Britain's children elect their book of the year
Staff and agencies
Lemony Snicket and Eoin Colfer are two of the authors shortlisted for the 2003 Red House Children's Book Award announced today, among a selection embracing orphans, elves and pants.
Ten books in three categories are in competition for the prize, which is voted on by children across the country and will be awarded at a ceremony in London on June 14. Previous winners include JK Rowling and Roald Dahl.
Snicket's Ersatz Elevator, about three orphaned children's weird home life, joins Cool! by former winner Michael Morpurgo in the selection "for younger readers", while Colfer's second Artemis Fowl book The Arctic Incident, about a wily criminal elf, is up against Anthony Horowitz's Skeleton Key and Lian Hearn's Across the Nightingale Floor in the "older readers" category.
In the "younger children" category the Purple Ronnie creator Giles Andreae submits his Pants to be judged by the nation's youth, against the infinitely less mischievous To Mum With Love by Vivian French and Dana Kubick.
Children can see a full shortlist, and vote for their favourites at the Red House website.