Book awards

Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize Shortlist 2014

The shortlist for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize has been announced and four very different titles have made the cut:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Set in the USA, the story follows Cadence, a teenage member of the privileged Sinclair family. She suffers from amnesia following a summer spent on the Sinclair family island. On return to the island two years later, her memories gradually return and the story builds to a horrifying realisation. Ages 14+

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

Flora and Ulysses won the Newbery Medal, the coveted USA children’s book award, in 2014 and is a real contender for the Guardian Prize this year. The book is full of very dry humour, switches effortlessly between a comic and a novel and features a squirrel with super powers. Fantastic. Ages 9+

Phoenix by SF Said

Like Flora and Ulysses, Phoenix is also an unusually styled book with lots of striking illustrations from Dave McKean (illustrator of Neil Gaiman’s picture books such as The Wolves in the Walls) working well to complement the text. Lucky thinks he’s just an ordinary boy, but a supernova is coming and apparently only he can save the galaxy. Fast-paced explosive excitement and adventure ensues. Ages 9+

The Dark Wild by Piers Torday

The Dark Wild is the follow-up to the dystopian adventure, The Last Wild which was shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2014 (7-11). Kester’s adventures continue in The Dark Wild but this time the animals are uprising and it’s the humans that need saving! Ages 9+


The books that didn’t make the cut from the longlist were She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick, Flora in Love by Natasha Farrant, The Lost Gods by Francesca Simon, and Shine by Candy Gourlay. My pick would have been She Is Not Invisible and it is a real shame not to see it on the shortlist.

The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize is judged by children’s book authors and this year the panel includes Katherine Rundell (author of the multi- award winning Rooftoppers), Frank Cottrell Boyce (author of Millions), and Gillian Cross (author of After Tomorrow). The winner will be announced 13th November 2014.


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