Shortlist

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

    

I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie - confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne's past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the 'on' switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of second-hand book shops at a young age. She is the author of Beautiful Broken Things.

Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman

    

What happens when love brings loss? When love brings lies? When love brings hate?

Olivia and her twin brother Aidan are heading alone back to Earth following the virus that wiped out the rest of their crew, and their family, in its entirety.

Nathan is part of a community heading in the opposite direction. But on their journey, Nathan’s ship is attacked and most of the community killed. Only a few survive.

Their lives unexpectedly collided, Nathan and Olivia are instantly attracted to each other, deeply, head-over-heels – like nothing they have ever experienced.

But not everyone is pleased. Surrounded by rumours, deception, even murder, is it possible to live out a happy ever after...?

Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books and is acknowledged as one of today’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work, including the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award. Malorie has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. In 2005 she was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her contribution to children’s books, and in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature. She has been described by the Times as ‘a national treasure’. Malorie Blackman was the Children’s Laureate 2013–15.

The Graces by Laure Eve

    

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

Laure Eve is a French British hybrid who grew up in Cornwall and now lives in London where she works as a marketing executive in publishing, specifically on young adult fiction.

How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss

  

Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.

Hattie's summer isn't going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to 'find himself" and Kat is in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum's wedding. Oh, and she's also just discovered that she's pregnant with Reuben's baby… Then Gloria, Hattie's great-aunt who no one even knew existed, comes crashing into her life. Gloria's fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery - Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are erased from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future…

Clare Furniss grew up in London and moved to Birmingham in her teens. After brief stints as a waitress, a shop assistant and working at the Shakespeare Centre Library, she studied at Cambridge and Aberdeen. Clare went on to work in media relations and is now a full-time writer living in Bath.

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

    

June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one - and a secret one. Not even her father knows about it. She's trapped like a butterfly in a jar.

But then she meets Blister, a boy in the woods. And in him, June recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away. But freedom comes at a price...

Lisa Heathfield launched her writing career with Seed, her YA debut about a cult, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Prize. Before becoming a mum to her three sons, she was a secondary school English teacher and loved inspiring teenagers to read.

Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence

    

Not cool enough, not clever enough, not street enough for anyone to notice me. I was the kid people looked straight through.

NOT ANY MORE. NOT SINCE MR ORANGE.

Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise - he'll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it's been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They're after the mysterious Mr Orange, and they're going to use Marlon to get to him. Marlon's out of choices - can he become the person he never wanted to be, to protect everyone he loves?

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. She found her way to east London in the '90s and lives there with a partner, a teenager and a cat called Stormageddon. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading and her first novel, Orangeboy, has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie Award and shortlisted for the Leeds and North East Book Awards. She loves crime fiction, sci-fi and trying to grow things. Her ideal mixtape includes drum 'n' bass, Bruce Springsteen and Studio Ghibli soundtracks. Music can't help creeping into her books.

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin

   

'Your people drove them out of their homes. Thousands of years later they turn up again – and they’re gonna wipe you out.’

THREE MINUTES...

On her birthday, Nessa finds out the terrible truth about her home in Ireland – the truth that will change her future forever.

TWO MINUTES...

That she and her friends must train for the most dangerous three minutes of their lives:

THE CALL.

ONE MINUTE...

That any day now, without warning, they will each wake in a terrifying land, alone and hunted, with a one in ten chance of returning alive.

And it is Nessa, more than anyone, who is going to need every ounce of the guts, wit, and sheer spirit she was born with, if she – and the nation – are to survive.

Peadar O’Guilin is a powerful and original new voice in fiction, but has been writing curious stories for as long as he can remember. He attended the same boarding school as James Joyce in Co. Kildare and since then, he has written plays, published short stories, and performed as a stand-up comedian.

Language, landscape and the history of ancient Ireland are important themes for Peadar, and after brief forays living in Milan and Venice he returned to his native Ireland and now lives just outside Dublin.

The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon

    

A stunning, operatic and epic drama like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager - and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? But Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened.

Francesca Simon is the author of the Horrid Henry series, the first book of which was published in 1994. Francesca has written over 50 books for children of all ages. When she is not writing, Francesca is often encouraging and inspiring young writers and has judged many writing competitions for schools. She has also been a judge for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2009 she was awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.

Francesca is also a passionate ambassador for children’s literacy and access to literature. She is a trustee of the World Book Day charity, and has been actively involved with many other literacy charities and initiatives including Beanstalk, The Reading Agency, Booktrust’s Children’s Reading Fund and Storybook Dads. A Monstrous Child is her first YA novel.

Riverkeep by Martin Stewart

  

Fifteen-year-old Wulliam is dreading taking up his family's mantle of Riverkeep, tending the river and fishing corpses from its treacherous waters. But then everything changes. One night his father is possessed by a dark spirit, and Wull hears that a cure lurks deep within the great sea-beast known as the mormorach. He realizes he must go on an epic journey downriver to find it - or lose Pappa forever.

Martin Stewart has previously worked as a recycling technician, university lecturer, barman, golf caddy, and English teacher. Having written his first book on Post-Its as an eight year-old, it was his time back in the classroom that made him understand the unique joy of writing for younger readers. A native of Glasgow, where he still lives, he enjoys buying books to feed his to-be-read pile, and combining the city's urban splendour with walks on the beaches of Scotland's west coast. Martin's first novel, Riverkeep, was longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.

Crongton Knights by Alex Wheatle

    

Living on the South Crongton council estate has its worries - and life for McKay has been even tougher since his mum died.

His dad has been working all hours to keep the bailiffs from their door.

His brother is always out riding the streets at night, tempting trouble.

And now, having strayed off his turf on a 'heroic' (if misguided) mission to help out a girl, McKay finds himself facing a friend's crazy ex-boyfriend, some power-tripping hood-rats and a notoriously violent gangster with a vendetta which hits too close to home.

Poor McKay. He never asked for trouble... But during one madcap night of adventure and danger, he will find out who his true friends are and what it means to stick with your family.

Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents living in Brixton, Alex Wheatle spent most of his childhood in a Surrey children’s home. He returned to Brixton in 1977 where he founded the Crucial Rocker sound system and performed his own songs and lyrics under the name of Yardman Irie. He spent a short stint in prison following the Brixton uprising of 1981. Following his release from prison he continued to write poems and lyrics and became known as the Brixtonbard.

Alex's first novel was Brixton Rock, published in 1999. He was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to literature in 2008.