News: Winner Announced For The Costa Children’s Book Award 2016

Brian Conaghan

Bloomsbury Childrens, January 2017

Brian Conaghan has won The Costa Children’s Book Award 2016. He won for his third novel, The Bombs That Brought Us Together which was published by Bloomsbury Childrens. His win was announced earlier this month.

Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes for ever. 

Sometimes, to keep the people you love safe, you have to do bad things. As Little Town’s rules crumble, Charlie is sucked into a dangerous game. There’s a gun, and a bad man, and his closest friend, and his dearest enemy. 

Charlie Law wants to keep everyone happy, even if it kills him. And maybe it will. 

When asked by The Scotman, Conaghan said “the book is about how a big power can overwhelm a less powerful country. In some ways it is an imagining of what would happen if Scotland went independent and England just decided one day as a big superpower that they were going to take it back.”

Brian was born and raised in Scotland but now lives in Dublin. He’s worked as a teacher and his previous novels include The Boy Who Made It Rain and When Mr Dog Bites.

The ceremony for the overall Costa Book of The Year is at the end of January. For more information about the awards, visit

Well done Brian on winning the Children’s Book Award.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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