Wildspark and Rise Up triumph to be crowned winners of the 2020 Blue Peter Book Awards

Published on: 05 March 2020

Themes of survival, determination and adventure feature as the 2020 Blue Peter Book Awards winners are revealed.

Taking the top spot of Best Book with Facts is Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li and illustrated by Amy Blackwell. Winning the Best Story prize is Wildspark by Vashti Hardy.

Skilfully mixing elements of science fiction, adventure and fantasy, Wildspark draws you into a world where the spirits of dead people can be harnessed and given new life in mechanical animals.

Author Vashti Hardy says: “It’s a dream come true for Wildspark to win the Best Story category in the 20th year of the wonderful Blue Peter Book Awards. It’s the most spectacular honour to join such a stellar list of past winners. Firing young imaginations, inspiring big dreams, and connecting through story is a deeply magical thing, and I’d like to send my enormous thanks to Blue Peter, BookTrust, the fabulous judges, and all the brilliant young readers who voted. If only childhood me watching Blue Peter after school could see me now!”

Rise Up tells tales of extraordinary stories of survival and is a fantastic and inspiring book, sharing the stories of normal kids from across the world and their amazing achievements.

Author Amanda Li says: “It’s the most incredible honour to receive this award, particularly as Rise Up has been chosen by Blue Peter viewers from schools around the UK. To know that children have loved reading a book that I’ve written, is a fantastic feeling and makes me feel so lucky to be an author. Blue Peter has been a part of my life since I was a kid, so I am thrilled to be recognised by this iconic TV programme. I will wear my Blue Peter badge with immense pride. Rise Up is all about ordinary kids who’ve done something extraordinary in their lives. If someone ordinary like me can win this amazing award, it just goes to show that anyone can!”

Illustrator Amy Blackwell says: “It’s so exciting knowing that these incredible stories get to be seen by and shared with so many young readers. If I’d had this book when I was younger, reading their stories of courage, compassion, ingenuity and their ability to become such forces of nature would have been such an inspiration. They really show that anything is possible and that’s such an important message for a growing mind. I’m thrilled that I got to be a part of bringing this book to life!”

The winning titles were voted for by over 300 children from 12 schools across the UK. Managed by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, the Blue Peter Book Awards honour amazing authors, imaginative illustrators and the best books for children, published in the last 12 months.

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO says: “BookTrust is proud to be working with Blue Peter showcasing yet another year of amazing talent that's out there in the children's books world, with two very worthy winning books this year and a very strong contending shortlist. Congratulations to Vashi, Amanda and Amy.”

Judges for the 2020 award included TV Presenter and Actress Meryl Fernandes, the award-winning poet, performer and author Joseph Coelho, publishing booktuber expert Jean Menzies and Blue Peter Editor and non-voting chair Ellen Evans.

Win copies of Rise Up and Wildspark by entering our fabulous giveaway

Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories

Author: Amanda Li Illustrator: Amy Blackwell designed by Kim Hankinson and Jack Clucas

This is a fantastic and inspiring book, sharing the stories of normal kids from across the world and their amazing achievements. After the biographical information, there are interesting suggestions for activities based on that child’s message or passion.

Read more about Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories

Wildspark

Author: Vashti Hardy

In a world where the spirits of dead people can be harnessed and given new life in mechanical animals, Prue takes on her late brother's apprenticeship in an effort to bring him back. A riotously enjoyable tale mixing fantasy, school stories, science fiction and big questions about life and death.

Read more about Wildspark

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.

Read more


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