It’s children’s and young adult’s book awards season at the moment, with the shortlists for two prominent awards being announced. The main award that recognises excellence in teenage fiction is the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the shortlist this year is very strong. I was pleased to see that one of my favourite authors, Patrick Ness, was shortlisted again this year for his heart-stopping follow up to the award-winning The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer. The other titles on the shortlist include Auslander by Paul Dowswell, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray, Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine, and The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant. All of these books have got fantastic reviews and are all very strong contenders for the award.
The other main shortlist that has been announced recently is for the prestigious Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. While there are fewer contenders for this prize (only 4) they are all extremely good writers who have writen some interesting and varied stories. Siobhan Dowd, who sadly passed away from cancer several years ago, wrote some very unique stories and her books have been nominated and won several awards in the past few years. She has been shortlisted this year for her novel, Solace of the Road, alongside Then by Maurice Gleitzman, Nation by Terry Pratchett, and Exposure by Mal Peet.
Who do you think should win? My picks are Ask and the Answer for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and Solace of the Road for the Guardian Prize.