Before it slips away from me to do this, here’s the Waterstones Childrens’ Book Prize 2021. This award celebrated 15 years of honouring great childrens’ books, with the first prize given in 2005. It’s purpose is to “uncover hidden talent in childrens’ writing,” revealing exciting new voices that tell the kinds of stories children want to hear and reflecting their interests and concerns. Without further ado….
The Best Book for Young Readers and Overall Winner of the Waterstones Childrens’ Book Prize 2021 is….
A KIND OF SPARK by Elle McNicholl, published by the incredible KnightsOf… Publishers. An inspired story of difference, acceptance and change, A Kind of Spark lets us into the heart and mind of neurodivergent Addie, as she campaigns for a memorial in her small Scottish town to honour the women who perished at the hands of witchhunters in a time long gone. Written with genuine insight, this is a witty, warm and beautiful story of self-belief, friendship and growing up. Direct, funny, accessible, heartfelt and filled with empathy. A true winner in every way! (If you want to read more of my thoughts on A Kind of Spark, head over to the Teen and Young Adult page of this blog…roughly for ages 11+)
But wait, there’s more…
The Best Illustrated Book Prize goes to…
THE GRUMPY FAIRIES by Bethan Stevens, published by Frances Lincoln Childrens’ Books. We all think that fairies are good, kind, sweet…and a lot of them are. But some of the fairies, particularly the littlest ones, are GRUMPY. These fairies are not at all interested in helping out with their chores! (We’ve all been there!) Grumpy fairies better watch out. There’s a goblin about, and he finds grumpy fairies the most delicious! Wonderful, silly and so much fun, a great take on toddler tantrums and unruly behaviour.
And finally, The Best Book for Older Readers Prize was given to….
WRANGLESTONE by Darren Charlton, published by Stripes Publishing. An unnerving, terrifying post-apocalyptic/zombie novel woven with a tender, moving gay love story, Charlton’s debut paints a brilliantly detailed picture of a community under siege in a post-apocalyptic America. Poetic writing, extraordinary world building, it is atmospheric, consuming, fast-paced and page-turning….incredible…simply incredible.
Such a fabulous bunch of winning books, I am thrilled for you all. Many congratulations to the authors, illustrators and publishers. If you wan to know more about the Waterstones Childrens’ Book Awards…just follow the link, as per usual. https://www.waterstones.com/the-waterstones-childrens-book-prize