Annal: 2013 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

Results of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in the year 2013.

Book:Liar & Spy (Rebecca Stead)

Liar & Spy

Rebecca Stead

Georges (the s is silent) has a lot going on. He’s having trouble with some boys at school, his dad lost his job and so his mum has started working all the time—and they had to sell their house and moveinto an apartment.But moving into the apartment block does bring one good thing—Safer, an unusual boy who lives on the top floor. He runs a spy club, and is determined to teach Georges everything he knows. Their current case is to spy on the mysterious Mr X in the apartment above Georges.But as Georges and Safer go deeper into their Mr X plan, the line between games, lies, and reality begin to blur.

Book:The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas

The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas

David Almond, Oliver Jeffers

A boy escapes home to seek his own way in the world in a whimsical new outing by the award-winning David Almond, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

Stanley Potts’s uncle Ernie has developed an over-the-top fascination with canning fish in the house, and life at 69 Fish Quay Lane has turned barmy. But there’s darkness in the madness, and when Uncle Ernie’s obsession takes an unexpectedly cruel turn, Stan has no choice but to leave. As he journeys away from the life he’s always known, he mingles with a carnival full of eccentric characters and meets the legendary Pancho Pirelli, the man who swims in a tank full of perilous piranhas. Will Stan be bold enough to dive in the churning waters himself and choose his own destiny?

Book:The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

John Green

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Book:Rooftoppers

Rooftoppers

Katherine Rundell

Embrace possibility in this luminous novel about a girl in search of her past who discovers a secret rooftop world in Paris.

Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck that left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive—but “almost impossible” means “still possible.” And you should never ignore a possible.

So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian, threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has— the address of the cello maker. …[more]

Book:After Tomorrow (Gillian Cross)

After Tomorrow

Gillian Cross

What if you woke up tomorrow and everything had changed? Money is worthless. Your friends are gone. Armed robbers roam the streets. No one is safe. For Matt and his little brother, Taco, that nightmare is a reality. Their only hope of survival is to escape through the Channel Tunnel. But danger waits on the other side…Stay or go. What would you do?

Book:Maggot Moon

Maggot Moon

Sally Gardner, Julian Crouch

In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing.

What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell—who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright—sees things differently than the rest of the “train-track thinkers.” So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big…

One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting.

Book:The Wall (William Sutcliffe)

The Wall

William Sutcliffe

Joshua is thirteen. He lives with his mother and stepfather in Amarias, an isolated town on top of a hill, where all the houses are brand new. At the edge of Amarias is a high wall, guarded by soldiers, which can only be crossed through a heavily fortified checkpoint. Joshua has been taught that beyond the concrete is a brutal and unforgiving enemy, and that The Wall is the only thing keeping him and his people safe.

One day, looking for a lost football, Joshua stumbles across a tunnel which leads towards this forbidden territory. He knows he won’t get another opportunity to see what is beyond The Wall until he’s old enough for military service, and the chance to crawl through and solve the mystery is too tempting to resist. He’s heard plenty of stories about the other side, but nothing has prepared him for what he finds… …[more]

Book:A World Between Us

A World Between Us

Lydia Syson

An epic historical romance set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War.

Spain, 1936. Felix, a spirited young nurse, has travelled to Spain to help the cause of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. But she is also following Nat, a passionate young man who has joined the International Brigades fighting Franco. And George—familiar George from home—is not far behind, in pursuit of Felix…

As Spain fights for its freedom against tyranny, Felix battles a conflict of the heart. With the civil war raging around her, Felix must make choices that will change her life forever.

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