Phew – well the fest is going super-well, we’ve got another mammoth day ahead of us with Cressida Cowell, Gillian Cross and Tom Palmer (and that’s just the morning!)

Anywho we promised to let you know the superstar author selected for the The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize preview session, where we get up close to one of the longlisters. This year it’s…*drum roll*…ALLY KENNEN.

Yes, the author of such brilliant books, such as Beast, Bedlam and Berserk has been shortlisted for her new book Sparks. So pop along on Wednesday at 4pm it should be a hoot.

The nutshell: When Carla’s beloved Grandpa dies, she is inconsolable. Then she finds a secret letter, and decides to give him the end he always wanted. A Viking funeral, in a burning boat heading out to sea. Carla and her siblings set out on a crazy and dangerous race against time to achieve the impossible. SPARKS is a dark, funny and moving story about love, death, sailing and coffin-stealing.

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