The novel, published by Heinemann, also reached the shortlist for the nine to 11-year-olds' category of last year's Smarties Book Prize.
The Beefeater Children's Novel Award (part of the Whitbread Literary Awards) has gone to The Wreck of the Zanzibar, Michael Morpurgo's tale of Scilly Isles smallholders' battle for survival, illustrated by Christian Birmingham. Part memoir and part adventure story, it charts young Laura's attempts to join the men-only repair crews scratching a living from the wrecks in a stormy 1907.
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