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.


Review of

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

4star.jpg Science Fiction

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


Review of

The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner

5star.jpg Teens

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


Review of

Nation by Terry Pratchett

4.5star.jpg Fantasy

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


Review of

Then by Morris Gleitzman

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

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


Review of

Rowan the Strange by Julie Hearn

5star.jpg Teens

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



Review of

Exposure by Mal Peet

5star.jpg Teens

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


Review of

Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

5star.jpg Teens

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


Review of

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

5star.jpg Teens

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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