Winning Year: 1976
Author: Jan Mark
Title: Thunder and Lightnings

Original Publisher: Kestrel
Current Publisher: Puffin
In Print

Victor was the oldest boy Andrew had ever met. How could he be so dim in school and yet know so much about aeroplanes? As their friendship grows; Andrew becomes more and more concerned about what will happen when Victor discovers that the Lightnings planes he loves so much are to be scrapped and replaced.

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Jan Mark would have been born in London during the Second World War, but the maternity hospital had been evacuated to Hertfordshire for the duration. She remained there for a full nine days, a prelude to an unsettled childhood spent moving around Southern England before moving with her husband and children to Norfolk and subsequently to Oxford. This rootlessness turned out to be a good thing as most of her books were set in places where she lived or worked, either lightly disguised or else meticulously faithful to the local geography. She died in 2006 and is survived by two children.