Lucy Christopher has taken home the 2010 Branford Boase Award with her novel Stolen.
Handed each year to an 'outstanding' work of children's fiction from a debut writer, the award includes a prize of GBP 1,000 - which was given to the author by Jacqueline Wilson at a ceremony in London.
Christopher commented: 'I am absolutely thrilled to win this year's Branford Boase Award. It means such a lot to me that Stolen has been recognised in this prestigious award.'
Guardian children's books editor Julia Eccleshare, the chair of the judging panel, praised the winning title for being a 'wonderfully accomplished first novel'.
Other titles shortlisted for the award included Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda, Anna Perera's Guantanamo Boy and Life, Interrupted by Damian Kelleher.
Dan Tunstall's Big and Clever, Numbers by Rachel Ward and Victor Watson's Paradise Barn also competed for the accolade, which was established to encourage new talent in the children's fiction genre.
Past winners include Kevin Brooks, Mal Peet and Marcus Sedgwick.
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Earlier this year, Belgian beer culture finally officially took its rightful place on the World's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, where it now sits in good company with the likes of the French gastronomic meal, Cuban rumba and Spanish flamenco.
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