Winner of The Costa Children's Book Award 2017 After crashing hundreds of miles from civilisation in the Amazon rainforest, Fred, Con, Lila and Max are utterly alone and in grave danger. They have no food, no water and no chance of being rescued. But they are alive and they have hope. As they negotiatethe wild jungle they begin to find signs that something - someone - has been there before them. Could there possibly be a way out after all? The Costa Judges say: ‘A masterful, delicious read from start to finish.’ Download a Teacher Resource pack from Blooomsbury Children's Publishing, based on The Explorer. A modern classic of an adventure that will not only transport you away from the classroom to the Amazon, but also spark the imaginations of all of the young explorers in your class. (And yes, we know there are many!) The lessons in this pack serve as a mini scheme of work with literacy objectives, providing material for five or more KS2 lessons – perfect for classes of any ability in years five to six. Even better, the final outcome of these lessons is for each child in your class to let their creative talents loose and produce some writing of their own – following in Katherine Rundell’s adventurous footsteps!
Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2018 | Shortlisted for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award 2018 | One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2017 | In a Nutshell: Death row injustice | Undying brotherly love A book to break your heart, quicken your blood and stir your soul by one of the most outstandingly distinctive writers to have emerged in a long, long time. New Yorker Joe Moon was only seven when he took the call in which his big brother Ed told him he'd been arrested because “they think I done something real bad”. That “something” led to Ed winding up on death row, convicted of murdering a cop, though he insists he’s innocent. Ten years later, now Ed’s execution date has been set, Joe travels to Texas to say goodbye. The sublimely-formed structure slips between present and past, recounting the brothers’ troubled upbringing - how their Mom took off; how Aunt Karen took control and decided that Bible study and never mentioning Ed again was the only route to their salvation. While she insists that there’s no point wasting life or money helping someone who wasn’t sorry, Joe sees things differently. “He's my brother,” and that’s really all that matters. He has to see him. Lawyer Al, who’s taken on Ed’s case for free, offers some hope, but time is running out. “It's better to be guilty and rich, I reckon,” Joe remarks, as he experiences the excruciating injustices of a legal system in which the harshness of a sentence depends on where a crime takes place, who the victim was, and who you can afford to pay to represent you (crucially, Ed had no representation when he was first arrested). Once again, Crossan's free verse form is breathtakingly powerful - always the right word, in the right place, at the right time. Yes, this is harrowing and heartbreaking, but the kindness of the strangers Joe meets in Texas is achingly uplifting, as is the deep bond of love between Joe and Ed. This really is a magnificent feat of writing. ~ Joanne Owen The Costa Judges say: ‘An exceptional, compelling book for our time – its analysis is devastating but its message is hope.’
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | Shortlisted for the 2018 Blue Peter Awards - Best Story | Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2017 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | In a nutshell: beautifully told story of courage and hope and an unforgettable setting Kiran Millwood Hargrave follows up her award-winning debut The Girl of Ink and Stars with a story set in the real world, though one still filled with a sense of wonder and the extraordinary. Set in the Philippines at the beginning of the last century it tells the story of a girl forcibly removed from her mother, as many were, because her mother has leprosy, or as those with the disease preferred, is touched. With the help of her friends Ami makes her way back to her mother and it’s a story of love, courage and hope, all of these symbolised by the butterflies that fill the pages and that are so important to the story. It’s passionately told, full of memorable scenes and characters, and the writing is beautiful. ~ Andrea Reece The Costa Judges say: ‘Entirely original with not a word out of place – as vivid and beautiful as the butterflies themselves.’ A message from the author: ‘At a time when the world seems to be moving deeper towards intolerance, the message that we should be together but not the same, was at the forefront of my mind when writing this book. It’s easy to label people, and labelling means reducing them to one attribute, which in turn makes it easier to dismiss, dehumanise, and persecute. In The Island at the End of Everything, it is down to Ami, and her friend Mari, to find a way home in a society that tells them they are only children, only girls, and so are not in control of their own lives. But of course, this is far from the truth.’
Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2017 | Shortlisted for the 2018 Blue Peter Awards - Best Story Wed Wabbit is a tour de force! Lissa Evans’s hilarious, madcap adventure is both effervescent and tautly plotted making it impossible to put down. When Fidge furiously kicks her little sister’s beloved soft toy, the Wed Wabbit, into the road she unleashes an imaginary caper that sends her and her spoilt cousin Graham into the world of the ridiculous Wimbley Woos, blobby characters of different colours who only speak in rhyming couplets. But are they so ridiculous? By the end of their adventure, and with the help of the wonderful cast of ludicrous characters including a plastic carrot, both Fidge and Graham have been changed. Lissa Evans’s comic timing and her control of her richly imagined world is perfect. ~ Julia Eccleshare The Costa Judges say: ‘A deeply original riot of a novel that will delight children and adults alike, and keep you laughing all the way through.’ David Fickling says “Wed Wabbit is wildly inventive, dazzlingly funny and sometimes scary; it's a tautly plotted adventure that packs a surprising emotional punch. It has the makings of a classic and will be loved by readers of all ages for many years to come".
May 2017 Book of the Month | Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Children's Book category, 2016 Charlie’s life should be pretty miserable: he lives in Little Town, where everyone spies on everyone else, and the population is caught between their oppressive rulers and violent criminals who run the black market. A bombing campaign and invasion by their neighbours in the Old Country makes things even worse. Somehow though Charlie remains positive. He makes friends with Pav, a refugee from the Old Country, and together they turn an old shed into a homely refuge until circumstances leave Charlie owing favours to the terrifying Big Man, and facing an awful choice. Decent, determined and brighter than he makes out, Charlie finds a solution. Charlie’s voice and outlook keep the tone light despite the darkness of setting and subject matter. Hugely entertaining and highly original. Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon and Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now are more examples of brilliant, thought-provoking dystopian fiction, while After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross offers similar insight into the refugee experience. ~ Andrea Reece The Costa Judges said “Reflecting the disorder that conflict brings, Bombs shines a light in the darkest corners, finding humour in the most extraordinary circumstances.”
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2006. Set at the end of the 19th century, Linda Newbery has cleverly carved out an incredible mystery that’s full of clever twists and entwined with drama, all manner of emotions and mind-blowingly powerful multi-dimensional characters, that you’ll find impossible to put down and one that is likely to haunt you long after you’ve read it. There aren’t many books that you can safely say that you’ll enjoy even more by reading it a second time but this is certainly one of them. A tour de force. The Judges said..."A novel of intrigue and deception. Newbery's landscape is a joy to walk into.
Winner of the UKLA 2016 Book Award in the 12 - 16 year old category. WINNER of the 2015 COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR and Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding is this hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father dies suddenly she knows she must try to find out exactly what he was hiding in the local caves she had recently visited with him. Discovering the extraordinary Lie Tree which thrives off hearing lies and, in turn, reveals secrets long kept hidden Faith begins to uncover a web of secrets and mysteries that will change her view of the world forever. Faith is a feisty heroine whose courage combined with a determination that girls can be brave and resolute leads to the exposure of much dishonesty and many deceptions. ~ Julia Eccleshare. Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. The Lie Tree is only the second children’s book to take the overall Costa Book of the Year prize, and the first since Philip Pullman won with The Amber Spyglass in 2001. James Heneage, chair of the final judges, said: “Part horror, part detective, part historical, this is a fantastic story with great central characters and narrative tension. It’s not only a fabulous children’s book but a book that readers of all ages will love."
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010 | Winner of the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award 2009 | Prize-winning author Patrick Ness follows up The Knife of Never Letting Go with equally hard hitting The Ask and the Answer. Trying to escape, Todd and Viola fall into the hands of Mayor Prentiss. Separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd can tell there are some deep and dark secrets outside the town. Who are the mysterious Answer? As gripping as The Knife of Never Letting Go, this is a tough but compelling story which takes readers into shocking and moving territory. CILIP CARNEGIE Medal SHORTLIST 2010: Judges’ comments A visceral and compelling story of incredible power which combines some fantastic writing with intelligent consideration of some important issues: the nature of war, terrorism and the treatment of women. A challenging novel which really lives inside your head. Winner of the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award 2009 - the judges acclaimed it as “a major achievement in the making” Shortlisted for the Teenage Book of the Year Award 2009.
Whitbread Book of the Year Award 2001 The third in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. His ‘Dark Materials’, is the story of Lyra, a young girl with an exceptional destiny. Brought up in Jordan College, Oxford Lyra uncovers a secret about her mysterious guardian which leads to some dangerous questioning. It also marks the beginning of Lyra’s search for her friend Roger, a search that takes her to the ice kingdoms of the North where armoured bears rule. Lyra’s courage and stubborn determination lead her on this mission of incredible danger in this brilliant and imaginative story. It’s completely original and totally spellbinding; a true classic that will stand the test of time much in the way Tolkien’s famous work has done.
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | Winner of the YA Book Prize 2017 | Winner of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, Older Fiction category | Shortlisted for Best Crime Novel for Young Adults, CrimeFest Gala Awards 2017 | Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Children's Book category, 2016 A young man has an impossible choice to make, in this powerful coming of age urban thriller. The action is uncompromising and powerful, yet punctuated by moments of extraordinary tenderness and it will challenge preconceptions and melt the hardest heart. The Costa Judges said: “A gripping topical thriller by a fresh new voice in children’s fiction.” A message from the Publisher who acquired this debut novel: "I knew I wanted to acquire this novel before I'd finished the first chapter. Patrice is going to be a new star in contemporary YA, and I can't wait to get this exceptional book into the hands of readers." Florentyna Martin, Waterstones children’s buyer, said: “Orangeboy is a truthful and gripping novel from a fantastic new talent in YA. We were particularly struck by the energy and flair of the writing, and Lawrence’s gift for creating rounded, believable teen characters, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.”
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children's Book prize. Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2014. Witty, tender and full of insights into life love and politics, this is a brilliant book in its own right as well as a worthy tribute to E. Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It. The year is 1914. Anthea, Robert, Jane and Cyril, who has just enlisted, are now grown up, the Lamb is a schoolboy and even Edie, an addition to the family since the original, is old enough to meet the extraordinary and magical Psammead when he re-enters their life. All the children are longing for some new adventures but has the Psammead still got his magical powers? As befits the serious times, the Psammead plays an invaluable role in helping the family understand the First World War while also sorting out problems from his own past. Action-packed, funny and thoughtful this is a book to fall in love with. ~ Julia Eccleshare Although Kate Saunders' novel takes its inspiration from E Nesbit's Five Children and It, Five Children on the Western Front is an entirely stand alone novel and there is no need to have read the original classic. One of our Books of the Year 2014 - October 2014 Book of the Month
One of our Books of the Year 2013. Winner of the two most prestigious children's book awards - the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 and the Children's Costa Award 2012. And Longlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction PrizeSally Gardner tells a story that is rich in drama and ideas as Standish Treadwell, an unlikely hero, takes on the vicious forces of the repressive motherland in a novel set in a bleak world that is redeemed only by the very human qualities of some of the survivors. Standish and his remarkable grandfather keep going, eking out a living after the disappearance of Standish’s parents. Standish struggles at school and is the victim of relentless bullying. But then he finds a friend in the newly arrived Hector. When Hector is taken, the only hope lies in Standish…Luckily, Standish has just the qualities that are needed. September 2012 Book of the Month. Author Sally Gardner said, “Maggot Moon is the book I always wanted to write and Hot Key Books is the perfect home for it.” Sarah Odedina of publisher Hot Key Books added: “Sally is a writer of great and unique originality. In Maggot Moon she has created a brilliant, nerve-wracking and utterly gripping fable that will hold readers spellbound. Standish is a fabulous character and his purpose and adventure will resonate with readers of all ages. It is a novel that will be read, talked about and admired well into the future.” In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Maggot Moon a small number of teenagers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'This totally original story is brilliant from beginning to end and each gripping chapter urges you to keep reading.'.... Scroll down to read more reviews... ..............................................................The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the UK's oldest and most prestigious children's book awards. Often described by authors and illustrators as 'the one they want to win' - they are the gold standard in children's literature.The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book for children and young people.
The four shortlisted titles in the Children's Book Category 2017 are -
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
Judges: ‘An exceptional, compelling book for our time – its analysis is devastating but its message is hope.’
Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans
Judges: ‘A deeply original riot of a novel that will delight children and adults alike, and keep you laughing all the way through.’
The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
Judges: ‘A masterful, delicious read from start to finish.’
The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave
Judges: ‘Entirely original with not a word out of place – as vivid and beautiful as the butterflies themselves.’
In 2015 a Children's Book Award winner won the overall Costa Book of the Year. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge is a Victorian murder mystery the judges said ‘will grip readers of all ages'.
It was only the second children’s book EVER to take the overall prize, and the first since Philip Pullman won with The Amber Spyglass in 2001!
James Heneage, chair of the final judges, said: “Part horror, part detective, part historical... It’s not only a fabulous children’s book but a book that readers of all ages will love.”
The Costa Books Awards is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way. You can find the four shortlisted children's books in this special section - and click here to see the shortlists and winners for the other categories.
The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. Since their launch in 1971, the awards have rewarded a wide range of excellent books and authors across all genres.
On the judging panel for the 2017 Costa Children's Book Awards are:
Sanchita Basu De Sarkar Owner, Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill
Fiona Noble Children’s and YA Previews Editor, The Bookseller
Piers Torday Author
These judges will select their favourite in the Children's Book category in early January and this book will then be shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Book of the Year, along with the other category winners. The overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday 30th January 2018.
The winner receives a £30,000 prize.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.