Shadow panel pick six for Orange

<p>The six-strong shortlist chosen by the Orange Prize&#39;s Shadow Youth Panel has been revealed, with Gaynor Arnold&#39;s <em>Girl in a Blue Dress </em>up against Nobel Prize-winner <em>A Mercy</em> by Toni Morrison. But there were no titles mirroring those on the official shortlist, which was announced in April.<br /><br />The youth panel members were chosen via teenage website Spinebreakers.co.uk as part of a campaign to enagage younger readers with the prize. The judges comprise: Lily Dessau (16), Joe Kerridge (16), Clarissa Pabi (18), Rossana Duarte (18), Francis Gene-Rowe (18) and Max Elsworth (19).<br /><br />Kate Mosse said: &quot;The quality of the youth panel challenges the often negative news stories put out in the media about teenagers and reading.&rdquo; </p><p>She continued: &quot;If ever proof was needed that what matters is a passion for reading, not age or previous experience in this area, then this panel is it and we are very grateful to them all for giving up their time at such a busy point in the academic year.&quot;<br /><br />The panel&#39;s overall winner will be revealed prior to the Orange Prize for Fiction 2009 awards ceremony on 3rd June.</p><p><br /><strong>The shortlist:</strong><br /><br /><em>Girl in a Blue Dress</em> by Gaynor Arnold (Tindal Street Press)<br /><em><br />Blonde Roots</em> by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton)<br /><br /><em>The Lost Dog </em>by Michelle de Kretser (Chatto)</p><p><em>A Mercy </em>by Toni Morrison (Chatto)</p><p><em>The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight</em> by Gina Oscher (Portobello Books)<br /><br /><em>The Flying Troutmans </em>by Miriam Toews (Faber)</p>