Winning Year: 1993
Author: Robert Swindells
Title: Stone Cold

Original Publisher: H Hamilton
Current Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780140362510
In Print

Homeless, frightened and alone, Link finds himself down-and-out in London after fleeing from his brutish stepfather. He only survives because he's befriended by streetwise Ginger. When Ginger suddenly disappears, Link is in despair. Then he meets Gail, and even the cold doorways and hard pavements don't seem so bad. He even stops thinking about Ginger, but other kids are vanishing now. Intent on his grisly mission, the man who calls himself Shelter stalks his next victim. Will it be Link?

brutal loner


Robert Swindells was born in Bradford in 1939, the eldest of five children, on the eve of the Second World War. Although at school he showed a flair for descriptive and narrative writing, Robert failed his 11-plus. He left school at the age of 15 to become a copyholder on a local newspaper, "reading aloud from the original copy while the proof reader checked it".

Robert's first ambition was to become an RAF Spitfire pilot and he joined the RAF, aged 17, but found himself a clerk "on the ground". Following his discharge from national service in 1960 he worked as a shop assistant, a printer and an engineer. In 1969, at the age of thirty, he decided to train as a teacher. He taught for eight years before becoming a full-time writer.