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  Kids' book awards finalists named
Updated 13 November 2003, 14.17
Michael Morpurgo's on the shortlist
It seems to be a golden age for kids' literature after a record-breaking 111 novels were put forward for the Whitbread Children's Book Award.

The entries have now been whittled down to the four books which will compete for the prize on 7 January.

They are Catherine Fisher's The Oracle, Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful, Jeanne Willis' Naked Without A Hat and David Almond's The Fire-Eaters.

The boom in kids' books is often put down to the success of Harry Potter.

Fact File
The shortlist
The Fire Eaters by David Almond
The Oracle by Catherine Fisher
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
Naked Without A Hat by Jeanne Willis

JK Rowling's fifth Potter book Order Of The Phoenix could have been entered for the award, but her publishers Bloomsbury decided not to submit it, reports say.

Newsround's own Lizo Mzimba helped choose the finalists for the kids' book category.

Also joining him on the judging panel was Newsround Presspacker Jacquie

The winner will receive 5,000 and will then go on to compete against the winning writers in the awards' four other categories for a top prize of 25,000.

Two years ago, His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman became the first kids' author to scoop the top honour.

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More InfoBORDER=0
UKCBBC Newsround chats to Hilary McKay
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ClubI'm a judge for the Whitbread Awards

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
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Hilary McKay wins top kids' books prize
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