Annal: 2009 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

Results of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in the year 2009.

Book:Exposure (Peet)

Exposure

Mal Peet

Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet takes a searing look at the world of soccer and pop-celebrity culture—and the lives of three street kids caught in its glare.

When a black South American soccer star signs on to a team in the country’s racist south, headlines blare. And when he falls for the sensual Desmerelda, a stunning white pop singer and daughter of a wealthy politician, their sudden and controversial marriage propels the pair to center stage, where they burn in the media spotlight. But celebrity attracts enemies; some very close to home. And its dazzle reaches into the city’s hidden corners, exposing a life of grit and desperation the glitterati could never imagine. When a girl is found murdered, reporter Paul Faustino is caught between worlds as he witnesses the power of the media in making—and breaking—lives.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, this modern tragedy of desire and betrayal, incisively and compassionately told, is a truly enthralling work of crossover fiction.

Book:Genesis (Beckett)

Genesis: A Novel

Bernard Beckett

Set on a remote island in a post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden world, this electrifying novel is destined to become a modern classic.

Anax thinks she knows her history. She’d better. She’s now facing three Examiners, and her grueling all-day Examination has just begun. If she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society.

But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And that the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be.

In this brilliant novel of dazzling ingenuity, Anax’s examination leads us into a future where we are confronted with unresolved questions raised by science and philosophy. Centuries old, these questions have gained new urgency in the face of rapidly…[more]

Book:Nation (Pratchett)

Nation

Terry Pratchett

“The sea has taken everything.”

Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne—a girl from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave.

Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne’s sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives—all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down….

Internationally revered storyteller Terry Pratchett presents a breathtaking adventure of survival and discovery, and of the courage required to forge new beliefs.

Book:Revolver (Sedgwick)

Revolver

Marcus Sedgwick

1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help. Then comes a knock at the door. It’s a man, the flash of a revolver’s butt at his hip, and a mean glare in his eyes. Sig has never seen him before but Wolff claims to have unfinished business with his father. As Sig gradually learns the awful truth about Wolff’s connection to his father, Sig finds his thoughts drawn to a certain box hidden on a shelf in the storeroom, in which lies his father’s prized possession—a revolver. When Anna returns alone, and Wolff begins to close in, Sigs choice is pulled into sharp focus. Should he use the gun, or not?

Book:Rowan the Strange

Rowan the Strange

Julie Hearn

A powerful and compelling story of life in a mental asylum at the start of the Second World War.

Had Rowan been invited to predict how the rest of that day would go his list would have gone something like this:
1. Breakfast
2. A nice long talk with the doctors
3. Lunch
4. A rest, or a walk in the fresh air
5. Another talk with the doctors…[more]
Book:The Silver Blade

The Silver Blade: Book 2 of French Revolution

Sally Gardner

A stirring tale of magic and revolution- fans of The Red Necklace won’t want to miss it.

The year is 1794. With his beloved Sido safely in England and the Reign of Terror at its height, mysterious Yann returns to revolutionary France to smuggle out aristocratic refugees who will otherwise face the guillotine. But while the two are apart, Yann’s Gypsy origins prejudice Sido’s guardian against their marriage, thwarting their longed-for reunion. When Sido is kidnapped under strange circumstances, however, Yann must use all his strength and courage to outwit the evil Count Kalliovski, rescue Sido, and help save all of France.

As she did in The Red Necklace and the award-winning I, Coriander, Sally Gardner spins an epic tale that combines a vivid sense of history, characters full of Dickensian drama and fascination, and a sizzling adventure with touches of magic and romance.

Book:Solace of the Road

Solace of the Road

Siobhan Dowd

Holly’s story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her.

Memories of mum are the only thing that make Holly Hogan happy. She hates her foster family with their too-nice ways and their false sympathy. And she hates her life, her stupid school, and the way everyone is always on at her. Then she finds the wig, and everything changes. Wearing the long, flowing blond locks she feels transformed. She’s not Holly anymore, she’s Solace: the girl with the slinkster walk and the supersharp talk. She’s older, more confident—the kind of girl who can walk right out of her humdrum life, hitch to Ireland, and find her mum. The kind of girl who can face the world head-on.

So begins a bittersweet and sometimes hilarious journey as Solace swaggers and Holly tiptoes across England and through memory, discovering her true self and unlocking the secrets of her past.

Book:Then (Gleitzman)

Then

Morris Gleitzman

I had a plan for me and Zelda.
Pretend to be someone else.
Find new parents.
Be safe forever.

Then the Nazis came.

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