Les Petites reines (“The Little Queens”) by Clémentine Beauvais
A successful children’s novel, Les Petits Reines (“The Little Queens”) by Clémentine Beauvais features three young heroines who are bullied because of how they look. Together, these three strong personalities embark on a fantastical journey across France.
A Frenchwoman in Cambridge
At the age of 17 Clémentine Beauvais left to study in Cambridge, where has lived ever since. She has written many novels and picture books for children (The She-Wolf (“La Louve”), Dream of Sweetness (“Songe à la douceur”), etc.) and is now a professor and researcher of Education and English literature at the University of York in the United Kingdom.
Published in 2018 by Sarbacane, Brexit Romance, her first adult novel, was inspired by her life across the Channel: “I long ago adopted porridge, squirrels, and tea at any time of day or night, but I regularly take the Eurostar to fill up on roquefort, reblochon, rocamadour, and my family.”
From Bourg-en-Bresse to the Elysée
Voted “Sausages of the Year” on Facebook, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima leave their school in Bourg-en-Bresse on a bike trip that they fund by selling sausages. This tour will take them to Paris and the very exclusive 14th July garden party at the Elysée Palace. Struggles and laughter fill this joyful French road-trip novel: a tale of friendship, freedom from others’ opinions, surpassing oneself and the strength of team spirit.
Writing for the youth
A member of the Charter of Children’s Authors and Illustrators association, Clémentine Beauvais asserts her status as a full-fledged writer. “We are usually placed in a lower category to begin with: by virtue of the fact that it is aimed at children and adolescents — a group which is historically, socially and economically marginalised — children’s literature is non-literature, quasi-literature, sub-literature,” she explains. Although she started off writing and publishing novels for young people which she considered more “serious”, The Little Queens marks a transition to a more comedic, quirky style of writing.
The Little Queens has won numerous regional and national awards, including the Lire magazine Prize for Best Children’s Novel in 2015, and has been a major success in bookstores with over 40,000 copies sold. A stage adaptation of the work was nominated for the 2018 Molières. Featuring in the White Ravens selection at the Munich International Library, the book represented France at the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) in 2016.