Book Reviews: Children's Authors Join the Shortlist; Jayne Howarth Celebrates the 20th Nestle Smarties Book Prize

The Birmingham Post (England), October 23, 2004 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews: Children's Authors Join the Shortlist; Jayne Howarth Celebrates the 20th Nestle Smarties Book Prize


Byline: Jayne Howarth

Nine children's books have been shortlisted for the 2004 Nestle Smarties Book Prize.

The books were selected by a panel of five judges, who are last year's winner Sally Gardner and journalists Libby Purves, Mark Lawson, Geraldine Brennan, chaired by Julia Eccleshare. 'In a strong set of entries, these books stood out for the sheer quality and originality of their story-telling,' said Julia.

'This year's list is a healthy mix of new voices and well-established authors including past Nestle Smarties winners Geraldine McCaughrean and Eva Ibbotson. 'The judges were particularly impressed by the authors' confidence in experimenting with new ideas, styles and forms of story-telling. Without a doubt, this shortlist shows the high quality of contemporary writing for children today,' she added.

The shortlist now goes to the toughest critics of all, the Nestle Smarties children's judging panel. Schools around the UK will take part in the judging process to decide the winners, who will be announced on Wednesday, December 8, at a ceremony at the British Library.

This is the 20th anniversary of the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, which celebrates the very best inchildren's literature. An estimated half a million schoolchildren have been involved in choosing more than 100 books which have been awarded prizes in one of the UK's longest-running children's book awards.

The first winner was Jill Paton Walsh for Gaffer Samson's Luck in 1985 and all three children's laureates - Anne Fine, Michael Morpugo and Quentin Blake - are past Nestle Smarties winners. …

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