Early years (0 - 7 years)
Winner: Little Lost Cowboy by Simon Puttock and Caroline Jayne Church
About the authors:
Simon Puttock was born in New Zealand and grew up in Trinidad, Kent and Wiltshire. He has worked in a bakery, as a DJ and for over 10 years as a children’s bookseller. He always wanted to be a writer and in 2004 he moved to Edinburgh to write full-time. He is the author of numerous picture books and is currently working on a story for 8-12 year olds.
Caroline Jayne Church is the creator of many books for young children, published throughout the UK and abroad. Describing herself as a ‘serious daydreamer’ at school, illustrating children’s books is the only thing she has ever wanted to do.
Reader’s verdict: "When we read Little Lost Cowboy to Primary 3 they loved it. They could not stop laughing. I thought they were going to explode. I think everyone who has young children should buy this brilliant book and read it to their younger ones because I’m sure it will be the best book they will have ever read or heard." (Charlie Duffy, aged 11, St Brigid’s Primary School, Glasgow)
Shortlist panel’s comments: "A fantastically heartwarming tale about a little lost coyote pup! Humorous and well-written with a host of other animals playing their support roles perfectly this picture book reads aloud brilliantly, especially with a cowboy accent!"
Younger readers (8 – 12 years)
Winner: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J K Rowling
About the author: J K Rowling started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King’s Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997 and became an all-time bestseller. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth book in the series.
Reader’s verdict: "J K Rowling is an exceptionally good author, but this is one of her best yet! ...I will definitely vote for it as it has me really gripped and passed the test with flying colours. Well done, J K Rowling! A real toe-curler!" (Margaret Ann MacLeod, aged 10, Western Isles Library, Isle of Lewis).
Shortlist panel’s comments: "A fantastically well-written and gripping read – the 6th Harry Potter book definitely lives up to expectations!"
Older readers (13 – 16 years)
Winner: Roxy’s Baby by Catherine MacPhail
About the author: Catherine MacPhail was born and brought up in Greenock in Scotland where she still lives. She started off writing short stories for magazines and radio, as well as two romantic novels. She never even considered writing for children until something happened to her daughter, Katie, which sparked off her first novel for teenagers, Run Zan Run. Roxy’s Baby is Cathy’s twentieth book.
Reader’s verdict: "When I began this book I didn’t put it down until the final word … I was exceptionally engrossed and captivated … I could feel my heart racing as I progressed nearer the end of the novel … Roxy’s Baby, a thriller I’m strongly passionate about." (Leah Aylwin, Bearsden Academy, East Dunbartonshire).
Shortlist panel’s comments: "A page-turning read which delves into a dark subject matter, dealt with with sensitivity and flair."