Annal: 2006 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

Results of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in the year 2006.

Book:A Darkling Plain

A Darkling Plain: The Hungry City Chronicles - Book 4

Philip Reeve

The once-great traction city of London is now just a radioactive wreck, a ruin haunted by electrical discharges and the dashed hopes of the people who once called it home — people like Tom Natsworthy. Twenty years after he fled, intending never to return, he discovers that something stirs in the remains of the old city.

Tom and his daughter, Wren, aren't the only people interested in London. The desperate armies of the Traction Cities and the Green Storm are also closing in, certain that whatever is taking shape within the city holds the key to victory in their never-ending war.

But it may be too late. Even as Tom and Wren hurry to uncover the mystery of London, Hester Shaw — estranged from her husband and her daughter — tracks the resurrected Stalker Fang, who has found another way to end the war and all life on the planet once and for all.

Book:Blown Away

Blown Away: Sharp North - Book 2

Patrick Cave

Alternate narratives, from Dom, the son of a newspaper magnate, imprisoned at his rural school, and Adeline, the young surviving clone from Sharp North. Dom tells, through his diary, of the huge changes coming to the world, and how cloning became a way to ensure power for a select group of people. He becomes one of those whose genetic material is taken to form the clones used by the Great Families and is, therefore, a forebear of Adeline's. His diary is now in the hands of Adeline and his story drives forward her own. Adeline now lives with Clarissa in a settlement in the Pyrenees, though it is under attack from incomers. Showing symptoms of ill-health, Adeline hides the fact that she is a flawed clone and debates the truth of the 'serpent' prophecy, suggested by her differently coloured eyes. Could she really be the saviour Briton hopes for?

Book:Fly By Night

Fly By Night

Frances Hardinge

This is a breath-taking adventure story, set in reimagined eighteenth-century England. As the realm struggles to maintain an uneasy peace after years of cival war and tyranny, a twelve-year-old orphan and her loyal companion, a grumpy goose, are about to become the unlikely heroes of a radical revolution.

Mosca Mye has spent her childhood in a miserable hamlet, after her father was banished there for writing inflammatory books about freedom. Now he is dead and Mosca is on the run, heading for the city of Mandelion. There she finds herself living by her wits among cut-throat highwaymen, spies and smugglers. With peril at every turn, Mosca uncovers a dark plot to terrorize the people of Mandelion, and soon merry mayhem leads to murder ...

With an unforgettable cast of characters and an inspiring message at its heart - sometimes the power of words can change the world!

Book:Framed

Framed

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Dylan is the only boy living in the tiny Welsh town of Manod. His parents run the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel garage—and when he’s not trying to persuade his sisters to play football, Dylan is in charge of the petrol log. And that means he gets to keep track of everyone coming in and out of Manod—what car they drive, what they’re called, even their favourite flavour of crisps. But when a mysterious convoy of lorries trundles up the misty mountainside towards an old, disused mine, even Dylan is confounded. Who are these people—and what have they got to hide?

A story inspired by a press cutting describing how, during WWII, the treasured contents of London’s National Gallery were stored in Welsh slate mines. Once a month, a morale-boosting masterpiece would be unveiled in the village and then returned to London for viewing. This is a funny and touching exploration of how Art—its beauty and its value—touches the life of one little boy and his big family in a very small town.

Book:Clay

Clay

David Almond

Fourteen-year-old Davie and his best friend, Geordie, are altar boys at their local Catholic Church. They’re full of mischief, but that all changes when Stephen Rose comes to town. Father O’Mahoney thinks it would be a good idea for Davie and Geordie to befriend him—maybe some of their good nature will rub off on this unhappy soul. But it’s Stephen who sees something special in Davie.

Stephen’s a gifted sculptor. One day as Davie looks on, Stephen brings a tiny figure to life. It’s a talent he has, the gift of creation—and he knows that Davie has this talent, too. Davie allows Stephen to convince him to help bring a life-size figure to life—and Clay is born. Clay is innocent, but Stephen has special plans for him.

What has Davie helped to unleash on the world?

Book:The Survival Game

The Survival Game

Tim Wynne-Jones

Burl can't take any more bruises from his bullying father, so one day he runs away with just a penknife and a fishing lure in his pocket. Despite his survival skills, Burl knows he won't last long in the frozen Canadian wilderness, so he is filled with hope when he stumbles across Ghost Lake, and a secret that could save him. But his father is after him and Burl is dragged back into his dangerous games...

Book:A Swift Pure Cry

A Swift Pure Cry

Siobhan Dowd

After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, charming, eloquent and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the centre of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.

Book:The Worst Witch Saves the Day

The Worst Witch Saves the Day

Jill Murphy

It's the start of a new term at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches and Mildred Hubble is determined not to be the worst witch this year. Everything starts so well. Mildred's class has a new form teacher - no more Miss Hardbroom for Mildred and her friends! But then the new teacher, Miss Granite, starts acting fishy; Mildred has a very bad hair day when a hair growth spell goes wrong and she has to put up with know-it-all Ethel Hallow being 'helpful'. To top it all, her beloved cat Tabby is having a nervous breakdown and refuses to fly.

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