Blue Peter Book Awards

Since 2000, the enormously popular and influential Blue Peter Book Awards have been recognising and celebrating the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children.

The Blue Peter Book Awards 2018 celebrates children's books published in the last year in two categories: the Best Story and the Best Book with Facts. Previous Blue Peter Book Award winners include Michael Morpurgo, Katherine Rundell, Oliver Jeffers and Liz Pichon. 

Blue Peter Book Awards 2018 – Best Story


Winner: The Wizards of Once

By Cressida Cowell, Hodder Children's Books

The Blue Peter Book Award for Best Story 2018 was The Wizards of Once. Cowell’s latest book tells the tale of Xar and Wish, a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Discussing the award, Cressida said: 'I am delighted, grateful and proud to have won this year’s Blue Peter Award for The Wizards of Once. Blue Peter was a huge part of my childhood, and I’m thrilled as nine-year-old me, as well as the grown-up author... Thank you so much to the kids who took the time to read and vote [and] the teachers and librarians who do so much to support the award in schools...'

Find out more about The Wizards of Once

Cressida Cowell on how to create your own fantasy world

Shortlisted books

The Island at the End of Everything

Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Amihan lives happily on the island of Culion in the Phillipines with her mother, her Nanay, who has leprosy, and in a wider community where some people are "touched" with the disease, and some are not.

Read more about The Island at the End of Everything

Wed Wabbit

Author: Lissa Evans

Don't be fooled by the cutesy title. The particularly 'Wabbit' in the story is anything but sweet! Fidge is a clever, slightly cynical 11 year old who is flung into the world of her little sister Minnie's favourite story - the world of the Wimbley Woos.

Read more about Wed Wabbit

Kiran Millwood Hargrave on writing about the history of leprosy

Lissa Evans shares her top tips for funny writing

Blue Peter Book Awards 2018 – Best Book with Facts


Winner: Real-Life Mysteries

By Susan Martineau, illustrated by Vicky Barker, b small

The Blue Peter Book Award 2018 winner for Best Book with Facts is Real-Life Mysteries. This book is full of evidence about mysterious unsolved cases and encourages you to make up your own mind: from mysteries such as Shackleton's ghostly companion to the Loch Ness Monster.

Author Susan Martineau said: 'It’s... so brilliant there is an award for a book with facts, as well as a fiction prize. Non-fiction doesn’t just tell you stuff, it can fire your imagination and get you thinking in new ways too.'

Illustrator Vicky Barker added: “I am absolutely over the moon to have won the Blue Peter Book Award! I was a huge fan of Blue Peter as a child, so this is such a fantastic honour. Thank you to all of the budding new investigators that chose Real-Life Mysteries!'

Find out more about Real-Life Mysteries

10 real-life mysteries that no one has ever solved

Shortlisted books

Beyond the Sky: You and the Universe

Author: Dara Ó’Briain Illustrator: Dan Bramall

Beginning with the question, 'So you want to go into space?', this book takes readers on a hilarious journey through the solar system and beyond. It's packed with fascinating facts covering fundamental scientific questions such as 'What might be in a black hole?' and 'What happens to poo on the International Space Station?'.

Ó'Briain's genuine love for scien…

Read more about Beyond the Sky: You and the Universe

Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Scientists

Author: Adam and Lisa Murphy

A fun and funky graphic exploration of some of the greatest scientists you’ve ever heard of – and maybe a few you haven’t!

Read more about Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Scientists

Dara O’Briain’s ten AMAZING facts about space

How to make a really successful comic like Corpse Talk

Who judges the award?

The shortlist was picked by our judges:

  • Ewan Vinnicombe, Editor, Blue Peter
  • Laura Dockrill, performance poet, author/illustrator and short story writer
  • Greg James and Chris Smith, radio and TV broadcasters
  • Amy McKay, school librarian

After that, 500 children from 12 schools across the UK went on to pick the two winners.

See the judging schools in action

Play
St Newlyn get excited about judging
Reading nook at West Road school
Sajjad at Highwood Primary draws about The Wizards of Once
Reading together at Church Vale Primary
Wed Wabbit by child at Highwood Primary
Akshana from Highwood Primary draws her thoughts on The Wizards of Once
Children voting at Highwood Primary
St Newlyn get excited about judging

Image 1 of 7

Reading nook at West Road school

Image 2 of 7

Sajjad at Highwood Primary draws about The Wizards of Once

Image 3 of 7

Reading together at Church Vale Primary

Image 4 of 7

Wed Wabbit by child at Highwood Primary

Image 5 of 7

Akshana from Highwood Primary draws her thoughts on The Wizards of Once

Image 6 of 7

Children voting at Highwood Primary

Image 7 of 7

More about the Blue Peter Book Awards

Past awards

Archive

Find out about the winners, shortlisted books and judges from previous Blue Peter Book Awards.

Latest updates

Twitter

Follow @BookTrust