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  Kids' books battle for top prize
Updated 14 November 2002, 16.26

Some of the best kids' novels are battling it out for a top book prize.

And two Newsround Press Packers are on the judging panel to whittle it down to one winner.

  Click here for a guide to children's book awards

Press Packers Saijal, nine, and Tim, 13, won our competition to join the judging panel of the prestigious Whitbread children's book award.

Lots of reading!

Some of the books they read
The panel also included a children's author, a journalist, a bookseller and Newsround's very own Lizo Mzimba!

For the past two months they've all been reading nine books, and they've finally narrowed them down to a shortlist of four.

These are:

  • Sorceress by Celia Rees
  • Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay
  • Exodus by Julie Betagna
  • Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve

Saijal said that to be a good judge you need to be a complete book addict and be able to read really fast.

'Unpredictable and surprising'

She also said: "For me a good book should be unpredictable. It should be surprising right up until the last page."

But to find out which book is the overall winner is you'll have to wait until January!

Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Watch Saijal & Tim's report Watch Saijal & Tim's report
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More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutOur guide to book awards
ChatChat about your fave reads!

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Terry Pratchett: 'Proud of kid's book award'
Artemis Fowl steals top kids book prize
Kids author wins big at book awards
Children's author scoops top book prize

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