Waterstones Children's Book Prize: Teen

So for the past couple of weeks my Friday Reads posts have been dedicated to looking at the Waterstones Children's Book Prize shortlist. Finally we are onto the teen category, normally aimed at children 12/13+. But don't let that fool you a lot of these would be great adult reads too!


If you are a fan of Mark Haddon's "Curious Incident..." book then this is one for you. A homeless man is found dead and no one, not even the police want to find out who did it or what happened. Was it an accident or something far more serious. That's why Keiran decides to find out what happened, after all secrets can't stay secret forever. This is a lovely tale about a boy growing up and finding his place in the world. It looks at topics such as bullying and compassion.

Dead Ends

The story of Dane and Billy. One is a notorious bully and the other has Downs Syndrome. What starts as a forced connection turns into a great story of boys trying to understand their own family dynamics whilst forging an unexpected friendship. It was a great insight into the mentality of a bully and a victim. Except you don't really know who's who. I really enjoyed this book, Erin has a distinct style of writing that means I can devour books pretty fast!

The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender

Magic runs through Ava's family, so when she is born with soft feather wings her family want to keep her safe. Except Ava is just like any normal girl and wants to venture out and see the world. But how will the other people see her? This book is a great blend of magic, mythology and escapism with some beautifully written text. It doesn't seem like your typical YA book but one that definitely should be read.

The Apple Tart Of Hope

This is one that I have already reviewed (see Here) but to give it another synopsis. Oscar is gone, presumed dead, but his brother and best friend think otherwise. It's a tale of two friends trying to find out what's happened, understand mental health and grieving. There is a real evil character running through it, but you always remember that an apple pie can make things better, even just for a moment.

Half Bad

A council of white witches has Nathan under lock and key, they are scared of him as his father is the darkest black witch there is. Nathan must escape before his 17th birthday otherwise he will die, there is a gift he must receive before then. A wonderful spin on the idea of witches that is really refreshing to read. I've already read Half Wild (the sequel) and that is fantastic!

Only Ever Yours

Set in a dystopian world where beauty is all that matters, you meet Freida and Isabel, two girls forged together through their impending fate. Will they end up as wives for the elite males, or living life as a concubine. A dark, intense story that will stay with you forever. Looking at female objectification, social media and the challenges of living up to the media expectations. Think The Handmaids Tale meets Mean Girls. You don't want to miss reading this.

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