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The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017

13th December 2017

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The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize was created to uncover talent relatively fresh to children’s literature. The Prize first began in 2005, with Stuart Hill’s fantasy The Cry of the Icemark winning the inaugural award. In 2012, Waterstones enhanced the Prize to cover three key areas of children’s publishing – Picture Books, Younger Fiction and Older Fiction. Each year, of the three category winners from the 18-strong shortlist, one title will also have the honour of walking away with the overall Prize.

You can see this year’s full shortlist and winners below and you can click through to read the reviews!

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is a great way to find out what books you can buy according to the age of the child. With the 18-strong shortlist, there's something for everyone.  

The Managing Director of Waterstones, James Daunt, said of this year's winner;

"We have a sensationally good winner, a work of imagination and drive that will command a special place on the bookshelves of many generations of readers to come. The overall strength of our shortlist and the category winners reflects the vibrant health of children's publishing which we are delighted to celebrate."

Younger Fiction Category and Overall Winner

Book pages Placeholder Book

The Girl of Ink & Stars

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands
her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears,
she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls
is a monster-filled wasteland - and beneath the dry rivers and smoking
mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon,
following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers
the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

Chicken House Ltd

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ILLUSTRATED BOOKS CATEGORY WINNER

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There's a Tiger in the Garden

When Grandma says she's seen a tiger in the garden, Nora doesn't believe her. She's too old to play Grandma's silly games! Everyone knows that tigers live in jungles, not gardens. So even when Nora sees butterflies with wings as big as her arm, and plants that try and eat her toy giraffe, and a polar bear that likes fishing, she knows there's absolutely, DEFINITELY no way there could be a tiger in the garden . . . Could there? 

Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

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Illustrated Books: The Shortlist

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Super Stan

A warm and funny tale of superhero sibling rivalry that will appeal to children and parents alike. Life can be hard when your little brother is a superhero. The whole world thinks Super Stan is AMAZING . . . but no one notices his big brother, Jack.

Hachette Children’s Group, Hachette

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Book pages Placeholder Book

The Journey

What is like to have to leave everything behind and travel many miles to somewhere unfamiliar and strange? A mother and her two children set out on such a journey: one filled with fear of the unknown, but also great hope.

Flying Eye Books

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The Bear Who Stared by Duncan Beedie

There once was a bear who liked to stare... and stare... and STARE. Bear doesn't mean to be rude, he's just curious but too shy to say anything. But nobody likes being stared at and it soon gets Bear into trouble. 

Templar Publishing, Bonnier 

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Tiger in a Tutu by Fabi Santiago

Set in Paris, with a dancing tiger as the star, this is an uplifting tale of following your dreams and pursuing your talent, no matter what, and about making friends. Max isn't like other tigers - he is a tiger with a dream! He longs to pirouette and plie, to leap and spin. He wants to be a dazzling dancer, shining on the stage! Little dancers will love to see Max triumph and get his moment in the spotlight.From a new artistic talent whose work will appeal to fans of Miroslav Sasek and James Mayhew

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Life is Magic

Magician Monsieur Lapin is auditioning assistants and Houdini the rabbit is the obvious choice - he loves magic and knows how to take care of everyone and everything in the theatre. So one night when things go wrong, Houdini tries to carry on with the show...and unfortunately that spells rabbit-shaped disaster for his human magician.

Andersen Press Ltd

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Younger Fiction: The Shortlist 

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Annabelle has lived in Wolf Hollow all her life: a quiet place, still scarred by two world wars. But when cruel, manipulative Betty arrives in town, Annabelle's calm world is shattered, along with everything she's ever known about right and wrong.

Random House Children's, Penguin Random House

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Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard

Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever. A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two
solve the mystery of his dad's disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery?

Chicken House Ltd 

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Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford

On Al Chaudhury's twelfth birthday his beloved Grandpa Byron gives him a letter from Al's late father. In it Al receives a mission: travel back to 1984 in a secret time machine and save his father's life. Al soon discovers that time travel requires daring and imagination.

 HarperCollins Publishers

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Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

When 13-year-old Lily's inventor father vanishes after a Zeppelin crash, Lily's determined to hunt down the truth behind his disappearance, helped by Robert, the local clockmaker's son, and her wily mechanical fox Malkin. But shadowy figures are closing in and treachery lurks among the smoky spires of London - along with a life-changing secret. Be swept away by airships and flabbergasted by dastardly plots in this extraordinary and wildly imaginative debut, bursting with invention and adventure.

Usborne Publishing Ltd

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Captain Pug: The Adventures of Pug by Laura James & Eglantine Ceulemans

Pug is going on a seafaring adventure. He's had jam tarts for breakfast. He's wearing a smart sailor suit. There's just one problem. Pug is afraid of the water!

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

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Older Fiction Category Winner

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Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence

Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise - he'll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it's been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They're after the mysterious Mr Orange, and they're going to use Marlon to get to him. Marlon's out of choices - can he become the person he never wanted to be, to protect everyone he loves?

Hachette Children's Group, Hachette

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Older Readers: The Shortlist

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Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

When she and her family move to his deserted ranch in order to transfer him to a care home, Carol struggles to cope with the suffocating heat and the effects of her grandfather's dementia. Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible. She must be imagining things

Walker Books Ltd

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Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit​

Krakow, 1939, is no place to grow up. There are a million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. And Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father and suddenly, she's alone. Then she meets the Swallow Man.

Penguin Books Ltd

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The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy

Something is stirring in the heart of Old Delhi...Prowling, hunting and fighting amidst the crumbling ruins of one of Delhi's oldest neighbourhoods, are the proud Wildings. These feral cats fear no one, go where they want and do as they please. Battle-scarred tomcats, fierce warrior queens, the Wildings have ruled over Nizamuddin for centuries. Now there is a new addition to the clan - a pampered housecat with strange powers that could turn their world on its head.

Pushkin Children's Books

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Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one - and a secret one. Not even her father knows about it. She's trapped like a butterfly in a jar. But then she meets Blister, a boy in the woods. And in him, June recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away. But freedom comes at a price . . . 

Egmont UK Ltd 

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I'm a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I'm definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won't be my story.

Daniel: I've always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents' high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store-for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Random House Children's, Penguin Random House

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