Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist: fiction favourites flaunt strong female leads

Published on: 23 November 2017

Wizards, warriors, wabbits, weird worlds, long forgotten leper colonies and creepy things that go bump in the night. These take the top spots in the 2018 Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist.

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

There are six books now fighting for a chance to win one of two prestigious awards: Best Story and Best Book with Facts.

More about the Blue Peter Book Awards

Who's on the shortlist?

Competing for the title of Best Story are:

  • The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans
  • The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell.

Each of the gripping fiction nominations have strong girl protagonists who must undertake dangerous journeys in their quest to triumph over evil. But who will end up end up triumphing in the Blue Peter Book Awards?

Meanwhile, battling to be crowned Best Book with Facts are:

  • Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Scientists by Adam Murphy & Lisa Murphy
  • Real-Life Mysteries by Susan Martineau, illustrated by Vicky Barker
  • Beyond the Sky: You and the Universe by Dara Ó Briain, illustrated by Dan Bramall.

Find out more about the books

Books to inspire a new generation

The judges, who picked the shortlist, include Drivetime DJs and Kid Normal authors Greg James and Chris Smith, poet and Darcy Burdock author Laura Dockrill and School Librarian of the Year 2016 Amy McKay, as well as Blue Peter editor and non-voting chair Ewan Vinnicombe.

Greg James said:

'Chris and I love Blue Peter SO much, so to be asked to judge their Book Award was a total dream. It was brilliant to lock ourselves away and get lost in the entries. It was an incredibly tough choice but we are confident we’ve chosen books that will inspire a new generation of young readers.'

Laura Dockrill added:

'I adored judging the Blue Peter Book Award, the nominated list was incredibly strong and made judging the prize so difficult. Which I think is a very good thing for the world of children’s books!
I met wizards, talking toys with speech impediments, and was flown across the globe to marvellous new landscapes. I met Bigfoot, uncovered mysteries and had my head blown off by space facts. It was a wonderful privilege and the shortlist is stunning!'

Choosing the 2018 winners

Twelve schools around the school will now choose the two Blue Peter Book Award winners – that means that over 500 children will be reading all six books and voting for their favourites. 

The winning titles will then be revealed live on Blue Peter on World Book Day on Thursday 1 March 2018, with the winning authors and illustrators also appearing on the special awards episode of the show.

Blue Peter editor Ewan Vinnicombe said:

'In Blue Peter’s 60th year, the Book Awards will play a key role in our celebrations. The shortlist is just so exciting and shows the creative strength in children’s publishing at the moment. With a diverse mix in both categories, I can’t wait to find out what school children in the UK decide are their favourites.'

Keep up-to-date with the Awardson Twitter by following @Booktrust and #BPBA

Download the full press release (PDF)

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