Book Awards

UK’s National Children’s Book Awards

ASE Book of the Year Award

Launched for the first time in 2016 this award has been designed to celebrate science writing that educates and inspires science learners of all ages. It also aims to raise the profile of science publishing and showcase the best authors.

The Alligator’s Mouth Award

This award was launched in 2018 by the Richmond based children’s bookshop, The Alligator’s Mouth, in partnership with illustration and literary agency The Bright Agency to celebrate the best young, illustrated children’s fiction published in the UK for readers aged 6-8. These books are often unnoticed or underappreciated by other awards but offer a wonderful format for storytelling which not only beautifully marries art and text, but also acts as a crucial bridge in children’s reading journey as they progress from picture books to fiction

BAMB Readers Awards

The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards are a unique new set of awards which were launched in 2016. They are the only book awards with shortlists curated by bookshops. The five shortlists have been chosen by booksellers across the UK & Ireland: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Biography & Autobiography, Children’s and Breakthrough Author, and a special Readers Choice Award completes the set. Voting takes place online and winners are announced in November of each year

Blue Peter Book Awards

This award was established in 2000. Winners are short listed by a panel of adult judges; then a group of young Blue Peter viewers judges the three categories:

  • Book I Couldn’t Put Down
  • Best Book with Facts
  • Most Fun Story with Pictures

The winners of these categories then compete for the accolade “Blue Peter Book of the Year”. 

Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is given to a children’s writer or illustrator whose body of work, in the opinion of a panel of judges, merits recognition for a lifetime’s achievement in children’s literature.

Branford Boase Award

This award celebrates the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards by a first-time novelist. The author may have published books before in another genre but this must be his/her first attempt at a children’s novel.

British Book Awards

The British Book Awards or ‘Nibbies’ honours and celebrates the commercial successes of publishers, authors and bookshops. The awards have had several previous names, owners and sponsors since being launched in 1990, including the National Book Awards from 2010-2014. Alongside trade accolades such as ‘publisher of the year’ and ‘book retailer of the year’, The British Book Awards announces seven individual Books of the Year and one of the categories happens to be Children’s.

CILIP Carnegie Medal

This medal is awarded by children’s librarians for an outstanding book for children and young people. Short lists are available in April for Shadowing.

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

The Kate Greenaway Medal was established by The Library Association in 1955, for distinguished illustration in a book for children. It is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children’s illustrations and designs. Shortlists are available in April for Shadowing.

*On 23 October 2015 CILIP and Amnesty International UK announced a major new partnership. The two organisations will supplement the long-standing Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals with a new commendation: the Amnesty CILIP Honour. In essence, Amnesty’s judging panel will award the honour to one book from each of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists. The books they commend will be those that they believe most distinctively illuminate, communicate or celebrate human rights – which in essence are freedom, truth, justice and fairness. The Honour was awarded for the first time in 2016

The Children’s Book Award

The Children’s Book Award (known as the Red House Children’s Book Award during the 14 years of The Book People’s sponsorship)  is the only national award for children’s books that is voted for entirely by children themselves. This prize is awarded annually in three categories – Books for Younger Children, Younger Readers and Older Readers.

CLiPPA(Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award).

Launched in 2003 this is the only award for published poetry for children. The award highlights this important branch of children’s literature, ensuring that it receives proper recognition. The award is presented annually for a book of poetry published in the preceding year.

Costa Book Awards – (Children’s category)

The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership. One of the 5 categories awarded is for Children’s Books.

Edward Stanford Children’s Travel Book of the Year

Launched in 2105 the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award celebrates the best travel writing and travel writers in the world. The award is named after Edward Stanford who established his map-making business in the heart of London in 1853 at the height of the British Empire and whose maps fueled a passion for adventure, exploration and foreign travel, which in turn led to an explosion in travel writing. The award has several categories, one of which covers children’s books

The English 4-11 Best Children’s Picture Book Award

This award was established in 1995, the awards are presented to the best children’s illustrated books of the year. The winning books are chosen by the editorial board of English 4-11, the journal for primary teachers published by the English Association and the United Kingdom Literacy Association, from a shortlist of 12-18 books selected by a panel of teachers.

Excelsior Award

Originally called the Stan Lee Excelsior Award, this is the only nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga. Its main aim is to encourage the reading and raise the profile of graphic novels and manga amongst school librarians and teachers as this storytelling medium has been a largely underused resource within education for many years.  The books are chosen for their quality, popularity and variety of genre and artistic styles. Originally there was just a Senior and Junior version of the award but in 2019 The Excelsior Award was split up into four separate shortlists to cover the four different key stages

  • Excelsior Award White, for students aged 9 and over (Key Stage 2)
  • Excelsior Award Blue, for students aged 11 and over (Key Stage 3)
  • Excelsior Award Red, for students aged 14 and over (Key Stage 4)
  • Excelsior Award Black, for students aged 16 and over (Sixth Form)

Each shortlist consists of five books (graphic novels and/or manga) that will cost no more than £65. There is also a registration fee of £25 for each school.

In Other Words

This prize launched for the first time in 2017 by Book Trust, promotes the translation and UK publication of outstanding works of children’s fiction from around the world for children aged 6 to 12. Every year the organisers receive hundreds of titles from all over the world which are reviewed by a panel of experts. From these up to ten titles are shortlisted for partial translation into English before the final four commended Honour Titles are chosen.

Klaus Flugge Prize

Established in 2016 in honour of Klaus Flugge, a long-serving figure in publishing and the founder of Andersen Press.  Klaus Flugge was particularly influential as a publisher in the world of picture books and discovered and nurtured many of today’s most distinguished illustrators including Chris Riddell, fellow judge Tony Ross, and David McKee, creator of Elmer the Elephant. So fittingly the award’s full title is The Klaus Flugge Prize for the Most Exciting Newcomer  to Picture Book Illustration! Shortlist for this award are announced at the end of April and the winner is revealed in September

Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (has not been awarded since 2016)

Founded in 1967 this prize had a tradition of finding new voices in children’s fiction before the rest of the world was aware of them! It was the only children’s book award judged by children’s authors

Laugh Out Loud Awards (Lollies)

Scholastic announced the launch of this brand new book prize in October 2015 to celebrate the best funny books in children’s literature after it was announced that the Roald Dahl Funny Prize would not continue. The Laugh Out Loud Book prize (the ‘Lollies’) will be awarded in three categories:

  • Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book
  • Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8s
  • Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13s

A panel headed by Michael Rosen will select four books to make up the shortlist in each category but the winners will be decided entirely by children’s votes with voting taking place via this very website and promoted through Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Fairs. The shortlists will be published in February and the winning books will be announced at an awards ceremony in July.

Little Rebels Children’s Book Award

This award was launched in 2012 in recognition of the rich tradition of radical publishing for children aged 0-12 in the UK. ‘Radical’ is defined widely to include books informed by inclusive/anti-discriminatory concerns or those which promote social equality or social justice. The award is administered by Letterbox Library who specialise in children’s books which celebrate diversity, equality and inclusion

Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation (a biennial award, last awarded 2017)

This is a literary prize awarded in the United Kingdom since 1996 to the translator of an outstanding work of fiction for young readers translated into English. The award is given every two years. It was first administered  by the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University, and subsidised in its early years by the Arts Council of England. The award is now sponsored by the Marsh Christian Trust and from 2008 has been administered by the English-Speaking Union

Oscar’s Book Prize

This award  is for the best book published for children aged five or under. It is awarded in memory of Oscar Ashton in partnership with Amazon, the London Evening Standard and the National Literacy Trust. Oscar was the son of Evening Standard columnist James Ashton, who died in 2012 at the age of three from an undetected heart condition

Queen of Teen (now ceased)

The Queen of Teen Prize was cancelled after losing sponsorship from the Book People. Launched in 2008, the award was established to recognise excellence in YA and teen fiction and was voted for by teen readers. The final Queen of Teen award was won in 2014 by James (now Juno) Dawson, author of Cruel Summer, Hollow Pike and Say Her Name. Past winners of the biannual award include Louise Rennison and Cathy Cassidy.

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize (now ceased)

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize ran from 2008 to 2013, with the aim of promoting laughter and humour as a feel-good factor when reading; drawing attention to funny books as readable and enjoyable, and rewarding authors and illustrators who write and illustrate humorous books. After six successful years, Booktrust and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate decided to bring things to an end. Following the closure of this award Scholastic stepped into the breech and launched The Lollies – The Laugh Out Loud Awards

Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize

This award celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people..The prize is open to books in which science is a substantial aspect of the book’s content, narrative or theme and which are written for children up to 14 years old

SLA Information Book Award

This award for children’s non-fiction was launched in 2011. The Information Book Award is administered annually by the SLAand sponsored by Hachette Children’s Books. The award is split into three separate categories; under 7s, 7-12 and 12-16. Publishers are invited to submit titles in February each year, and the shortlist of nine books is then announced in either July or August. Children are invited to vote for their favourite book in September and October and Peters supply packs of the shortlisted titles. Each section will have a winner, chosen by the panel, as well as a children’s choice winner. There will also be an overall winner, awarded to the best information book across all categories

In 2017 an associated award – The Hachette Children’s Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books was launched. This award is given to an eminent UK writer or illustrator of information books for children, to mark an exceptional contribution to excellence in their field. The winner is also announced at the SLA Information Book Award ceremony which usually heralds the start of National Non-fiction November

Stan Lee Excelsior Award  (now called  Excelsior Award )

UKLA Book Award

Known as the teacher’s Carnegie because it is judged by a large group of over 60 teachers, this award has three categories: age 3-6; 7-11; 12-16. The teachers always bring a fresh perspective to the judging process every year. As they search for books that “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”, they often include in their shortlists international authors, debut authors and books in translation in preference to many of the established names in children’s literature.

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

The prize was created to uncover hidden talent in children’s writing and raise the profile of new and emerging authors. The short listed titles are selected through the feedback of hundreds of booksellers and reading groups and are a great mixture for all ages (5-8 years, 9-12 years and teenage) and include all genres.

The YA Book Prize

A brand new prize for UK and Irish YA books launched in 2015


Local South Eastern Children’s Book Awards

* Please note your local Schools Library Services  also run a number of annual book awards in their respective areas e.g. The East Sussex Children’s Book Award; West Sussex Book Awards and Hampshire Book Awards (see below)

Hampshire Book Awards

Run by the Schools Library Service there are 4 different awards – Hampshire Picture Book Award for Year 1; Hampshire Information Book Award for Year 4; Hampshire  Illustrated Book Award for Year 5 and Hampshire Book Award for Yr 8.  Shortlist in March and Award in June

The Amazing Book Awards

The ABAs, or to give it its full name, The Sussex Coast Schools’ Amazing Book Awards, is a book award set up at the start of 2011 by a small group of school librarians from West Sussex. The group felt that secondary school students, particularly those in years nine and ten, were so often overlooked by those bigger book awards, which frequently aim themselves at students in lower years. The ABAs is your chance to let your students take control. Although we, with the help of the publishers and nominations from participating school librarians, create the long list, the students choose the shortlist of 5 and also vote for their favourites. There is no overall veto or “panel vote”, the books chosen by the students

Awesome Book Awards

Launched in 2016 this is a fiction award for children between the ages of 7 -10 created by Alison Fenton (a LIPSSEE member) and her team from Cranleigh Prep School. The award focuses on debut novels published in paperback. Five shortlisted books are announced in September and pupils have until following March to read them. Online voting takes place in April and all participating schools are invited to attend the awards ceremony at Cranleigh Senior School in May.   For more information please visit the website

Berkshire Book Award

This is an award for the best, recently published book written for young people. Pupils aged between 11 and 14 from schools all over Berkshire nominate their favourite books. Public libraries and bookshops across Berkshire are also involved

South East Schools Themed Book Award

Originally called the West Kent Schools Themed Book Award, this award is designed to promote reading in secondary schools. Launched in 2006 it aims to engage young people in reading for pleasure, book discussion and peer recommendation. At the beginning of each school year students are asked to nominate books on a specific theme. The shortlisted titles are then divided into two categories – teens (yrs 7  & 8) and young adults (yr 9). Participating schools establish reading groups who read the books over a period of four months. Votes are cast and the winners revealed to an audience of around 200 at the Awards Evening which  is held in March at Kent College, Pembury. This is always a fantastic event celebrating books and the joy of reading. There’s a competition for those who come dressed as a character from one of the books, a brilliant book stall with a £5 book token to spend on the night for every participant and high profile guest authors who deliver talks, do a Q&A and sign books. For further details please contact: Susan Waller, The Librarian, Kent College (Pembury) Tel: 01892 822006

Southwark Book Award

The Southwark Book Award is organised by the Southwark Education Librarians’ Forum, and is aimed at pupils in Yrs. 7 & 8. Any Southwark schools who would like to take part in future awards should contact Jo Mead ( ) to join their mailing list.

Southern Schools Book Award

This award aims to re-establish and strengthen the reading habit for the 13-plus student. Attention is drawn to ‘books well worth reading’ and an inclusive attitude is adopted towards ICT and other activities. Students are involved with the creation of a website, and the award links schools through the region via email. The award has also expanded to bookmark and poster design competitions, book review guides and the production of a regular newsletter between schools. Teachers and librarians draw up a shortlist of books which students then read, review and debate to select their favourite book.

Trinity Schools Book Award

Originally set up by a group of independent schools belonging to the Trinity Group in 2015 this award has been such a success that it has been decided to allow other schools outside of the Trinity Group to join in.  If you would like to take part, just use the Contact Us button on the website for more details. The award is themed every year, this way classics can be included alongside newly published authors.  The first theme in 2015 was War and Peace, as it was the centenary of World War One.   The Award which starts in September (with the booklists being released to Librarians at the end of June), has a Senior and Junior section.  The final ceremony to announce the winners is in March

(Last updated by Denise Reed on 20th May 2018)

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