"I mean, I'm a sports fan, but there's too much quidditch in this." Thus the world's favourite doorstopper slunk from the Maybe pile to the No pile at the Carnegie Medal shortlisting session. Mega-sales and massive child appeal cut no ice with the panel of children's librarians. Even the diehard Potter fans agreed "we have to somehow separate this book from the hype and read it as we would a book by an unknown author". Others tackling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire flagged before feast day at Hogwarts: "It seemed like a very, very long school year."
The Carnegie Medal and the Library Association's accompanying award for excellence in illustration, the Kate Greenaway Medal, will be awarded in July.
Carnegie shortlist David Almond for Heaven Eyes (Hodder Children's Books). An atmospheric novel for upper primary readers and above in which three runaways from a children's home meet a mysterious waif in a Tyneside urban wasteland.
Melvin Burgess for The Ghost Behind the Wall (Andersen Press). A tightly written, original ghost story.
Sharon Creech for The Wanderer (Macmillan). "Exceptional quality of writing" in this tale of dreamy Sophie's self-discovery on a Transatlantic crossing.
Jamila Gavin for Coram Boy. A dark secret at the centre of this historical novel for teenagers, already the Whitbread children's winner Ad le Geras for Troy (David Fickling BooksScholastic). "Superb storytelling" as gods and mortals meet in this tale of the Trojan wars.
Alan Gibbons for Shadow of the Minotaur (Orion Children's Books).More Greek myths and a virtual reality setting in the Blue Peter viewers' favourite.
Beverley Naidoo for The Other Side of Truth (Puffin): "An important book that captures how it feels to be a refugee on the streets of London."
Philip Pullman for The Amber Spyglass (David Fickling Books Scholastic). The final part of Pullman's trilogy looks like the favourite so far.
Kate Greenaway shortlist Ron Brooks for The Fox (Franklin Watts). A mixed media and collage treatment in scorched-earth tones for an allegory set in the Australian outback.
Ruth Brown for Snail Trail (Andersen Press). Snail's-eye-level adventure for very young readers.
Anthony Browne for Willy's Pictures (Walker Books). Browne's chimp subversively re-interprets Botticelli, Breughel and the rest.
Lauren Child for Beware of the Storybook Wolves and I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato (Orchard Books). A new talent with two titles on the list. "She can change the character of a face with a line or a smudge".
Ted Dewan for Crispin: The Pig Who Had it All (Doubleday). Pace, action and a sophisticated palette of wrapping-paper shades in a poor-little-rich-pig tale.
Jane Ray for Fairy Tales (Walker Books): Classic gold-embellished treatment for a millennial volume of classic stories.
More details on the shortlisted titles and TES hot tips at www.tes.co.uk. This year's awards shadowing scheme involves 800 young people's reading groups in schools and libraries. Details on www.la-hq.org.uk directorymedals_awards shadowshomehome.htm