Children have voted Anthony Horowitz's novel about a teenage James Bond the winner of a leading book prize.
Children voted for their hero Alex Rider
The Red House Children's Book Award is the only major book prize chosen by children alone.
Alex Rider, the hero of Stormbreaker and Skeleton Key, has been dubbed "James Bond in Nike trainers".
And he is a clear a favourite with children.
Around 25,000 children from all over the UK took part in judging this year
through book groups organised by the Federation of Children's Book Groups and
via the award's website.
RED HOUSE AWARD
Winner: Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz
Runners up: Blitzed by Robert Swindells
Pants by Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt
Previous winners of the award, now in its 23rd year, include Quentin Blake,
Roald Dahl and JK Rowling.
Horowitz, who created TV detective series The Midsomer Murders, was presented
with a trophy and a portfolio of letters from children for his best-selling
action adventure Skeleton Key.
Other winners at the awards ceremony in Kensington, west London, on Saturday were
Robert Swindells, Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt.
Swindells was named winner in the category of Books for Younger Readers for
his World War II adventure Blitzed.
Andreae, the creator of cartoon character Purple Ronnie, together with
illustrator Sharratt, won the Books for Younger Children category for Pants,
their humorous collaboration about underwear.