Gone are the days when vampire romance stories dominated the bestsellers list among teenagers – now it seems more gritty reads have taken favour as is evident by the shortlist for the Waterstone’s children’s book prize.
Here we take a look at what’s hot – and let you know how you can pick up some of these brilliant books at bargain prices.
And the nominees are…
For the first time ever, the Waterstone’s children’s book prize has been divided into three age categories – picture books; five-12; and teenagers. Perhaps it is the young adults section that is particularly eye-catching as it features titles that cover everything from hard-hitting issues such as date rape, to terrorism and refugees.
For example, there is Annabel Pitcher’s debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, which focuses on 10-year-old Jamie Matthews and his family attempting to make a new start following a family tragedy. Alternatively, there’s Phil Earle’s Being Billy, which looks at the life of Bill Finn – who has spent eight years living in a care home after being given up by his mother; Jenny Downham’s You Against Me, which looks at teenage love across a class divide; and Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, which travels back to 1941 to examine the life of a 15-year-old girl who was deported to Siberia by the Soviet secret police.
Meanwhile for five- to 12-year-olds, highlights include The Windvale Sprites, from Mackenzie Crook, who made his name in The Office. Liz Pichon offers the diary-based The Brilliant World of Tom Gates; while also well regarded and among the frontrunners are: Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis; Muncle Trogg by Janet Foxley; Restart Button by Alan Silberberg; and Claude in the City by Alex T Smith.
Finally, in the picture book category, it seems animals take centre stage as there are tales of a bear looking for his hat; the adventures of a lost little owl; a wolf with identity issues; and even a bird-hippo fancy dress party.
Prize-winners for less
While the prize-winners won’t be announced until March 28, you can pick up some of the nominees now – that way you can forge your own opinion on who should be the winners in each category. However, before doing so, you should definitely take advantage of the Waterstone’s voucher code available now at Moneysaver.ie.
The voucher code, which is valid until March 31, offers an extra 10 per cent off when you spend £20 or more on books at Waterstone’s. Of course you’re not restricted to children’s books – it doesn’t matter whether you’re buying something to do with history, travel, or whatever your interest may be – the voucher still applies. So what are you waiting for?