Newbery-winning author Rebecca Stead’s Liar & Spy (Random, 2012) has won this year’s Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, a literary award that annually recognizes one children’s fiction book written for children or young adults that is published in the United Kingdom. Stead is the first American author to earn this distinction, only recently available to US writers since 2012.
Bullied at school, reeling from changes in his family, and adjusting to a new apartment, seventh-grader Georges hopes that he’s found a kindred spirit in Safer, a 12-year-old loner who wants his help spying on a suspicious neighbor. Then their efforts become increasingly daring, and Georges feels pushed to the boundaries of friendship. Filled with memorable characters, authentic humor and heartache, and thought-provoking dilemmas.
The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, established by The Guardian newspaper in 1965, also includes £1,500 prize for the winning author.
The panel of judges that selected Stead’s middle grade novel was chaired by Julia Eccleshare, Guardian children’s books editor. The other judges included past winners Andy Mulligan, Jason Wallace, and Hilary McKay. They also received 200-word reviews of all eight of the longlisted titles from kid critics all over the UK.
The other titles on the 2013 Guardian children’s fiction long list are:
The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond
After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross
Oxford University Press, 2013 (UK only)
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
S & S, 2013
The Wall by William Sutcliffe
A World Between Us by Lydia Syson
Hot Key Books, 2012 (only UK)