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Costa shortlist announced

27th Nov 18

The shortlists for the 2018 Costa Book Awards have been announced. The Costa Children's Book Awards shortlist includes novels by David Almond, Candy Gourlay, Matt Killeen and Hilary McKay.

As well as the Costa Children's Book Award shortlist, the awards include the Costa First Novel, the Costa Novel, the Costa Biography and the Costa Poetry awards. Details of each shortlist can be found via the link, below.

One of the five winners of each category will be chosen as Book of the Year, with the winner announced at an awards ceremony in London in January.

Here is the Cost Children's Book Awards Shortlist:

The Colour of the Sun
by David Almond (Hodder Children's Books)

One hot summer morning, Davie steps boldly out of his front door. The world he enters is very familiar - the little Tyneside town that has always been his home - but as the day passes, it becomes ever more dramatic and
strange. A boy has been killed, and Davie thinks he might know who is responsible. He turns away from the
gossip and excitement and sets off roaming towards the sunlit hills above the town. As the day goes on, the real and the imaginary start to merge, and Davie knows that neither he nor his world will ever be the same again.

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays.

The judges commented: 'One of the most beautiful, transcendent books in the competition.'

Bone Talk
by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling Books)

More than a hundred years ago, a boy named Samkad thinks he knows everything about the world. He knows the mountains he lives in. He knows his people. He knows his blood enemy, the Mangili. And he wants to become a man, to be given his own shield, spear and axe to fight with. His best friend, Luki, wants all the same things - except she is a girl, and no girl has ever become a warrior. But everything changes when a new boy arrives in the village. He calls himself Samkad's brother, yet he knows nothing of the ways of the mountain. And he brings news of a people called 'Americans', who are bringing war and destruction right to his home...

Candy Gourlay is of Filipino heritage, and began her career as a journalist for the opposition press during the People Power Revolution before becoming an author. Her debut novel Tall Story won the Crystal Kite Award in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Prize, the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Branford Boase.

The judges commented: 'A powerful, complex and fascinating coming-of-age novel.'

Orphan Monster Spy
by Matt Killeen (Usborne)

Sarah has played many roles: dutiful daughter, talented gymnast, persecuted Jew, lost orphan. But now she faces her most challenging role of all; now she must become the very thing she hates. Aided by her British Handler, Sarah must infiltrate the Bund Deutscher Madel and win a place at Rothenstadt, a prestigious finishing school for the daughters of the Aryan master race in Nazi Germany. There she must befriend the daughter of a top nuclear scientist by becoming a monster like them. A monster who can destroy them all. The Nazis think she is just a little girl. But she is the weapon they never saw coming.

Matt Killeen was born in Birmingham in the 1970s. After careers in advertising as a copywriter and in music and sports journalism, he completed a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Orphan Monster Spy is his first novel and was inspired, in part, by the young female SOE agents of WW2.

The judges commented: 'A compelling, darkly thrilling debut - tense, cinematic and brilliant.'

The Skylarks’ War
by Hilary McKay (MacMillan Children's Books)

Clarry and her older brother Peter live for their summers in Cornwall, staying with their grandparents and running free with their charismatic cousin, Rupert. But normal life resumes each September - boarding school for Peter and Rupert, and a boring life for Clarry at home with her absent father, as the shadow of a terrible war looms ever closer. When Rupert goes off to fight at the front, Clarry feels their skylark summers are finally slipping away from them. Can their family survive this fearful war?

Hilary McKay won the Guardian Fiction Prize for her first novel, The Exiles. She then went on to win
The Smarties and the Whitbread (now the Costa) Award for The Exiles and Saffy's Angel.

The judges commenteds: 'Chime, resonance and sparkle - a truly great read.'

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