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Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners


I get my book recommendations from many different sources - Toppsta reviewers, friends of my children, parents, teachers (particularly on Twitter), librarians and more but I'm always intrigued to see which children's books win awards (and who judges them too). All too easy we default to the known authors like David Walliams or Julia Donaldson but there are thousands of award-winning books to try. 

Here's a calendar of upcoming awards and a list of the key children's book awards in the UK with links to shortlists and winners.


Shortlists: n/a

Winners Announced: The Little Rebels Children's Book Awards (8th), The Klaus Flugge Prize (15th), Scottish Teenage Book Prize


Shortlists: n/a

Winners Announced: FCBC Children's Book Award, Diverse Book Awards 


Shortlists: Costa Book Awards

Winners Announced: The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, Information Book Award School Library Association


Shortlists: n/a

Winners Announced: n/a

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners
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The Waterstones Children's Book Prize is an annual award, voted for by Waterstones booksellers and divided into three categories: Illustrated Books, Younger Fiction and Older Fiction. The Waterstones Children's Book Prize Website.

2021 Waterstones Children's Book Prize Winners (Announced 1st July 2021)

Best Book for Younger Readers and Overall Waterstones Children's Book of the Year: A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

Best Illustrated Book: The Grumpy Fairies by Bethan Stevens

Best Book for Older Readers: Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

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The Klaus Flugge Prize 

The Klaus Flugge Prize is, awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. It honours publisher Klaus Flugge, a supremely influential figure in picture books who, over his long career nurtured many top illustrators including David McKee, Tony Ross, Ruth Brown, Satoshi Kitamura and Chris Riddell.

2020 Klaus Flugge Winner

When Sadness Comes to Call by Eva Eland

2021 Klaus Flugg Winner (announced 22nd September 2021)

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

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An annual award to recognise the enjoyment of reading judged by a panel of expert across the industry. Costa Book Awards Website.

2020 Costa Book Award Winner

The 2020 Costa Children's Book award was won by Voyage of the Sparrowhawk - Natasha Farrant

Shortlist announced end November 2021

Category Winners announced early January 2022

Costa Book of the Year announced end of January 2022

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The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people. The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for a book with exceptional illustrations.

Books are nominated by CILIP members plus external bodies such as Booktrust, CLPE, National Literacy Trust and more. After nominations are published, each book is read by every member of the judging panel − 14 children's and youth librarians representing all regions of CILIP's Youth Libraries Group. From these nominations the judging panel will decide the long and shortlists and finally, the 2020 Medal winners, based on the official medals criteria. 

2020 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Winners

2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal: Lark by Anthony McGowan

2020 Kate Greenaway Medal: Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

2021 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Winners (Announced 16th June 2021)

2021 CILIP Cargegie Medal:
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

2021 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal: Small in the City by Sydney Smith

2021 Shadowers' Choice Carnegie: Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann

2021 Shadowers' Choice Kate Greenaway: Starbird by Sharon King-Chai

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The British Book Awards (aka The Nibbies) is the most important awards for the trade and has been running since 1990. Alongside traditional categories such as fiction and non-fiction there are also awards for best bookshop, best publisher and more. Since 2019, Children's Book of the Year prize has been split into two for Fiction and Non-Fiction/Illustrated. 

2021 British Book Awards Winners (Announced 13th May 2021)

British Book Awards Children's Fiction Book of the Year was The Highland Falcon Thief by M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman

British Book Awards Children's Illustrated/ Non-Fiction Book of the Year was Black and British by David Olusoga

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This is the only national award voted solely by children. Members of the Federation of Children's Book Groups vote on the longlist and then any children can vote on the shortlist. There are three categories: Books for Younger Children, Books for Younger Readers and Books for Older Readers. FCBG Website.

2020 FCBG Children's Book Award Winners (Announced 10th October 2020)

2020 Overall Winner: D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer

Book for Younger Children: The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore

Book for Younger Readers: Mutant Zombies Cursed My School Trip, by Matt Brown, illustrated by Paco Sordo

Book for Older Readers:On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Dates for the 2021 awards are TBC

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The Blue Peter Awards are an annual celebration of the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children. The 2020 Blue Peter Awards judges Meryl Fernandes, Joseph Coelho and Jean Menzies, will choose the shortlist and then children read the titles and vote for their favourites. 

2021 Blue Peter Awards Winners

Blue Peter Best Story: A Kind of Spark - Elle McNicoll

Blue Peter Best Book with Facts: A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You - Mike Barnfield & Jess Bradley

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Three separate awards determined by age group, created to celebrate the very funniest and most engaging books in children’s fiction. A panel of experts vote on the Longlist and then children can vote on the shortlist. The panel was chaired by Michael Rosen in 2020.

2020 Lollies Winners

Announced on 6th February 2020.

Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book: Ten Fat Sausages by Michelle Robinson and Tor Freeman

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8s: The World's Worst Children 3 by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13s: I Bet I Can Make you Laugh by Joshua Seigal and Friends, illustrated by Tom Wesson

2022 Lollies Key Dates

Shortlist announcement

Vote now

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An annual award for an outstanding first novel to a first time writer of a book for young people. Judged by a team of industry experts.

2020 Branford Boase Winner

The winner of the 2020 Branford Boase award was Bearmouth by Liz Hyder

2021 Branford Boase Winner (announced 15th July 2021)

The winner of the  2021 Branford Boase award was Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray

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Now in its seventh year, the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards (run with Booktrust) aims to celebrate some of the best titles in children's publishing. Winners are chosen by a panel of experts.

2020 Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards Winners

Activity Book: Draw With Rob by Rob Biddulph

Baby and Toddler: Don't Tickle the Dinosaur by Sam Taplin, illustrated by Ana Martin Larranaga

Favourite Characters:Oi See it! Say it! by Kes Gray, illustrated by Jim Field

Fiction: Anisha, Accidental Detective by Serena Patel, illustrated by Emma McCann

Learning & Development: Do You Love Bugs? by Matt Robertson

Picture Book:Mabel and the Mountain by Kim Hillyard

Children's Classic: Where's Spot by Eric Hill

2021 Sainsbury's Children's Book Award Winners (announced 16th September 2021) 

Book of the Year and Best Picture Book: The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser, illustrated by Kate Hindley

Activity book: Let's Go For A Walk by Ranger Hamza, illustrated by Kate Kronreif

Baby & Toddler: Sometimes Babies... by Charlotte Trounce

Learning & Development: You are a Champion by Marcus Rashford and Carl Anka

Fiction: Twitch by M.G. Leonard

License: Minecraft Epic Bases: 12 mind-blowing builds to spark your imagination by Mojan AB

Children's Classic: Fox's Socks a lift-the-flap book by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler

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The little rebels children's book award

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is a prize for radical fiction aimed at children aged 0-12. 

The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and was established in conjunction with Letterbox Library.

2020 Little Rebels Award

The winner of the 2020 Little Rebels Children's Book Award was The Boy Who Loved Everyone by Jane Porter and Maisie Paradise Shearring

Key Dates for 2021

Shortlist Announced

Little Rebels Children's Book Award Winner (announced 8th September 2021)

The winner of the 2021 Little Rebels Children's Book Award was Boy, Everywhere by A. M. Dassu

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Annual award to the best young adult book written by an author living in the UK or Ireland. Judged by a panel of industry experts. The winner of the 2021 YA Book Prize was Loveless by Alice Oseman. A Special Achievement Award was given to Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. Previous winners have been Juno Dawson's Meat Market (2020); Sara Barnard's Goodbye, Perfect (2019); Will Hill's After the Fire (2018); Patrice Lawrence's Orangeboy (2017); Sarah Crossan's One (2016); Only Ever Yours (2015).

Longlist 2021 | Shortlist 2021 | Winners announced June 2021

The Jhalak Children's & YA Prize

jhalak prize

First awarded in March 2017, the Jhalak Prize and its new sister award Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize founded in 2020, seek to celebrate books by British/British resident BAME writers. 

2021 Children's & YA Award

The winner of the Children's & YA award was Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence

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The Royal society young people's book prize

The Young People's Book Prize aims to promote literacy in young people and to inspire them to read about science. It also supports the writing of excellent, accessible STEM books for under-14s. 

The winner is selected by judging panels made up of young people at schools across the country from a shortlist curated by an adult judging panel. 

The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2020 Winner 

The winner of the 2020 The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize was Cats React to Science Facts by Izzi Howell

Key Dates for 2021

Shortlist Announcement: 14th September 2021

Winners Announcement: November 2021

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Famous independent bookseller Foyles chooses its Books of the Year in three categories: fiction, non-fiction and children's. The books are chosen through a combination of Foyles bestsellers, staff vote and reader response.

2020 Foyles Children's Book of the Year

The winner of the 2020 Foyles Children's Book of the Year was The Wolf's Secret by Nicolas Digard & Myriam Dahman, illustrated by Julia Sarda Portabella

Dates for the 2021 awards are TBC


Now in their 11th year these awards set out to increase teachers knowledge of newly published books which they can share with pupils. These are the only awards judged entirely by teachers.

2021 UKLA Book Award Winners

3-6+ category winner: Look Up by Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola
3-6+ highly commended: Tibble and Grandpa by Wendy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus 

7-10+ category winner: Check Mates by Stewart Foster
7-10+ highly commended: Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson

11-14+ category joint winners: Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann & The Last Paper Crane by Kerry Drewery, illustrated by Natsko Seki

Information books category winner: The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

2022 UKLA Book Awards

Key dates for 2022

Longlist announced 25th September 2021

Shortlist announcement tbc

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners

Tir Na n-og awards

The Tir Na N-Og awards are organised annually by the Books Council of Wales and celebrate both Welsh language books and children's books with an authentic Welsh background.

2020 Tir Na N-Og Award Winners

The winner of the 2020 Tir Na N-Og English Language award was Storm Hound by Claire Fayers

2021 Tir Na N-Og Award Winners

The winner of the 2021 Tir Na N-Og English Language award was
The Short Knife by Elen Caldecott

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners


Established in 1995, this award celebrates picture books for all ages. The winners are selected by the Editorial Board of English 4–11, the journal for primary teachers published jointly by The English Association and the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), from a shortlist selected by a panel of teachers and their students, and primary specialists. 

The winning books celebrate the unique partnership of picture and text and showcase books where words and images are of equal importance.

2020 English Picture Book Awards Winners

Non-Fiction 4-7 years: A Million Dots - Sven Völker 

Fiction 4-7 years: The Suitcase - Chris Naylor-Ballesteros 

Non-Fiction 7-11 years: Rise Up! Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories - Amanda Li & Amy Blackwell

Fiction 7-11 years: Through the Wall - Jonathan Standing 

2021 English Picture Book Awards Winners

Non-Fiction 4-7 years: A New Green Day - Antoinette Portis

Fiction 7-11: The Wolf's Secret - Myriam Dahman and Nicolas Digard, illustrated by Julia Sarda

Fiction 4-7: The Goody - Lauren Child

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners

gandys children's travel book of the year

The Gandys Children's Travel Book award is part of the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards celebrating the best travel writing.

2020 Gandys Children's Travel Book of the Year

The 2020 winner was Fire Girl, Forest Boy by Chloe Daykin

Dates for the 2021 awards are TBC

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners
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information book award school library association

The SLA Information Book Award is an annual event celebrating information books, and is designed to support school libraries and to reinforce the importance of non-fiction whilst highlighting the high standard of resources available.

The first award ceremony took place in 2011. 

Key dates for 2021

Longlist announced

Shortlist announced

Voting for the Children's Choice will also open with the shortlist announcement in June.

The winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony to take place in November.


The Indie Book Awards include Children's Fiction and Picture Book categories and are voted for by indie bookshops and judged by a panel of authors and indie bookshops.

Indie Book Awards Winners 2021

Children's Fiction: Tamarind & the Star of Ishta by Jasbinder Bilan

Picture Book: The Hospital Dog by Julia Donaldson

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners


Founded in 1990, the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards are the most prestigious awards for children’s books in Ireland and are a celebration of Irish writing and illustration for younger people.

The KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2021 winners

The Junior Juries' Award: The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

Honour Award for Fiction: The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison

Honour Award for Illustration: The Haunted Lake by P.J. Lynch

The Judges' Special Award: Why the Moon Travels by Oein DeBhairduin, illustrated by Leanne McDonagh

The Book of the Year Award: Savage Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan, illustrated by Karen Vaughan

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners

young quills awards

The Young Quills Awards for Historical Fiction are annual awards that recognise the best in historical fiction for young readers.

Young Quills 2020 Winners (announced 8th July 2021)

6-9 years category: The Closest Thing to Flying by Gill Lewis

10-13 years category: Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange

14 years + category: The Stolen Ones by Vanessa Curtis 

Shortlist 2021 (announced 20th August 2021)

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners

The Diverse Book aWARDS

We want to highlight the best of the diverse voices published in the UK during 2020, both traditionally and self-published. We believe there's a need to showcase the talent of marginalised voices, so we came up with The DBAwards to open a space where the spotlight is on them. The Best Children's Book 2020 Winner: The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q, Rauf and Best Young Adult Book 2020 Winner : Chinglish: An Almost Entirely True Story by Sue Cheung.

Longlist 2021 |Shortlist 2021 | Winners announced 22nd October 2021

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners


The Scottish Teenage Book Prize celebrates the very best in Scottish teen fiction and helps teenagers find new, exciting books to read.

Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2021

Shortlist announced 1st September 2021 - voting now open

Voting deadline 25th March 2022

Winners announcement 4th May 2022

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners


Wales Book of the Year celebrates outstanding literary talent from Wales across various genres in both English and Welsh. 

Literature Wales English Language Wales Children & Young People Award Winner 2021

The Infinite by Patience Agbabi

Children's Book Awards 2021: Shortlists and Winners

21st September 2021

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Featured Book
Eddie Albert and the Amazing Animal Gang: The Amsterdam Adventure
Eddie Albert and the Amazing Animal Gang: The Amsterdam Adventure

BOOK OF THE MONTH: The hilarious and action-packed middle grade adventure from beloved comedian and bestselling author Paul O’Grady. Perfect for ages 8+

View book
Featured Books