• Winner of the Kelpies Prize 2007
  • Shortlisted for the Royal Mail Book Awards 2008
  • Shortlisted for the Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award 2009


Faced with a cold Saturday afternoon stuck at the Institute for Animal Research, Robbie is angry and frustrated at yet another weekend ruined by his father’s job. Then a disturbing encounter in the animal house thrusts him into a perilous journey through the stunning but inhospitable landscape of a Highland winter; alone but for two enigmatic travelling companions. Robbie’s world implodes as he tries to make sense of a hostile environment, his old life slowly unravels, and a shocking realization emerges.


“I have never read anything like this before. I could not put this book down because I found it amazing. Annemarie Allan is an amazing writer. In the future I will absolutely read more of her novels.”

— Nathalie Black, Queensferry High School, reporting for Teen Titles Magazine

“Hox is a breathlessly paced, action adventure, set, as all Kelpies Prize winning books have to be, in contemporary Scotland. An excellent debut novel by Annemarie Allan.”

— Books for Keeps, May 2008

“This is a superb, intelligent and gripping novel. The strange bond between a boy and an animal draws you in and you will be desperate to know what happens next.”

— John Baker, Waterstone’s Guide to Children’s Books

“Young readers will love this”

— Stuart Peterson, The Greenock Telegraph

“The impressive details creates an atmosphere that is unmistakeably Scottish Touching on the complex topical issue of genetic engineering, this is a faced paced and intriguing adventure.”


“To find a plot which is politically correct and inclusive without being patronising, exciting for 8-12 year olds but acceptable to their grannies is a real challenge and 2007 Kelpies Prize winner has certainly met that challenge. Hox is science fiction, a mystery, an adventure, all rolled together through the world of genetic engineering.”

— Suse Coon, Lothian Life (read full review)

Teacher’s Guide

Download or print a free Teacher’s Guide for this book:
Hox Teacher’s Guide (PDF; 46KB)