Chair of the judging panel, Julia Eccleshare, announced the list in London over the weekend, saying:
"It is often assumed that unhappiness makes more interesting fiction than happiness; memories of unhappy childhoods are apparently particularly captivating. And yet in children's books there remains a convention of offering a corner of hope. As the crossover novel edges children's books ever upwards in every respect, that may come to be the defining characteristic of the genre. Among other things, this year's longlist includes considerations of our future, concerns about the emotional security of children, and the lies and secrets that surround teenage pregnancy. Issues aside, all highlight the recurrent need for great adventure stories to fuel children's imagination."The winner will be announced on September 28.