Red House Children’s Book Award 2011 : Selected Shortlisted Books Review

1. Gilbert the Hero by Jane Clarke


It’s great fun having a new baby brother, right? Well, not for Gilbert the Great White Shark. His new baby brother, Finn, is too small to join in with any of his games and is no fun at all. So when Gilbert’s friend Mallett suggests a game of skating, Gilbert decides to leave Finn alone and join in. But what a mistake! Soon an enormous orca appears and it has Finn in its sight.

Can Gilbert reach Finn in time to save him from the jaws of the orca? An exciting third book in the Gilbert series where Gilbert discovers that being a big brother can sometimes be fun after all.

2. The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies


Anna and her brother Tom have always wanted a pet. After their latest pestering campaign Mum finally gives in and lets them choose a pair of hamsters from the local pet shop. But their happiness soon turns to horror when they discover the hamsters mysteriously slaughtered in their cage. Anna and Tom begin an investigation into the hamster homicides.

A very natural and honest version of life’s events from the perspective of a young girl – from her suspicions about her neighbours, to her rocky friendship with the girl next door; from the sudden death of her beloved granny to her relentless quest for a pet hamster, only to then find it mysteriously slaughtered – which kickstarts a local investigation of ‘suspects’.

This is the first in a proposed series of short novels featuring the same characters and setting – with the themes of pets and detective work holding them together.

Can they solve the case of the Great Hamster Massacre?

3. Time Riders by Alex Scarrow


TimeRiders is a series for teenagers. The three main teenage characters are plucked from certain death by a mysterious man who appears moments before their death and says that he can save them.

Liam from 1912, Maddy from 2010 and Sal from 2026 have been recruited as TimeRiders by an agency that no one knows exists. Their job is to make sure that time is not interfered with. Their field office is in New York and is contained in a time-bubble which constantly cycles through the 10th and 11th of September 2001.

The three have been chosen for their special skills: Liam’s quick wittedness, Maddy’s computer expertise and Sal’s pattern-recognition ability. They are guided by the mysterious man, Foster and are joined by a cloned human fighting machine with a computer chip for a brain, nick-named Bob.

They have not had much training before a major shift in history changes the word they live in and so begins Liam and Bob’s first mission: to find out how the Nazis won the Second World War – but it turns out there’s an event even worse than that.

Can TimeRiders correct history, protect us and stop time from destroying the World?

TimeRiders will span through a series of about 9 books in total. Check out other books in store – TimeRiders; TimeRiders – Day of the Predator; TimeRiders – The Doomsday Code; TimeRiders – The Eternal War.

4. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan


Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he blows up the British museum and unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them–Set–has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe–a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

The Red House Children’s Book Award is a high-profile annual award that is shortlisted by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups and the winner is then judged entirely by children from shortlisted to overall winner. For full details of this year’s award, and please visit:

The award ceremony will take place on 11th June 2011.