A young family of adventurers living by the sea

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Waterstones Children's Book Prize.

As many of you know I work for Waterstones. An amazing place to work because of the fantastic things I get to read and take home. Every year we host a children's book prize to celebrate the amazing work authors and illustrators do across children's literature. This is not necessarily the biggest selling. By all means there are some big his but also books that you wouldn't expect to read that may take you by surprise! This year has to be by far my favourite selection of titles.

First up is picture books. The theme of animals brings together the fact that they animals are always universally better to read than gender specific titles. I mean don't get me wrong pirates and princesses are great. We just love animals. 


We have loved everything from Open Very Carefully, where you have to make sure that the crocodile does't bite you in the book. To Penguin In Peril, where the penguin realises that three sneaky cats aren't the nicest people to hang out with.

Time For Bed Fred reads like an old classic that you would have read as a child. Bringing back floods of memories, whilst Harold Finds A Voice is completely the opposite where you learn about different sounds and your little one is roaring with laughter throughout as you try and imitate them too!

Finally is The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water. A tale for the children to realise that not everyone likes the same thing, but that doesn't make you different. And Weasels, a tale about dastardly weasels who live a James Bond-esque life with enough pop culture references for you parents to understand!




Next up is children's. This is the 5-12 category and features everything from fantasy to mystery and of course a bit of fun and laugh. Something for everyone here so young minds can be transported to another world (or two).

First up is my favourite, Rooftoppers. This is the tale of a young girl that is orphaned who decides to hunt down her mother the only way she knows how, via the rooftops of Paris. The Last Wild is all about a young boy who doesn't know how special he is. With a room full of talking pigeons you know something good is going to happen right?

The School For Good And Evil tells the story you read in fairy tales. Two schools, one good and the other evil and what the children learn. Though maybe the school you are placed in isn't the one you wanted to be part of in the first place! Keeping on the school theme is Shiverton Hall. A school full of bad happenings and unfortunate incidents. But our main character Arthur doesn't really have time to worry about that. 

The last two are Darcy Burdock, the perfect companion for young girls. This is the start of a series about Darcy and her slightly mad family. Who can't relate to that!? And finally The Skull In The Woods, a book about mystery, curses and animals turning bad.

- There seems to be a big animal theme running through this years books!

Finally we get onto the teen selection. my favourite of them all as it's all I seem to read. But as you can see there is a distinct lack of titles you would have thought would hit the short list. No John Green, Veronica Roth or Rainbow Rowell. It's not that we didn't love them, It's just they've been acknowledged as amazing authors so we thought other people could have a chance at winning (we all know John would clean the board!)

First up is Geek Girl. A tale of a young, self confessed nerd who gets plucked from obscurity at the Clothes Show Live and ends up at a high end model. Gives hope for all of us! Contrasting that though is Butter. A tale of a young boy, weighing in at over 400lbs who thinks the only way out is to kill himself the only way he knows how. By eating himself to death. Definitely my favourite book of the selection as it touches on bullying, weight issues and self esteem. 

The Bone Dragon is a tale about strength from the perspective of a 14 year old girl. A perfect blend of a psychological thriller and fantasy tale this is a great story about a girl seeking revenge the only way she knows how. If You Find Me is all about Carey. A girl with a huge secret. Her mum is a drug addict and her and her sister all live in the woods together. That is until her mum goes missing. 

The fabulous Dawn O'Porter brings us Paper Aeroplanes. A tale set in the mid 90's about coming of age in a small town where there's not a lot to do. And finally is Out Of The Easy. A challenging topic about a girl who is a brothel prostitutes daughter who just want's to go to university. 


So there you have it. The amazing titles that are up for the award. Each category will have one winner and then there will be an overall winner picked. No doubt I will convince myself to host a giveaway for that title as I already have a few gut instincts about what it might be!

Are there any that interest you? Or any that you have read and enjoyed? 
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