Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009

Latest update 'The Booktrust Teenage Prize is no longer running'

Established in 2003, the Booktrust Teenage Prize recognised the best in contemporary writing for teenagers. Unique in its involvement of teenagers in the judging process, giving four winners of a short story competition the opportunity to debate and vote on the shortlisted books with the adult judging panel, the Prize garnered a reputation for earmarking very special writers often early in their career, including Mark Haddon, Patrick Ness, Marcus Sedgwick and Anthony Macgowan. The Booktrust Teenage Prize was last awarded in 2010 and is no longer running.

  • Winner

    The Graveyard Book

    Neil Gaiman
    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Bloomsbury

    After his family are killed, Bod is brought up in a graveyard by ghosts.

Neil Gaiman, commonly known as the 'rock star' of the literary world, is revealed as the winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009.

His book The Graveyard Book saw off competition from five other authors including Patrick Ness who was nominated for a second year. Ness won the prize last year with The Knife of Never Letting Go.

The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody 'Bod' Owens, a child abandoned in a graveyard after the vicious murder of his parents and sister by The Man Jack. Raised and educated by the ghosts that live there, Bod encounters terrible and unexpected menaces in the horror of the pit of the Sleer and the city of Ghouls. It is in the land of the living that the real danger lies as The Man Jack is determined to find Bod and finish him off.

Neil Gaiman is listed as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. He is the creator of the iconic DC comic series Sandman, the only comic to ever make the New York Times Bestseller list.

His books have been adapted for a number of successful films, most recently the animated adventure Coraline. His screenplay Beowulf starred Angelina Jolie and Ray Winstone, and his book Stardust was adapted for a film starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.

In his acceptance speech, Neil paid credit to the authors that had inspired him:

Sometimes when we look big, and seem to see further, it's because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. The field of children’s literature has seen many giants, and those of us who toil in the field make our contributions using what we've learned from those who came first.

'I'm proud of The Graveyard Book. But I know I got to stand on the shoulders of giants in order to write it. There were two writers of children's fiction who influenced The Graveyard Book. Foremost, obviously, Rudyard Kipling, and his short story collection The Jungle Book; less obviously Pamela P.L Travers, and her Mary Poppins stories. And everyone else: the writers I learned from as a young reader, and the writers I've learned from as a writer: a host of other craftsmen and women I learned, or borrowed, or stole from, to build The Graveyard Book.

Shortlist

  • Ausländer

    Paul Dowswell
    Bloomsbury
  • The Graveyard Book

    Neil Gaiman
    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Bloomsbury
  • Ostrich Boys

    Keith Gray
    Definitions
  • The Ant Colony

    Jenny Valentine
    HarperCollins Children's Books

Longlist

  • Solitaire

    Bernard Ashley
    Usborne
  • Bloodchild

    Tim Bowler
    Oxford University Press
  • Ausländer

    Paul Dowswell
    Bloomsbury
  • The Graveyard Book

    Neil Gaiman
    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Bloomsbury
  • Ostrich Boys

    Keith Gray
    Definitions
  • Three Ways to Snog an Alien

    Graham Joyce
    Faber Children's Books
  • The Ask and the Answer

    Patrick Ness
    Walker Books
  • Exposure

    Mal Peet
    Walker Books
  • Tales of Terror from the Black Ship

    Chris Priestley
    Illustrator: David Roberts

    Bloomsbury
  • Furnace Lockdown

    Alexander Gordon Smith
    Faber Children's Books
  • The Ant Colony

    Jenny Valentine
    HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Numbers

    Rachel Ward
    Chicken House

For the second year running, we released a longlist to celebrate the thrilling best of the year's books for teenagers.

Judges

About the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009

Established in 2003, the Booktrust Teenage Prize is a national book prize that recognises and celebrates the best in contemporary writing for teenagers.

 

For more information about the prize contact Claire Shanahan.