship. Changing landscape and language to gradually begin to feel 'at home' is a story that is as true today as it was for past generations.
  • Nadia Terranova and Mara Cerri, Il segreto (Mondadori Ragazzi). It takes a mature talent to give voice to a character who is both child and adult. Adele embodies pain and struggle, but also courage, sensitivity and a profound understanding of life and how to capture all its facets on the page. A truly extraordinary book, accompanied by the visual power of Mara Cerri.

The 11+ Category:

  • Francesco D’Adamo, Giuditta e l’orecchio del diavolo (Giunti Editore). Told with great sensitivity, this story is set during the years when the country was struggling to free itself from Nazi-fascism. D’Adamo explores memory and Italy’s complex transition to democracy. His words bring alive the sounds and smells of the mountains, the cold of the houses, and the relationships between the characters.
  • Enne Koens, Sono Vincent e non ho paura, translated by Olga Amagliani (Camelozampa). Translated literally I am Vincent, and I’m not afraid” is a story - told with great delicacy and precision - that looks at the psychological mechanisms behind bullying. Well-structured and well-written, the novel is further enhanced by the original green and black graphic design of illustrator Maartje Kuiper, making it an object of rare quality.
  • Elle McNicoll, Una specie di scintilla, translated by Sante Bandirali (Uovonero). McNicoll paints an ironic yet delicate portrait of Addie, an autistic eleven-year-old forced to face the hostility and mistrust of her community and schoolmates. A compelling narrative, which despite the anger it prompts at the way Addie is treated, never loses its humoristic touch.

The Premio Strega Ragazze e Ragazzi is awarded to fiction published in Italy also in translation. On 28 February last – the closing date for entries - publishers had sent in 26 books for the 6+ category, 37 for the 8+ category, and 48 for the 11+ category.

The finalist books will now be read and voted on by a jury made up of more than 2,000 children ranging from 6 to 13 years belonging to some 152 library and school reading groups in Italy and abroad (Munich, Offenbach am Main, Paris, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and Vienna).

The winners will be announced at the Rome Book Fair, Più Libri Più Liberi scheduled from 7 to 11 December 2022. Offered by Strega Alberti Benevento, the prize will be awarded to the authors receiving the most votes in their particular category. Should the winning book be a translation, a prize of an equal amount - offered by BolognaFiere - will be awarded the translators.

BPER Banca offers two cash prizes towards the purchase of materials and equipment to the school in the 6+ jury category and the school in the 8+ jury category developing the most original reading activities of the finalist books. A prize will also be awarded to a student from the 11+ jury for the best review of a finalist book in his/her competition category.

Thanks to the renewed collaboration with La Feltrinelli, the Award's technical sponsor, each of the young jurors have received a €5 voucher towards the purchase of the selected books, while the schools involved will receive a copy of the competing and winning books to add to their library.

Awarded for the first time on 23 March during Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the prize for the best narrative in pictures was won by Peter Van den Ende, author of Il viaggio (Terre di mezzo) from among the 42 titles entered by publishers.

The prize for the best debut book - announced on 20 May at the Turin International Book Fair - goes to Antonia Murgo, author of Miss Dicembre e il Clan di luna (Bompiani).


The Premio Strega Ragazze e Ragazzi is sponsored the Maria and Goffredo Bellonci Foundation and Strega Alberti Benevento, organisers of the Premio Strega, together with the Centro per il libro e la lettura and Bologna Fiere-Bologna Children's Book Fair, in partnership with BPER Banca and La Feltrinelli.

Go to the photogallery


Antonia Murgo, author of Miss Dicembre e il Clan di luna (Bompiani) is the winner of the 2022 Best Debut Book of the Premio Strega Ragazze e Ragazzi. 

The Committee had selected the three filalists books from the sixteen titles entered by publishers:

  • Elle McNicollUna specie di scintilla (A kind of Spark), translated by Sante Bandirali, Uovonero;
  • Camille MonceauxLe cronache dell’acero e del ciliegio (Les chroniques de l'érable et du cerisier), translated by Fabrizio Ascari (L’ippocampo);
  • Antonia MurgoMiss Dicembre e il clan di luna (Bompiani)

The winner received a plaque and cash prize offered by Strega Alberti Benevento.

miss dicembremurgo


The Scientific Committee - chaired by Giovanni Solimine and comprising Marco Bartolomucci, Laura Bellacicco, Angelo Piero Cappello, Flavia Cristiano, Fabio Geda, Grazia Gotti, Martino Negri, Elena Pasoli, Ilaria Tagliaferri and Viriginia Tonfoni - has selected the three finalists for the best narrative picture-book prize.

  • Michał SkibińskiHo visto un bellissimo picchio (I saw a beautiful woodpecker), illustrations by Ala Bankroft, translation by Silvia Mercurio, Einaudi Ragazzi 
  • Øyvind Torseter, Mule Boy e il Troll dal cuore strappato, (Mule Boy) translated by Alice Tonzig, Beisler 
  • Peter Van den Ende, Il viaggio, Terre di mezzo (The Wanderer)

The winner of this category, announced at the 2022 Bologna Children's Book Fair, on 23 March, is Peter Van den Ende, for Il viaggio.  


The first selection of books in the 6+, 8+, 11+ competition categories was announced:


1.David Almond, La guerra è finita (Salani), translation by Giuseppe Iacobaci

2.Daniele Aristarco, Le avventure di Alessandro Mignolo (Einaudi Ragazzi)

3.Giuseppe Festa, Arma letame. Gli animali di Strambosco (Piemme Junior)

4.Martine Laffon, Cookie credi ai tuoi sogni (Terre di mezzo), translated by Eleonora Armaroli

5.Lisa Lundmark, Jenny lo squalo (La Nuova Frontiera Junior), translated by Lucia Barni

6.Jane Riordan, Winnie Puh. C’era una volta un orsetto (North-Sud), translated by Giuseppe Iacobaci



1.Sara Beltrame, Rita e il giro della morte (Edizioni Piuma)

2.Anton Bergman, La Ester più Ester del mondo (Beisler Editore), translated by Samanta K. Milton Knowles

3.Nicola Cinquetti, L’incredibile notte di Billy Bologna (Lapis Edizioni)

4.Nadine Debertolis, La casa dalle 36 chiavi (Edizioni EL), translated by Costanza Piccoli

5.Otto Gabos, Ridi, Romeo! (Einaudi Ragazzi),

6.Samuel J. Halpin, Il bosco dei ragazzi senza colore (Terre di mezzo), translated by Claudia Valentini

7.Antonia Murgo, Miss dicembre e il Clan di luna (Bompiani)

8.Sally Nicholls, Un'isola tutta per noi (Edizioni San Paolo), translated by Anna Becchi

9.Rieke Patwardhan, La banda della zuppa di piselli. Il mistero della nonna (Emons Edizioni), translated by Valentina Freschi

10.Nadia Terranova and Mara Cerri, Il segreto (Mondadori Ragazzi)

11.Amy Timberlake, Tasso e Puzzola (Harper Collins), translation by Sara Ragusa

12.Salvatore Vitellino, Un anno da Nabbo (Giunti Editore)



1.Elizabeth Acevedo, Poet X (Sperling & Kupfer), translated by Simona Mambrini and Anna Rusconi

2.Elisa Castiglioni, La ragazza con lo zaino verde (Il Castoro)

3.Francesco D'Adamo, Giuditta e l'orecchio del diavolo (Giunti Editore)

4.Keren David, Le cose che ci fanno paura (Giuntina), translated by Lucrezia Pei

5.Annet Huizing. La casa del contrabbandiere (La Nuova Frontiera Junior), translated by Anna Becchi

6.Pádraig Kenny, I mostri di Rookhaven (Edizioni EL), translation by Lucia Feoli

7.Enne Koens, Sono Vincent e non ho paura (Camelozampa), translated by Olga Amagliani

8.Elle McNicoll, Una specie di scintilla (Uovonero), translation by Sante Bandirali

9.Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Julia e lo squalo (Mondadori Ragazzi), translated by Marta Barone

10.Camille Monceaux, Le cronache dell'acero e del ciliegio (Vol. 1) - La maschera del Nō (L'Ippocampo), translated by Fabrizio Ascari

11.Antonella Sbuelz, Questa notte non torno (Feltrinelli Editore)

12.Martina Wildner, Sonnambuli, maledizioni e lumache (Pelledoca Editore), translated by Anna Becchi