Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize Winner 2015
David Almond’s contemporary retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth has won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2015. A Song for Ella Grey is set in the wild Northumberland landscape and told from the point of view of teenager, Claire who is witness to the dramatic love story between her best friend Ella and the wandering musician, Orpheus. During a hedonistic camping trip to celebrate their final year of school, Claire and her friends meet the beautiful Orpheus on the beach and are captivated by his music. Wanting to include Ella who stayed at home, they phone her so that she can listen to Orpheus. They immediately fall in love, a deep and all-consuming love beyond time and place. However, those aware of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth will know that this will only end badly. The appeal to teenagers is obvious, but the beauty of Almond’s storytelling, the narrative viewpoint, and the underlying mythology takes the book beyond just another teenage angst story. Aimed at ages 13+.
Royal Society Book Prize Winner 2015
Robert Winston has won the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize for the third time with his book Utterly Amazing Science (ages 7+). The winning book was chosen by a judging panel of over 1500 children around the country, and this interactive look at the core topics in primary science including forces and motions, light and colour, elements and matter, and magnets and electricity, proved to be a popular choice. See the other shortlisted books here.
Educational Writer’s Award 2015 shortlist
The Educational Writer’s Award celebrates outstanding examples of non-fiction books which broaden the horizons of young readers. The 2015 awards focused on books for 5-11 year olds published in 2013 and 2014 (next year’s award will focus on non-fiction books for 11-18 year olds). The shortlisted titles are:
- Who Eats Who? by Teresa Heapy and Rebecca Elliott (ill.) (Oxford University Press)
- Marvellous Maths by Jonathan Litton and Thomas Flintham (ill.) (Templar)
- Dear Jelly: Family Letters from the First World War by Sarah Ridley (Franklin Watts)
- Space Record Breakers by Anne Rooney (Carlton Kids)
- Atlas of Adventures by Rachel Williams and Lucy Letherland (ill.) (Wide Eyed Editions)
The winner will be announced on Tuesday 1st December 2015.
Costa Book Awards 2015 shortlist
The Costa Book Awards have been running since 1971 and recognise enjoyable reads written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. They have 4 categories for adult titles and one for children’s novels which makes the award unique in placing adult and children books together. The judging guidelines dictate that the winners should be:
‘a sparkling, eminently readable book with broad appeal…intelligent books which balance the virtues of readability and literary quality, and which large numbers of people will want to buy, and read, and recommend to friends, preferably for years to come.’
The four shortlisted books for the children’s category are:
- Sophie Someone by Hayley Long (Hot Key Books)
- The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s)
- Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss (David Fickling)
- An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls
The children’s book category winner will be announced on Monday 4th January 2016 and the overall winner of the Costa Book Prize (The Costa Book of the Year) will be announced on Tuesday 26th January 2016.
The Children’s Book Award 2016 shortlist
The Children’s Book Award is administered by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG) and was formerly known as the Red House Children’s Book Award. It is the only award which is entirely voted for by children including compiling the shortlist.
Any child can vote for their favourite through the website until April 16th 2016.
There are 3 categories and the books which have made it onto the 2016 shortlist are:
Fabulous Pie by Gareth Edwards and Guy Parker-Rees (Scholastic)
Is There a Dog in this Book? by Viviane Schwarz (Walker Books)
Ready, Steady, Jump! by Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds (Andersen Press)
This Book Just Ate my Dog! by Richard Byrne (Oxford University Press)
My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat! by Pamela Butchart and Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)
Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen (Doubleday)
Horrid Henry’s Krazy Ketchup by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross (Orion Children’s Books)
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Smart by Kim Slater (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins Children’s Books)