Dark Lord: Teenage Year shines out at children’s book awards

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A BOOK about a “dark lord” who unwillingly inhabits the body of a chubby teenager has beaten off competition from David Walliams and Olympics Ceremony scriptwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce to win an award celebrating funny books for children.

Dark Lord: Teenage Years by Brighton-based games developer Jamie Thomson was chosen as the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize for 2012 at a ceremony in London yesterday.

Mr Thomson’s book, the first in a new series, won the gong for the funniest book for children aged seven to 14 and centres on the trials of Dirk Lloyd in his attempt to be taken seriously as an evil force on Earth.

A book about a toddler terrorising her mother with tantrums won the award for funniest book for children aged six and under.

My Big Shouting Day by Cambridge-based author and illustrator Rebecca Patterson was recognised for the witty way it finds humour in the “terrible twos”.

The book follows Bella, a toddler having a particularly bad day, who finds despair in almost everything she encounters.

Now in its fifth year, the winners of the prize each received £2,500 at the ceremony in London’s Unicorn Theatre.

This year saw schools from across the UK involved in the judging process with more than 500 pupils selected to read the shortlisted titles.

The official judging panel included the founder of the prize, former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, plus comedian Mel Giedroyc, and journalist and author Lucy Mangan.

Speaking after he received his award, Mr Thomson said: “I really didn’t expect to win. It feels really good.

“I thought, ‘Great, I’ve been nominated’, but I thought I’d no chance of winning when I saw the actual shortlist … I’m sure it hasn’t really sunk in, I suppose.”