Mark Haddon caused some head-scratching with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - was it a novel for children or adults? Whichever, said the judges, it was excellent.

By 2003, Haddon was an established and successful writer for children whose Agent Z books - which he illustrated himself - had gained him an enthusiastic young following. The Curious Incident, however, was something quite different. It is a mystery novel shot through with poignancy with a 15-year-old Asperger’s/autistic narrator who tasks himself with solving a crime but who simultaneously has to negotiate adolescence and his parents’ failed marriage. Haddon says he wrote the book for an adult audience but it works just as well as a young adult novel.

Mark Haddon

All nominated books