Here are the 2020 Blue Peter Book Awards contenders – and there's something for everyone

Published on: 07 November 2019

Deadly frogs that dart poison, space adventurers, coping with grief, misfits with a mission and inspirational children changing the world are just some of the themes from the brilliant line-up of titles shortlisted for the 2020 Blue Peter Book Awards.

Here are the shortlisted books for the Blue Peter Book Awards.

Fighting for the title of Best Book with Facts are: Fanatical About Frogs, written and illustrated by Owen Davey (Flying Eye Books), How to be an Astronaut and Other Space Jobs, written by Dr Sheila Kanani and illustrated by Sol Linero (Nosy Crow), and Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories, by Amanda Li and illustrated by Amy Blackwell (Buster Books).

Meanwhile, Owen and the Soldier, written by Lisa Thompson from Barrington Stoke, is the first dyslexia-friendly title to ever be shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards. Alongside it, competing for the Best Story accolade is Vote for Effie, written by Laura Wood, and Wildspark by Vashti Hardy, both published by Scholastic Children’s Books. Discover stories about Effie fighting for change at her new school, Owen’s pursuit to save a special war memorial from being destroyed, and Prue’s quest to help her family’s grief by bringing her dead brother back to life. 

This November is non-fiction month, so the perfect opportunity to be inspired by young girls and boys around the world who have achieved the unimaginable – from surviving in a jungle after a plane crash to striking against climate change. Get to know the beautiful but deadly poisonous frogs of the world and find out if you have what it takes to become an astronaut in these varied and wonderful books. 

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO, said:

'Once again, we are delighted to be involved in the Blue Peter Book Awards. These fantastic books are helping to inspire and encourage children everywhere to love reading and discover more about science, space and how to truly be yourself.'

Winners decided by children

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 awards are rigorously judged by schoolchildren across the country. This year, nearly 500 schools applied to be a part of the judging process.

The winning titles, voted for by over 400 children from 12 schools across the UK, will be revealed live on Blue Peter on World Book Day on Thursday 5 March 2020, with the winning authors and illustrators appearing on the special awards episode of the show.

Meryl Fernandes, TV Presenter, actress and Blue Peter Book Awards judge said:

'I absolutely loved being on the judging panel this year for the Blue Peter book awards and thoroughly enjoyed discussing all the books with the other judges. All the books in the longlist were so incredible that it actually made shortlisting a very tough task for all of us. I am delighted with our final shortlist as they are all equally brilliant and I can't wait for kids and parents to fall in love with them as much as I did, and to read them again and again!'

Blue Peter Editor Ellen Evans said:

'The Blue Peter Book Awards are very special. For the last 20 years, they have celebrated the very best new children’s books from British authors and illustrators. The 2020 shortlist features outstanding books and I enjoyed reading them all. The story books make you feel empathy, feel empowered and fire your imagination. All the books celebrate the achievements of amazing kids and will inspire young people to think about who they might want to be in life, these are ideas that have been at the heart of Blue Peter for the last 60 years.'

Tell us what you think

You can keep up-to-date with the awards and find fun-filled content about the shortlisted books on our website. Make sure you also follow us on Twitter @Booktrust and with the hashtag #BPBA. We'd love to know which books are your favourites!

Also check out the Blue Peter website: remember that you can see who wins on a Blue Peter World Book Day Special on Thursday 5 March 2020 at 5.30pm on CBBC.

Download the full press release (.docx, 729KB)

More about the Blue Peter Book Awards

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