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Junior Book Awards Shortlist Announced

26 May 2023

The 2023 shortlists for the The Week Junior Book Award have been announced. The Week Junior Book Awards celebrates the brilliant world of children’s books and the talented people who create them. It honours the authors, illustrators and publishers who inspire children to read for pleasure. The emphasis is on original ideas, outstanding illustration and smart storytelling, as well as new and diverse talent. More information about Ulverscroft's shortlisted titles are below.

Children's Book Cover Of The Year
The Blackthorn Branch by Elen Caldecott
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in June 2022.
Cassie's older brother Byron has fallen in with the wrong crowd; boys who are wild, reckless, and not even human at all. They are 'tylwyth teg' - Fair Folk - who tempt humans down into the dark places of the world. And Byron is tempted. When he goes missing, Cassie and her cousin Sian follow his trail into Annwn, the underworld. Here they find that the tylwyth teg are restless - and angry. Their leader Gwenhidw wants to protect Annwn from the damage humans are doing to the world, and Byron is part of her plan. Can Cassie rescue him before it's too late?

Children's Breakthrough Book Of The Year
Mia And The Lightcasters by Janelle McCurdy
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in September 2022.
Nubis has been plunged into the Darkness by the shadowy Reaper King - a figure children know only through their nightmares. When his minions capture her parents and take over the city, then Mia, her friends and her little brother must travel across the Nightmare Plains to reach Stella, the City of Light. But getting there isn't going to be easy. Mia must learn to harness her umbra taming abilities if she stands any chance of confronting the king and rescuing her parents. If she can't, she'll lose her family - and her soul - to the Darkness forever . . .

Children's Older Fiction Book Of The Year
War Of The Wind by Victoria Williamson
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in October 2022.
On a remote Scottish island, Max loses his hearing in a boating accident. Struggling to make sense of his new life, and resenting being put into the 'special' class at school, he notices changes taking place after a new wind farm is constructed off the island's coast. People have become irritable and unpredictable, and acts of violence threaten to tear the community apart. For the turbines are being used to test out a new soundwave weapon. Unaffected due to his hearing loss, Max and his classmates must find a way to stop the out-of-control experiment before it has tragic consequences.

Children's Younger Fiction Book Of The Year
Major and Mynah by Karen Owen
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in June 2022.
Odd things are being stolen all over town - a bicycle, swimming trunks, the school's tractor mower. Nine-year-old Callie Major has other things to worry about: number one being her dreaded new hearing aids - or, as she prefers to call them, 'the Slugs'. But when she meets Bo, an abandoned Mynah bird, she discovers something amazing. Without her hearing aids, all the sounds Bo makes are merely chirping; when she's wearing them, though, she can hear him talk to her! Can she use her magical Slugs to help catch the thief and save the day?

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