The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Unforgotten Coat

Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce

9+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   
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Winner 2012 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

"The judges read extensively and intensely in their search for the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize this year, but decided unanimously that The Unforgotten Coat's great immediacy and humour really set it apart.

Titles shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize were

The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson

Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

Soonchild by Russell Hoban

Bullet Boys by Ally Kennen

The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce


The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

This is a stunning magical story of a summer of friendship with darker undertones of refugees. Two refugee brothers from Mongolia are determined to fit in with their Liverpool schoolmates, but bring so much of Mongolia to Bootle that their new friend and guide, Julie, is hard-pressed to know truth from fantasy as she recollects a wonderful friendship that was abruptly ended when Chingis and his family were forced to return to Mongolia.


A gem of a story by award-winning Frank Cottrell Boyce, this is sure to make readers laugh and cry and to go away changed when they have finished it. Looking back on an extraordinary incident that happened when she was in Year Six, Julie tells the story of the unexpected arrival at the school of Chingis and Nergui, two brothers from Mongolia. When they ask her to become their ‘Good Guide’ Julie gets completely caught up their stories and the imaginary and all too horribly real dangers they face. Frank Cottrell Boyce tells an important story, without ever preaching, with humour, warmth and brilliance of detail which characterizes his writing. This magical and compelling story is enriched by stunning and atmospheric Polaroid photos.

About the Author

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Frank Cottrell Boyce - Author of the Month, April 2016.

Frank Cottrell Boyce is an accomplished, successful and award-winning author and screenwriter. His books have been shortlisted for a multitude of prizes, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Whitbread Children's Fiction Award (now the Costa Book Award) and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and Millions, his debut children's novel, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2004.

Millions was was later turned into a film by Danny Boyle and it features in the Book Trust’s 100 Best Books List for 9-11 year olds.

Frank is also a successful writer of film scripts and was the official scriptwriter for the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics, playing an important role devising the ceremony with Danny Boyle. He is also a judge for the BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition. You can read a great interview with Frank and one of his fellow judge, Francesca Simon here!

He has also created a fantastic trilogy, written with his trademark wit, warmth and sense of story, based upon Ian Fleming's novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, comprising Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon.

His novel The Unforgotten Coat won the 2012 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.

On winning the prize Frank Cottrell Boyce said: “It would be amazing to win this award with any book I'd written but it is a special joy to win it with The Unforgotten Coat, which started life not as a published book at all, but as a gift. Walker gave away thousands of copies in Liverpool - on buses, at ferry terminals, through schools, prisons and hospitals - to help promote the mighty Reader Organisation. We even had the book launch on a train. The photographs in the book, were created by my friends and neighbours - Carl Hunter and Claire Heaney. The story was based on a real incident in a school in Bootle. So everything about it comes from very close to home - even though it's a story about Xanadu!

“Being shortlisted for the Guardian Prize gives you a particularly warm glow because it is awarded by a panel of your fellow authors. Past winners include my childhood heroes - Alan Garner, Leon Garfield, Joan Aiken - and contemporary heroes like Mark Haddon, Geraldine McCaughrean and Meg Rosoff.”

He lives with his family in Liverpool.

You can find out a bit more about him and his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang triology at

And see the video below for some top tips for writing your own story, taken from the BBC Radio 2 500 Words web page.

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Book Info


112 pages
Interest Age: 9 years +


Frank Cottrell Boyce
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st September 2011




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