Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2009

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The 2009 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize was announced on 18 February. The judging panel had a hard time picking from the wonderful shortlist, but ultimately decided on The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison as the winner.

The winner

The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison


A dark dark novel in a world of mystery and fairies with attitude. Tanya is a thirteen year old girl with chestnut-coloured hair and dark, expressive eyes. She is naturally curious; in her younger years she could not resist the thrill of searching for the rumoured secret passages in her grandmother's house. But from a young age she knew there was something different about her: she was able to see things others were not. She could see the denizens of the fairy world, and they seemed to be everywhere. Full review...

The shortlisted nominees

Gnomes Are Forever (Oli and Skipjack's Tales of Trouble) by Ceci Jenkinson


The second book in the Tales of Trouble series lives up to the promise of the first and its anarchic humour is sure the appeal to boys in the seven to nine year old range. Recommended. Full review...

Zelah Green, Queen of Clean by Vanessa Curtis


Super and accessible story about self harm and coming to terms with grief. It's kindly and down to earth and the central character's voice is wonderfully authentic. Great stuff. Full review...

Changeling by Steve Feasey


A winning combination of junior horror and urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Darren Shan. It's pacy and direct and the central character is wolfishly attractive. Recommended. Full review...

The Mapmaker's Monsters: Beware the Buffalogre! by Rob Stevens


A very strong fantasy quest narrative engages our hero Hugo and some very odd animal characters in this distinctive and fun romp for the under-13s. Don't make the easy mistake of thinking this just some formulaic franchise entry. Full review...

How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant by Elen Caldecott


Nice, bright and subtle story about grief. There's a deal of life-affirming humour and it's simply told with a very attractive and individual central character. Full review...

The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen


Tomboy Eleanor is facing marriage - again - but she'd rather be jousting with her brother or trying to rescue her mother from the Lady Tower. Recommended historical fiction for the early teens. Full review...

Numbers by Rachel Ward