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  Children vote for top book award
Updated 01 December 2003, 18.55
Winning book by David Almond
David Almond has scooped a top prize at the UK's biggest children's book awards - The Smarties Book Awards.

His book The Fire Eaters was voted top by a panel of young judges in the 9-11-year-old section.

Other category winners were Varjak Paw by SF Said ( 6-8 years) and The Witch's Children and the Queen by Ursula Jones.

Over 200 children took part in judging the competition. They had to read all the books on the shortlist then give their verdict on which ones were best.

Previous winners

David Almond
Six years ago the prize was awarded to then unknown author JK Rowling for her book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

After winning the Gold award three years in a row the Potter author decided to withdraw her books from the awards so other authors could win.

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