Thursday, 14 January 2010

Award season

It is the season of the book prize again.

I am mostly interested in prizes which are aimed at or include children's books although I do enjoy seeing all of the lists.

The Costa Book Award category finalists have been announced and the overall winner will be announced on January 26th. The children's category winner is a strong contender this year and although I haven't read the book a lot of people I respect have read and loved it. Sam at Books, Time and Silence has a fabulous review, and I will be taking Ness's books on my next holiday.

The leading American children's book awards are due very soon but for me these aren't the awards I am most interested in.

The Waterstone's Children's Book Prize shortlist was announced today. From 2006 to 2009 I was really closely involved with this prize and I was privileged enough to read the long list for 2010. I've been waiting with baited breath for this shortlist and I haven't been disappointed at all.

The nine books making the shortlist are incredible:
1. Flyaway by Lucy Christopher

2. The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies

3. The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

4. Seven Sorcerers by Caro King

5. Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

6. The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt

7. Desperate Measures by Laura Summers

8. Superhuman: Meteorite Strike by A.G Taylor

9. The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh
Of the nine books I only disliked one and one made my top 5 books of 2009. My favourite five books from the long list all made this shortlist.

Picking the winner is tough though. Flyaway was an incredible book - it didn't suffer at all from second book syndrome and was just as powerful at Stolen. Superhuman: Meteorite Strike is written by someone originally from Norfolk and so that has a soft spot in the Norfolkbookworm's heart and then the Great Hamster Massacre is a truly great book for newly independent readers and these never seem to win awards.

I could go on and justify why 8 of the 9 should win but I am going to be loyal to Love, Aubrey it was one of my top reads from 2009 after all and even on the third re-read it moved me just as much as the first time.

Now all I have to do is wait until February 10th for the winner to be announced.

I had planned on writing about all of the exciting books I've already read this year - being snowbound has worked wonders on that lost mojo - but the excitement of the award season means that post is on hold for a few days.

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