Check out the Costa children’s prize shortlist 2015, chosen by judges author Martyn Bedford, Waterstones’ Melissa Cox and Andrea Reece, children’s book reviewer and managing editor of Books for Keeps.
The winner of the Costa children’s book award also has the chance to win the overall Costa (and £30,000!) – that hasn’t happened since 2001 when Philip Pullman won with The Amber Spyglass, so it’s about time…
Good luck to all the shortlistees, two of which are also shortlisted for the Guardian children’s fiction prize 2015 which is being announced on Thursday 19 November 2015!
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)
When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. But as Faith’s untruths spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter…. Judges called it “A dark, ingenious tale oozing gothic atmosphere.”
Frances Hardinge’s The Lie Tree has also been shortlisted for the Guardian children’s book prize 2015 which is announced on 19 November 2015!
Sophie Someone by Hayley Long (Hot Key Books)
Sophie couldn’t spell her own name until she was six. But she’s not stupid. No, she just uses words differently from you and me. She’s fourteen now and she has a story to tell. But some things are difficult to talk about. Even to your best friend. And if you bottle them up you might burst. So here is Sophie’s story. Told the only way she dares tell it. In her own secret language. Judges called it “A pacy, exuberant story full of wit and charm.”
Hayley Long began writing teen fiction while working as an English teacher in Cardiff. Her novel What’s Up With Jody Barton? was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Children’s Book Award – won by Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon, a book that Hayley Long told us was her inspiration for Sophie Someone, so that’s neat! Her first non-fiction title was Being a Girl.
An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls (Scholastic)
Siblings Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been struggling to survive since the death of their mother, and are determined to avoid being taken into care. When the family’s wealthy but eccentric Great-Aunt Irene has a stroke, they go to visit her. Unable to speak or write, she gives Holly some photographs that might lead them to an inheritance that could solve all their problems. But they’re not the only ones after the treasure… Judges called it: “A very modern book which has the feel of a classic as well as heaps of heart.”
Sally Nicholls’s first novel, Ways to Live Forever, won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2008. An Island of Our Own has also been shortlisted for the Guardian children’s book prize 2015 which is announced on 19 November 2015!
Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss (David Fickling Books)
When Jessica sits down next to Francis on a bench one break time, he’s surprised to learn that she isn’t actually alive – she’s a ghost. And she’s surprised too, because Francis is the first person who has ever been able to see her. Before long, Francis and Jessica are best friends, enjoying life more than they have in a long time. When they meet two more friends who also can see Jessica, the question arises: what is it that the children have in common? And is it connected with the existence of Jessica’s ghost? The answer, when it emerges, is both surprising and moving – and leads on to a dramatic conclusion that none of them could have foreseen. The Judges called it: “Funny, clever, beautifully written – it perfectly describes the transforming power of friendship.”
Andrew Norriss won the 1997 Whitbread Children’s Book Award with
Good luck to all the shortlistees. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in central London on 26 January, 2016. We’ll be reporting, so watch this space.