Detectives, discoveries and incredible people from history make the line-up as the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards contenders are revealed

Published on: 05 November 2020

We're excited to reveal the six shortlisted titles for the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards!

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

Discovering what makes a rainbow shine and what a day in the life of a hiccup is like, exploring what it means to be different, standing up for what you believe in, laugh out loud humour, learning astonishing facts about the evolution of Homo sapiens in Africa and the ancient civilisations of the world, and a kaleidoscopic selection of inventors from all over the world: the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist has all of this and more.  

Competing for the chance to be crowned Best Story is A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll, Life of Riley: Beginner's Luck by Simon James Green, illustrated by Alexei Bitskoff and Anisha, Accidental Detective: School’s Cancelled by Serena Patel, illustrated by Emma McCann. Meanwhile, fighting it out for the Best Book with Facts title is The Humans by Jonny Marx, illustrated by Charlie Davis, A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You by Mike Barfield, illustrated by Jess Bradley and Inventors by Professor Robert Winston, illustrated by Jessamy Hake.

Serena Patel, Author of Anisha, Accidental Detective said:

“I am delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards. I loved watching Blue Peter as a child and now my own children love it too, so to have my book recognised in this way is an absolute thrill and career highlight.” 

Diana Gerald, CEO, BookTrust said:

“BookTrust is delighted to be involved in the Blue Peter Book Awards and what a fantastic shortlist we have this year. These books are helping children to be inspired, creative and encourage different ways of thinking and discovering stories and we can’t wait to find out who will be crowned the winners of Best Story and Best Book with Facts.”

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 school children across the country. This year over 200 schools applied to be a part of the judging process. 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 4th March 2021 with the winning authors and illustrators appearing on the special awards episode of the show.

Jessamy Hake, illustrator of Inventors said:

“I’m delighted that ‘Inventors’ has been shortlisted: I loved illustrating such an interesting range of famous and less well-known inventors, along with their fascinating inventions.”

Blue Peter Editor Ellen Evans said:  

“It’s so exciting to read these books shortlisted for the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards. Blue Peter inspires the next generation of climate champions, scientists, artists, chefs, explorers, athletes and performers and so much more. It is fitting that this year’s fiction titles are all, in different ways, about kids finding their voice, while our books with facts encourage kids to find out about the world and fulfil their potential, just like Blue Peter has for more than 60 years. On Blue Peter it’s kids' opinions and ideas that matter most to us, so now it's over to our young judges in schools to decide on the two winning titles. I am looking forward to March 2021 and discovering who they think are the deserving winners.”

Keep up-to-date with the Awards on this page and on Twitter by following @Booktrust and #BPBA. For fun-filled content about the judging and the shortlisted books head to the Blue Peter website.

Download the press release

Discover who wins on a Blue Peter World Book Day Special, on Thursday 4th March 2021 at 5.30pm on CBBC and iPlayer. 

Give £10 today and send a book gift to a vulnerable child

Christmas won't be magical for every child. A special book gift can add sparkle.

Can you help?