And the winner is…..

Congratulations to Bali Rai, winner of this year’s North East Teenage Book Award with Killing Honour.
A Highly Commended award was also made to Phil Earle for his debut novel, Being Billy.

The awards were made at a special event at the Centre for Life on Friday attended by all the shortlisted authors  and 200+ teenage judges.  It was a fantastic author line-up this year and each had a very different, thought-provoking story to tell.

In his acceptance speech Bali Rai talked about the myth that young people don’t read any more, the vital importance of allowing teenagers to make their own reading choices and respecting them enough not to censor what they read.  Avid readers, like our NETBA judges, are crucial to keeping school libraries open – and at the heart of the school.

Thanks to the Centre for Life for hosting, to Seven Stories for a great bookshop, to the authors for coming to meet their fans, to the publishers for their support and to the schools who made it happen.

Let us know what you thought the event – and the books – and send in any photos for the Gallery.  You could win a prize.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s NETBA – what have you read that should be on the shortlist?  Let us know!



Momentum – Saci Lloyd

London, the near future. Energy wars are flaring across the globe – oil prices have
gone crazy, regular power cuts are a daily occurrence. The cruel Kossak soldiers prowl
the streets, keeping the Outsiders – the poor, the disenfranchised – in check. Hunter
is a Citizen: one of the privileged of society, but with his passion for free running and
his rebel friend Leo he cannot help but be fascinated by the Outsiders. So when he
meets Outsider Uma, he is quickly drawn into their world – and into an electrifying and
dangerous race to protect everything they hold dear.

Killing Honour – Bali Rai

‘Honour,’ I repeated, wondering how such a small word could have caused so much


When Sat’s sister, Jas, is married off into the Atwal family she changes, she’s quiet and
distant. But Sat’s too busy with his own life; his girlfriend, his friends, football . . . Then
Jas disappears.

According to her new husband, she’s run off with another man. Her family disown
her; don’t seem to care if she’s ever found. But Sat doesn’t believe it. Something has
happened to his sister and he’s determined to figure out what. But his investigations
take him into dark and dangerous territory . . .

The Opposite of Amber – Gillian Philip

‘They found the fifth girl right after the snow melted …the place where he left her was
winter water, crazed with ice-feathers and dusted with snow. The traces from her body
were gone, the ones that said his name, but she had an extra skin of ice that protected
her and she looked perfect, like Snow White.’ Ruby and her older sister, Jinn, are on
their own, just about making ends meet. Jinn is beautiful, with glittering blonde hair,
and makes it her business to look after Ruby. They are horrified by, but try to ignore,
the local newspaper stories of prostitutes who are murdered, their bodies eventually
discovered underwater. Then the no-good Nathan Baird turns up on the scene – again
– and Jinn starts to change and no longer has time to look after Ruby. And it seems to
Ruby that Jinn herself needs looking after. Her beautiful glittering hair starts to lose
its shine. And then Jinn disappears. This is a deeply moving, chilling, and incredibly
powerful thriller that celebrates the love two sisters have for each other and mourns the
events beyond their control that will conspire to drive them apart.

A Beautiful Lie – Irfan Master

An extraordinarily rich debut novel, set in India in 1947 at the time of Partition. Although
the backdrop is this key event in Indian history, the novel is even more far-reaching,
touching on the importance of tolerance, love and family. The main character is Bilal,
a boy determined to protect his dying father from the news of Partition – news that he
knows will break his father’s heart. With great spirit and determination, and with the
help of his good friends, Bilal persuades others to collude with him in this deception,
even printing false pages of the local newspaper to hide the ravages of unrest from his
father. All that Bilal wants is for his father to die in peace. But that means Bilal has a
very complicated relationship with the truth…

Being Billy – Phil Earle

Faces flashed before my eyes.

And for every face there was a time that they had let me down.

Each punch that landed was revenge, my chance to tell them I hadn’t forgotten
what they did.

Eight years in a care home makes Billy Finn a professional lifer. And Billy’s angry – with
the system, the social workers, and the mother that gave him away.

As far as Billy’s concerned, he’s on his own. His little brother and sister keep him going,
though they can’t keep him out of trouble.

But he isn’t being difficult on purpose. Billy’s just being Billy. He can’t be
anything else.

Can he?

Everybody Jam – Ali Lewis

Danny Dawson lives in the middle of the Australian outback. His older brother Jonny was
killed in an accident last year but no-one ever talks about it.

And now it’s time for the annual muster. The biggest event of the year on the cattle
station, and a time to sort the men from the boys. But this year things will be different:
because Jonny’s gone and Danny’s determined to prove he can fill his brother’s shoes;
because their fourteen-year-old sister is pregnant; because it’s getting hotter and hotter
and the rains won’t come; because cracks are beginning to show . . .

When Danny’s mum admits she can’t cope, the family hires a housegirl to help out – a
wide-eyed English backpacker. She doesn’t have a clue what she’s let herself in for. And
neither do they.