Grampian Childrenâ€™s Book Award 2014 Longlist
Stanley's dad hasn't been the same since his wife died and his eldest son went off to fight in the war. Now Stanley is either invisible to his dad or the object of one of his rages, and his only friend is his dad's prizewinning greyhound, Rocket. But one day Rocket escapes, and the result is a litter of non-thoroughbred puppies that Da says will all have to be drowned, even Stanley's favourite puppy, Solider. Stanley is so angry with his father that he runs away and enlists in the army to train as a messenger dog handler, and despite being far too young he's soon heading to France with a Great Dane called Bones by his side. As the fighting escalates and Stanley experiences the horrors of war, he comes to realise that the loyalty of his dog is the one thing he can rely on.
While the others sleep
When Alfie Mandeville's insomnia threatens to embarrass his wealthy family he is sent to Scarbrook House, a sanatorium for wealthy children. Troubled by the eerie atmosphere, Alfie's condition gets worse, not better and he falls under the spell of the charismatic and cruel William Travers, who seems to delight in bullying the other patients. As he lies awake, Alfie is haunted by visions of a strange creature moving through the darkness at the edge of the patients' beds. Are his tired eyes hallucinating, or is starting to lose his mind? When Alfie learns that the creatures are hunting a demon escaped from the depths of Hell - and that the only protection against them is to be asleep - suddenly insomnia becomes the most dangerous condition of all
Waiting for Gonzo
Meet Oz . . . he's got a talent for trouble but his heart's always in the right place (well, nearly always). Uprooted from his friends and former life, Oz finds himself stranded in the sleepy village of Slowleigh. When a joke backfires on the first day at his new school, Oz attracts the attention of Isobel Skinner, the school psycho - but that's just the beginning. After causing an accident that puts his mum in hospital, Oz isn't exactly popular at home either. His older sister's no help, but then she's got a problem of her own . . . one that's growing bigger by the day. Oz knows he's got to put things right, but life isn't that simple, especially when the only people still talking to you are a hobbit-obsessed kid and a voice in your own head!
The weight of water
Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. Being the new girl is not easy - the only place she feels comfortable is at the pool. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat.
Set during the final 24 hours before the armistice at 11 a.m. on 11th November 1918, the story follows a German storm trooper, an American airman and a British Tommy. Their destinies converge during the death throes of the first ever conflict to spread across the globe. War becomes incredibly personal as nationality and geography cease to matter to each of these teenagers on the Western Front, and friendship becomes the defining aspect of their encounter. But who will live and who will die before the end of the day?
Set against the backdrop of a ruthless regime determined to beat its enemies in the race to the moon, dyslexic Standish Treadwell emerges as an unlikely hero. When his best friend Hector is suddenly taken away, Standish realises that it is up to him, his grandfather and a small band of rebels to confront and defeat the ever-present oppressive forces of the Motherland. How can one boy stand against an all-powerful army?
The midnight pirates
Three children, whose parents have gone to America, try to run a secluded West Country beach hotel on their own. The chaos mounts as they pretend there are adults in charge. A sinister guest brings danger. A ship is grounded off the beach, and crates of washed-up cargo are there for the taking. But the wreck was no accident...
Anthony Griffin is an ordinary kid caught up in a dangerous world. The boundaries between real and virtual are more and more blurred, and when Anthony's girlfriend is taken out in a gang hit, he has to venture into the underground world of the Drop to flush out her killer and bring him to justice. This is the story of a boy whose girl is worth more than money.
When teenager Dylan pulls herself free from a train wreck and emerges onto an almost deserted Scottish hillside, she believes she is the only survivor. Seeing the figure of a boy on the bank she enlists his help. But Tristan is no ordinary passer-by, and Dylan soon learns that instead of being the only survivor of the wreck, she is in fact the only fatality. And, Tristan is no normal teenage boy - he is her ferryman tasked with guiding her through the wasteland to her afterlife.
Patrick is happy living with his mum. She lets him do what he wants, pretty much, and it's only when his granny comes to stay that he has to get down to his homework and go to bed early. Then Patrick meets Mosi, a quiet, polite boy who, along with his parents, is waiting for his asylum application to be processed. He discovers Mosi is terrified of someone. But who is it? Patrick and Mosi strike up an unlikely friendship. In trying to help each other, they will face situations that are both terrifying and dangerous. And Patrick will find out that there is much, much more to Mosi than at first appears . . .
Meet Itch - an accidental, accident-prone hero. Science is his weapon. Elements are his gadgets. Itchingham Lofte - known as Itch - is fourteen, and loves science, especially chemistry. He's also an element-hunter: he's collecting all the elements in the periodic table. Which has some interesting and rather destructive results in his bedroom. Then, Itch makes a discovery. A new element, never seen before. At first no one believes him - but soon someone hears about the strange new rock and wants it for himself. And Itch and his family are catapulted into a breathless adventure with terrifyingly high stakes . . .
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret - a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder. Zoe tells her story in the only way she can - in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.
Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive, but that means still possible. You should never ignore a possible. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has - the address of the cello maker.