McCall Smith is shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards

Scottish Children's Book Awards The Scottish Children's Book Awards are voted for by children

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Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith has been shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards.

The shortlist, featuring nine books, also includes one of Scotland's youngest published authors.

The awards are split into three age categories: Bookbug readers (3-7 yrs), younger readers (8-11 yrs) and older readers (12-16 yrs).

McCall Smith's Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion is in the younger readers' section.

Run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland and voted for by children, they are Scotland's largest book awards with a total prize fund of £12,000.

Expanding horizons

Shortlisted authors and illustrators receive £500 per book, and the three winning books receive £3,000 each.

The bookbug readers' section includes: Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten by Alison Murray (Nosy Crow), Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Ross Collins (Andersen Press) and Lost for Words by Natalie Russell (Macmillan).

The section for younger readers includes Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion by Alexander McCall Smith (Birlinn), Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens by Alex McCall (Kelpies) and Pyrate's Boy by EB Collin (Kelpies).

Mr McCall, 20, a screenwriting and filmmaking student at University of the West of Scotland in Ayr, is one of Scotland's youngest published authors.

The older readers' section includes Dark Spell by Gill Arbuthnott (Kelpies), The Wall by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury) and Mosi's War by Cathy MacPhail (Bloomsbury).

Jasmine Fassl, head of schools at Scottish Book Trust, said: "The Scottish Children's Book Awards are much more than a celebration of Scottish literature - they are about expanding children's horizons far beyond their physical boundaries and barriers."

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