Category Archives: GCBA

Grampian Children’s Book Award

Grampian Children’s Book Award

An S2 class has been participating in the Grampian Children’s Book Award scheme; reading the shortlist voting for their favourite title and entering the review and poster competitions. The class attended the GCBA ceremony at Aberdeen University on the 10th May where they heard three of the shortlisted authors talk about their books. It was a very enjoyable afternoon made even better when we learnt that a Bridge of Don pupil had won first prize in the review competition.  Well done Lea!








James Clammer – “Thanks so much for inviting me. Great organisers, wonderful kids, fantastic day!”

Lisa Williamson – “Thanks for having us! It was a really fun day!”

Alan Gibbons- “It was great fun”


Grampian Children’s Book Award 2016 – shortlist announced!

Grampian Children’s Book Award 2016 – Shortlist

The votes are in and the following 6 books made it on to the shortlist.

Ainsworth, Eve 7 daysProduct Details
School should be a safe place for Jess, but at the moment it’s everything she dreads. Jess’s life is difficult enough without Kez picking on her. Kez’s life isn’t any sweeter. She has plenty of problems too but she finds comfort in knowing she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks… Told from the point of view of the bullied and the bully, this is a taut, powerful story of two girls locked in battle with each other and themselves, spiralling towards a shocking conclusion.

Bergin, Virginia The rainProduct Details
One minute sixteen-year-old Ruby Morris is having her first proper snog with Caspar McCloud in a hot tub, and the next she’s being bundled inside the house, dripping wet, cold and in her underwear. Not cool. As she and Caspar shiver in the kitchen, it starts to rain. They turn on the radio to hear panicked voices – ‘It’s in the rain . . . it’s in the rain . . . ‘ That was two weeks ago, and now Ruby is totally alone. People weren’t prepared for the rain, got caught out in it, didn’t realize that you couldn’t drink water from the taps either. Even a drip of rain would infect your blood, and eat you from the inside out. Ruby knows she has to get to London to find her dad, but she just doesn’t know where to start.

Dawson, James Under my skinProduct Details
Meet Molly Sue. Once she’s under your skin there’s no getting rid of her…Seventeen-year-old Sally Feathers is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally’s about as shy and retiring as they come – but all that’s about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour. Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back – hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams. But things quickly take a nightmareish turn.

Haig, Matt Echo BoyProduct Details
Audrey’s father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters. Daniel is an echo – but he’s not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he’s determined to save her.

MacPhail, Cathy Devil you knowProduct Details
Forced to move away from his dad in Aberdeen to a run-down Glasgow council estate, Logan thinks he’s pretty lucky to have made any friends — let alone Baz and the boys. Baz might have a bit of reputation, be a bit mouthy, but he’s the kind of friend who’ll stick up for you; who’ll make life interesting — or should that be dangerous? When Logan, Baz and the boys get caught up a local turf war Baz is the first to fight back. But the aftermath leads Logan and his friends deeper into a world of real-life gangs, threats and lethal revenge. How far will Baz go, and will Logan follow him?

Slater, Kim SmartProduct Details
There’s been a murder, but the police don’t care. It was only a homeless old man after all. Kieran cares. He’s made a promise, and when you say something out loud, that means you’re going to do it, for real. He’s going to find out what really happened. To Colin. And to his grandma, who just stopped coming round one day. It’s a good job Kieran’s a master of observation, and knows all the detective tricks of the trade. But being a detective is difficult when you’re Kieran Woods. When you’re amazing at drawing but terrible at fitting in. And when there are dangerous secrets everywhere, not just outside, but under your own roof.


For more information  check out the GCBA website or twitter by clicking on these links

Grampian Children’s Book Award 2015 – Longlist announced

17 titles have made it on the longlist this year. Which ones will make your shortlist?

Ashley, Bernard           Shadow of the Zeppelin

Across  Europe, the horror of war is destroying lives and separating families.

Yield or fight? When tragedy strikes Freddie’s family, he and his soldier brother must go on the run, battling for their survival.

Jump or burn? Without a parachute, that’s the choice Ernst knows he will face if his Zeppelin is shot down.

Bravery takes different forms. How far would you go to stand up for what’s right?

Brooks, Kevin        The Ultimate Truth

When Travis Delaney’s parents die in a car crash, Travis is devastated. In a bid to pull himself out of his grief, he starts to look into the last case they were investigating at the private investigation agency they ran. What starts as a minor distraction soon becomes a sinister, unbelievable mystery – and Travis is determined to solve it. Why were his parents looking for a missing boy when the boy’s family says he isn’t missing? Where is the boy himself? And why would a man who is in surveillance photos taken by Travis’s parents turn up at their funeral? As Travis searches for answers, he starts to have the chilling realization that the question he should be asking is the one he most wants to avoid: Was the accident that killed his parents really what it seemed?

Burton, Catherine        I Predict a Riot

Welcome to Coronation Road – a kaleidoscope of clashing cultures and parallel lives. There’s Maggie and her politician mum in their big house. There’s Tokes and his mum in a tiny bedsit, running from trouble. And there’s the ruthless Starfish gang, breeding fear through the neighbourhood. Amateur film-maker Maggie prefers to watch life through the lens of her camera. In Tokes, she finds a great subject for her new film. And when violence erupts, led by the Starfish gang, Maggie has the perfect backdrop. But as the world explodes around her, Maggie can’t hide behind the lens anymore . . .

Cousins, Dave         Charlie Merrick

‘I play for North Star Galaxy and this is the story of our first season. I don’t know how it’s going to end – but I hope it will be at the World Cup Finals this summer! Charlie loves football. He watches it, memorizes facts about it, and he’s even the captain of the local youth team, North Star Galaxy. When Charlie discovers that youth teams are being selected to play in exhibition matches at the World Cup tournament later that year he decides to enter North Star. There’s one problem. He’s got to prove that North Star deserve a place at the tournament and that’s not easy when your team are kind of rubbish at football!

David, Keren        Salvage

Before she was adopted by a loving family and raised in a leafy Home Counties town, Cass Montgomery was Cass Jones. Her memories of her birth family disappeared with her name. But when her adopted family starts to break down, a way out comes in the form of a message from her lost brother, Aidan. Having Aidan back in her life is both everything she needs and nothing she expected. Who is this boy who calls himself her brother? And why is he so haunted?

Dawson, James        Say Her Name

Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of ‘Bloody Mary’: say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear…But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost.

Watch a review by clicking on Say her name

Dickinson, Matt        The Everest Files

In the deepest Himalaya a story is spreading like wildfire. It is the story of an Everest expedition unlike any other that ended in lies, betrayal, mysterious disappearances – and death. At the heart of it all – rumours of dark forces at play. This is the mystery that eighteen-year-old Ryan Hart sets out to solve. Ryan is on a gap year adventure, working for a medical charity in Nepal and in his own words he is “up for anything”.  When a local girl begs him to investigate why her sixteen-year-old friend Kami never came back from Everest, Ryan cannot resist the challenge. A solo journey takes Ryan deep into the mountains where his detective work finally pays off. What emerges is a shocking story of fatal human errors, a twisting tale in which life and death decisions are distorted by ambition, ego and greed.

Don, Lari        Mind Blind

14-year-old Ciaran Bane is a highly trained fighter and gifted cat burglar with a special talent: he knows what his victim is thinking. He works in a mafia-style family of gangsters, thieves and thugs who share his mind-reading talent. But Ciaran’s skill comes with a crippling side effect, one that makes him disposable – even to his own family. When he forms an unlikely partnership with Lucy, who’s looking for her lost sister, their adventure takes them across London and up to Edinburgh in a breathless game of hide and seek.

Earle, Phil        The Bubble Wrap Boy

All my life I’ve been tiny Charlie from the Chinese Chippie, whose only friend is Sinus, the kid who stares at walls. But I believe that everyone’s good at something. I’ve just got to work out what my something is……Charlie’s found his secret talent: skateboarding. It’s his one-way ticket to popularity. All he’s got to do is practice, and nothing’s going to stop him – not his clumsiness, not his overprotective mum, nothing. Except Charlie isn’t the only one in his family hiding a massive secret, and his next discovery will change everything. How do you stay on the board when your world is turned upside down?

Fine, Anne        Blood Family

Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbour raises the alarm, he is seven. Sent to live with a kindly foster family, and then adopted, Edward struggles to adapt to normal life. Even as a teenager it’s still clear to his new family and schoolmates there’s something odd about him. Then one fateful day, Edward catches a glimpse of himself in a photograph. What he sees shocks him to the core – a vision of Harris. Was this monster his father all along? Every step of progress Edward has made swiftly begins to unravel, and he has to decide whether his blood will determine his future.

Harrison, Michelle        One Wish

Having the ability to see fairies means that Tanya Fairchild’s life has never been easy. After all, real fairies are nothing like the ones in books; ones that grant wishes or leave money for teeth. Real fairies don’t like to be talked about, and they cast spells if Tanya steps out of line. Of course, it would help if Tanya knew someone – anyone – else who could see them, too …..When Tanya meets Ratty, she finds not only that can he see fairies, but that he has a fairy friend, Turpin. When Ratty goes missing, Tanya discovers her new friend has another extraordinary ability; an ability that has the potential to destroy them both …

Hooper, Mary        Poppy

It is December 1914. Poppy young, beautiful and clever is working as a parlourmaid in the de Vere family’s country house. Society, it seems, has already carved out her destiny. But Poppy’s life is about to be thrown dramatically off course. The first reason is love – with someone forbidden, who could never, ever marry a girl like her. The second reason is war. As the lists of the dead and wounded grow longer, Poppy must do whatever she can to help the injured soldiers, knowing all the while that her own soldier may never return home . . .

Hoyle, Tom       Thirteen

Born at midnight in London, on the stroke of the new millennium, Adam is the target of a cult that believes boys born on this date must die before the end of their thirteenth year. Twelve boys have been killed so far. Coron, the crazy cult leader, will stop at nothing to bring in his new kingdom. And now he is planning a bombing spectacular across London to celebrate the sacrifice of his final victim: Adam.

McFall, Claire        Bombmaker

The English government have closed the borders with their Celtic neighbours. Any Celt found in England is branded with a tattoo, found twice they are executed. Scottish Lizzie is the ‘property’ of psychopathic London gang boss Alexander. Can Lizzie escape Alexander’s deadly grip and flee northwards? And at what price her betrayal?

Palmer, Tom         Over the Line

Powerful historical novel about one footballer’s experience in World War I, based on the little-known history of the Flanders Cup. It’s 1914 and Jack is making his debut as a pro footballer. But his first match is marred by a demonstration demanding that the teams sign up to do their duty in France. Word of the Footballer’s Battalion and a cup in Flanders provides a glimmer of hope that Jack can keep his dream of playing for England alive. But as the war drags on, Jack is thrown into a nightmare world he will be lucky to survive.

Click here for Tom Palmer reading the first chapter of Over the Line

Sutcliffe, William        The Wall

Joshua is a troubled boy who lives with his mother and stepfather in a divided city, where a wall and soldiers separate two communities, and the rubble-strewn residue of their broken world gives hints of the old life before the wall was built. Joshua discovers a manhole, which leads to a tunnel, which leads in pitch darkness under the wall and across to the other side. Forbidden territory, dangerous territory, violent territory, which a boy like him – visibly different – shouldn’t stray into. An act of kindness from a girl saves his life, but leads to a brutal act of cruelty and a terrible debt he’s determined to repay. And no one, no one must find out that he’s been there – or the consequences will be unbearable.

Williamson, Lara        A Boy Called Hope

I’m Dan Hope and deep inside my head I keep a list of things I want to come true. For example, I want my sister, Ninja Grace, to go to university at the North Pole and only come back once a year. I want to help Sherlock Holmes solve his most daring mystery yet. And if it could be a zombie mystery, all the more exciting. I want to be the first eleven-year-old to land on the moon. I want my dog to stop eating the planets and throwing them up on the carpet. And finally, the biggest dream of all, I want my dad to love me.

Grampian Children’s Book Award 2013 – Shortlist Announced

The votes are in! Pupils  throughout Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray have made their choices and the shortlist is as follows:

GCBA 2013 Shortlist

15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison

Socks are Not Enough by Mark Lowery

Out of the Depths by Cathy MacPhail

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Grampian Children’s Book Award 2013


Here at last are the longlisted titles for the Grampian Children’s Book Award 2013!  Pupils from across the region are voting for their favourites and the shortlist will be announced in early November.  All the titles are available in the Library so come on, get reading!

Becker, Tom    TheTraitors

Adam has betrayed his best friend. His punishment is 274 years in the Dial, a prison in a no-time world, where teenage traitors are forced to atone for their crime. Legend has it that only one person has ever escaped. Nobody knows if he made it back to the real world, but he left behind a ray of hope. Soon Adam is caught up in his own deadly plan to escape. But who can he trust in a world full of traitors…?

 Campbell, Victoria    Viking Gold

Sixteen-year old Redknee never knew his father. Now his uncle is Jarl and wants Redknee to be a great Viking warrior. But Redknee is clumsy, and more interested in tracking the wild deer of the forest. When the young Viking stumbles upon a war-party making for his home, he must grow up quickly; the brutal Ragnar burns the village, taking for spoils only a mysterious book. But why would Ragnar kill so many for a mere book? Will its talk of faraway lands lead Redknee astray or does the book hold the key to his past…and his future?

  Castor, H M    V111

Think you know Henry V111? Think again. Hal is a boy of extraordinary talent, astonishing warrior skills and a fierce sense of honour and virtue. He believes he is destined for greatness. But haunted by the ghosts of his family’s violent past he embarks on a journey that will lead him to absolute power and bring him face to face with his demons. 

  Cousins, Dave    15 Days Without a Head

Fifteen-year-old Laurence Roach just wants a normal life, but it’s not easy when your mum is a depressed alcoholic, and your six-year-old brother thinks he’s a dog. When Mum fails to come home one night, Laurence tells nobody, terrified he and his brother will be taken into care if anyone finds out. Instead, he attempts to keep up the pretence that Mum is still around: dressing up in her clothes to trick the neighbours and spinning an increasingly complicated tangle of lies.

 Hutchison, Barry    The 13th Horseman

Drake is surprised to find three Horsemen of the Apocalypse playing snakes and ladders in his garden shed. Even more surprisingly they’re missing a Horseman and think Drake is the boy for the job. Drake is reluctant to join them, but does being in charge of Armageddon have to spell the end of the world?

Lewis, Gill    Sky Hawk

Something lives deep within the forest…something that has not been seen on Callum’s farm for over a hundred years. Callum and Iona make a promise to keep their amazing discovery secret, but can they keep it safe from harm? The pact they make will change lives forever

 Lowery, Mark    Socks Are Not enough

Mike Swarbrick’s life couldn’t get any worse. His best friend gets him embroiled in a scandal involving the girls’ changing rooms, his idiot of an older brother is snogging the girl of his dreams and he’s just come home early from school to discover his parents are secret nudists . . . but they’re ready to go public! A chain of events beyond his control are set to RUIN HIS LIFE. 

MacPhail, Cathy    Out of the Depths

Tyler Lawless has an unusual and sometimes scary gift. She is able to see dead people. When Tyler moves to a new school she is hoping to make a fresh start. But that isn’t easy when a boy who is supposed to be dead appears in your classroom, and statues in the school seem to come alive and point towards the place where the dead boy, Ben Kincaid, was murdered. Will Tyler be able to assist Ben with his pleas for help, or will she be dismissed as an attention-seeking teller of tall tales?

 McKenzie, Sophie    Falling Fast

This is life, not a rehearsal…When River auditions for a part in an inter-school performance of Romeo and Juliet, she finds herself smitten by Flynn, the boy playing Romeo. River believes in romantic love, and she can’t wait to experience it. But Flynn comes from a damaged family – is he even capable of giving River what she wants? The path of true love never did run smooth…

 Ness, Patrick    A Monster Calls

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

 Nicholls, Sally    All Fall Down

It’s 1349 and the biggest catastrophe in historical memory – the Black Death – is about to hit fourteen-year-old Isabel’s village. There is nowhere to run from a disease that has killed half of Europe. Isabel will need all of her courage if she is to survive and cope with a world that has been changed forever.

 Pitcher, Annabel    My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad and his teenage sister, Jasmine for a ‘Fresh New Start’. Five years ago his sister’s twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. Everyone kept saying it would get better with time but its worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum’s gone and Jamie’s left with questions that he must answer for himself as he tries to make sense of the loss that tore his family apart.

 Smith, Alexander Gordon   The Fury

Cal, Brick and Daisy are three ordinary teenagers with one terrifying thing in common: today without warning the world will turn against them. Every person they meet will become a bloodthirsty, mindless savage, hell-bent on killing them.  They do not know why but must discover the truth before it destroys them all.

 Wein, Elizabeth    Code Name Verity

Only in wartime could an ordinary lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat. They become firm friends, one a pilot, the other a Special Operations Executive. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and “Verity” is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they’ve ever believed in is put to the test…

Grampian Children’s Book Award 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Grampian Children’s Book Award has been


GCBA also has its own blog which can be found at

and you can follow GCBA on Twitter: @GrampBookAward

The Shortlist
Agent 21 – Chris Ryan




Annexed – Sharon Dogar

Boys Don’t Cry – Malorie Blackman

Quarry – Ally Kennen




Red Fever – Caroline Clough

GCBA Winners 2011

Quote from Charlie Higson

it's fantastic to win this award as it is voted for, not by stuffy old
adults who like to give awards to books they think that children ought
to read, but by the kids themselves, who vote for what they actually
like to read. So this is a great honour - Grampian kids obviously have
very good taste. And congratulations to Catherine McPhail, murder,
mayhem and kids in big trouble are obviously very popular at the moment.