Fabulous judges sign up for this year's Blue Peter Book Awards

Published on: 11 September 2017

Drivetime DJs Greg James and Chris Smith join an impressive judging panel for this year’s Blue Peter Book Awards. 

Greg James and Chris Smith, the authors of the hugely successful Kid Normal, will sit on an expert panel alongside English performance poet and author-illustrator Laura Dockrilll, School Librarian of the Year 2016 Amy McKay, and Blue Peter editor and non-voting chair Ewan Vinnicombe.

Could your school help judge the awards?

Voting judges, from clockwise left: Laura Dockrill, Chris Smith, Greg James and Amy McKay.

Popular prize for children's books

The immensely popular Blue Peter Book Awards honour amazing authors, imaginative illustrators and the best books for children, published in the last 12 months.

The shortlist is made up of six titles and split into two categories: Best Story and Best Book with Facts.

The winning titles, voted for by over 200 children from 12 schools across the UK, will be revealed live on Blue Peter on World Book Day on Thursday 1 March 2018, with the winning authors and illustrators appearing on the special awards episode of the show.

Last year's winners were Kieran Larwood and David Wyatt, who won Best Story with Podkin One Ear, and David Long and Kerry Hyndman, who won Best Book with Facts for Survivors.

Judging the best of children's literature

DJs Greg and Chris said:

'We are thrilled to have entered this brilliant world of children's literature and with our Blue Peter badges firmly in place, a steaming cup of tea to hand, we are ready to settle in for a few days of reading. We can't wait to see what amazing stories these authors have cooked up.'

Blue Peter editor, Ewan Vinnicombe, added:

'It’s going to be so exciting to see which books will be shortlisted by our fabulous judges for our Book Awards this year.
'It’s one of the highlights on my Blue Peter year to chair the judges meeting especially because I get to read all the amazing books that enter each year too, picking up some interesting facts and immerse myself in some brilliant characters from the world of children’s fiction.
'The Blue Peter Book Awards are a key part of our 60th birthday year.'

Once the judges have decided on a shortlist, selected schools can help us pick the winner.

Entries are now open for schools to apply to be part of the expert reading panel. Schools need a minimum of 20 pupils in year 5 and/or 6 (or P6 and P7 in Scotland) to vote for their favourite book in each category. 

Download the schools application form       

Download the press release for this news story  

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