Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2009

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We've been looking at the books longlisted for The Guardian's Children's Fiction Prize 2009 and we're impressed. Picking the shortlist - never mind the winner - is going to be no easy job.

Genesis by Bernard Beckett


An intriguingly styled sci-fi book of ideas, which takes old themes in a very modern approach and gets us hooked on wide-ranging concepts in a commendable way. Full review...

The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner


An absorbing historical thriller, dark-edged and awash with atmosphere and intrigue. A healthy dollop of magic makes everything all the more interesting. Though it is a sequel to The Red Necklace, it can be enjoyed to the fullest even without having read the first entry in the series. Highly recommended. Full review...

Nation by Terry Pratchett


It takes a good few pages to really get going, but Pratchett's first non-Discworld for a while is really rather good once it hits its stride. Lots of things to say about love, religion and power and lots of rooms for laughs too. Full review...

Then by Morris Gleitzman


A holocaust story of great pain combined with courage and hope. It's beautifully written and observed and is accessible on every emotional landscape. Full review...

Rowan the Strange by Julie Hearn


Diagnosed with schizophrenia, a young teenager is sent to a psychiatric hospital at the very start of World War II. This is quite possibly the most amazing work of children's fiction our reviewer has read in the last two years. Full review...


Exposure by Mal Peet


More wonderful stuff from Mal Peet in a genre-defying novel of great thematic depth and complexity. Hung around an updating of Othello, it talks about football, homelessness, politics and celebrity culture, and it grabs you from beginning to end. Full review...

Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd


Heartbreaking road trip novel with an unforgettable central character. Moments of intense pathos combine with humour to create a book of tremendous quality. Highly recommended. Full review...

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick


Densely written and chilling in every sense of the word, Revolver is a rare little gem for teens and adults alike. Full review...

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