BLOG: BookLife Children’s Book Award 2019

A dog that loses its bark, an Indiana Jones-esque penguin and a wondrous dinosaurium are all shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award 2019 – chosen and voted for entirely by children.

The Children’s Book Award 2019 shortlist has been announced. Among those shortlisted are previously-shortlisted author Lisa Thompson and ‘Artemis Fowl’ creator Eoin Colfer.

Who will win? Children nationwide are now invited to vote for their favourite of the ten shortlisted books. The deadline for online voting is 12.00 noon Friday 10th May.  The category winners and the author of the best children’s book published in the 2018 nomination period will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony which takes place in Central London Saturday 8th June 2019.

The Children’s Book Award is the only national award for children’s books that is voted for entirely by children. It is owned and coordinated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups and is highly respected by teachers, parents and librarians. It has brought acclaim and strong sales to past winners such as J.K. Rowling, Patrick Ness, Andy Stanton, Malorie Blackman, Anthony Horowitz and Michael Morpurgo, who has won a record four times. The award has often been the first to recognise the future stars of children’s fiction and has the ability to turn popular authors into bestsellers.

The full shortlist for the Children’s Book Award 2019 is as follows:

Books for Younger Children

MIXED, written and illustrated by Arree Chung, published by Macmillan Children’s Books
The Last Chip: The Story of a Very Hungry Pigeon, written and illustrated by Duncan Beedie, published by Templar
The Wondrous Dinosaurium, written by John Condon and illustrated by Steve Brown, published by Maverick
What Do You Do if Your house is a Zoo, written by John Kelly and illustrated by Steph Laberis, published by Little Tiger Press

Books for Younger Readers
Funny Kid Stand Up, written and illustrated by Matt Stanton, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Mr Penguin and The Fortress of Secrets, written and illustrated by Alex T Smith, published by Hodder Children’s Books
The Dog Who Lost His Bark, written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by PJ Lynch, published by Walker Books

Books for Older Readers
Armistice Runner, written by Tom Palmer, published by Barrington Stoke
The Light Jar, written by Lisa Thompson, published by Scholastic
The Storm Keeper’s Island, written by Catherine Doyle, published by Bloomsbury

Vote online here –

Sarah Stuffins, Children’s Book Award Coordinator says ‘Last year saw the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ 50th year, and more children than ever engaging with the Children’s Book Award. This year’s shortlist really does have something for everything and shows the incredible breadth of talent in the children’s book world. We are in a golden age of children’s publishing – something to be celebrated – and access to books has never been more important. We congratulate all our Top Ten authors and can’t wait to find out who is the children’s choice this year. We’re thrilled to have BookLife on board again this year as our sponsors – many thanks to them and all the publishers who submit books for their support of the award.’

Notes for editors:

The Children’s Book Award, was founded in 1980 by the national children’s reading charity, the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. It is the only national UK children’s book award to be voted for entirely by children and each year over 150,000 votes are cast, involving nearly 250 schools across the UK. The ten titles on the shortlist for the Books for Younger Children, Books for Younger Readers and Books for Older Readers categories, were chosen by children nationwide who read and voted for the books throughout the year as part of the network of the Federation’s Children’s Book Groups. The overall winner is awarded the Children’s Book Award Silver Tree, of which they are the custodian for a year, and an engraved silver acorn which is theirs to keep. Each of the category winners receive an engraved glass book page and each shortlisted author and illustrator will also receive an incredible portfolio of writing and artwork created by children inspired by their book.

How does it work?

Between January and December 12 Federation of Children’s Book Groups Testing Groups read and rate every book from A (Brilliant) to E (Rubbish). The Top 50 books are selected to include the Top Ten in 3 categories:

Younger Children (Picture: 4 titles)

Younger Readers (6 – 11: 3 titles)

Older Readers (10 – 18: 3 titles)

Any child in the UK can vote to choose the Category and Overall Winners, through the Federation of Children’s Book Groups and online. The Top Ten are ranked within their own category and the Overall Winner is selected from the Winners of each Category.

The award in numbers

  • Up to 150,000 votes cast a year
  • Over 750 books read each year
  • Over 100 publishing imprints submit books to the award
  • Over 5,000 books donated every year
  • Nearly 250 schools with 130,000 children a year

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups was set up as a charity in 1968 by Anne Wood, the Founder and Creator of Ragdoll Productions and the originator of The Teletubbies and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with a host of exciting activities, launches and events through the year. It acts as an umbrella organisation for local Children’s Book Groups all over the UK. The groups organise a variety of activities including author events and other activities that promote the enjoyment of children’s books. The Federation also produces numerous specialist book lists, organises National Share-a-Story Month each May, National Non-Fiction Month each November and holds an annual conference each spring.

BookLife have 50 years of experience working in the education sector, aiming to bring knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to children’s literature. Selecting engaging, imaginative and informative books, BookLife educational experts create and curate a huge range of books that promotes the very best curriculum-focussed resources. Providing quality resources that fulfil the constantly-changing needs of today’s classrooms, BookLife enables teachers to cover the diverse range of topics in current curriculums. The company has published over 200 titles to date and continues to work alongside educational experts to create more.


Contact details –

Sarah Stuffins

Children’s Book Award Coordinator



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