Red House Children's Book Award

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For the award given by the Child Study Association of America, see Josette Frank Award.

The Federation of Children's Book Groups Children's Book Award is a set of annual literary prizes for children's books published in the U.K. during the preceding calendar year. It recognises one "Overall" winner and one book in each of three categories: Books for Younger Children, Books for Younger Readers, and Books for Older Readers.[a] The selections are made entirely by children, which is unique among British literary awards.[1] It was previously known as the Red House Children's Book Award.

The Federation of Children's Book Groups owns and coordinates the Award, which it inaugurated in 1981 as the Children's Book Award. Its purpose has been "to celebrate the books that children themselves love reading."[1] From 2001 to 2015 it was sponsored by the mail order bookshop Red House[1] —a brand owned by bookselling company The Book People.

Process and latest rendition[edit]

The 2017 Top Ten has been announced:

Books for Younger Children: 'Chicken Nugget' written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Tom McLaughlin, published by Puffin

'Oi Dog!' written by Kes Gray and Claire Gray, illustrated by Jim Field and published by Hodder

'Grandad's Island' written and illustrated by Benji Davies and published by Simon and Schuster

'Gracie Grabbit and the Tiger' written and illustrated by Helen Stephens and published by Scholastic

Books for Younger Readers 'The Accidental Pirates (Voyage to Magical North) written by Claire Fayer and published by Macmillan

'An Eagle in the Snow' written by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman and published by Harper Collins

'The Jam Doughnut that Ruined my Life' written by Mark Lowery, illustrated by Hannah Shaw and published by Piccadilly

Books for Older Readers 'One' written by Sarah Crossan and published by Bloomsbury

'Car-Jacked' written by Ali Sparkes and published by OUP

'Mistletoe and Murder' written by Robin Stevens and published by Penguin Random House

The 2017 winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony to be held in London on Saturday 10 June 2017.

The 2016 Overall Winner was from the Books for Younger Readers and was won by Pamela Butchart and illustrator Thomas Flintham with My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat, published by Nosy Crow.

The 2015 Overall Winner was from the Books for Younger Children and was announced at the Imagine Festival in February. The Winners were Oliver Jeffeys and Drew Daywalt with 'The Days the Crayons Quit', published by Harper Collins.

The 2014 Overall winner was from the Older Readers category, announced in mid-February 2014: The 5th Wave, written by Rick Yancey and published by Penguin Books.[2]

Winners are determined by the votes of children on three category ballots composed by nominations from the same group. "Children from around the world" are eligible to participate in both stages.[3] At least in Britain, many children participate through book groups.[4]

The three ballots, or shortlists, comprise those ten books that garner the most nominations.[5] There are four books on the Younger Children ballot and three each on the Younger Readers and Older Readers ballots.[6]


Currently the annual awards cover books first published in the U.K. during the calendar year.

From 1992 to 2016 —the period of one Overall and three category awards[a]— 13 Overall winners have come from the Long Novel or Older Readers category, 75from the Short Novel or Younger Readers category, 4 from the Picture Book or Younger Children category.[7]


  • Overall: My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat by Pamela Butchart, illus. Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)
  • Younger Children: Is There a Dog in this Book? by Viviane Schwarz (Walker)
  • Younger Readers: My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat by Pamela Butchart, illus. Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)
  • Older Readers: Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
  • Overall: The Boy in the Bubble by Ian Strachan (Methuen)

Winners of multiple awards[edit]

Prior to winning the 2012 Red House Award, Overall, A Monster Calls was named the 2011 British Children's Book of the Year.[4] Subsequently, Ness and Kay as writer and illustrator won both annual children's book awards from the professional librarians, the Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal; that double award alone was an unprecedented sweep. In fact, no previous Children's/Red House Award winner (Overall) has won the Carnegie Medal and only one has won the Greenaway Medal for illustration: the inaugural Children's winner Mr Magnolia (Jonathan Cape, 1980), written and illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Authors with multiple Children's/Red House awards

Michael Morpurgo has won three Overall awards for Kensuke's Kingdom in 2000, Private Peaceful in 2004, and Shadow in 2011. He has also won category awards for The Wreck of the Zanzibar in 1996 and Out of Ashes in 2002.

Four other authors have won two Overall awards:

  • Roald Dahl 1983, 1989
  • Robert Swindells 1985, 1990
  • Jacqueline Wilson 1993, 1996
  • J. K. Rowling 1998, 1999

J. K. Rowling won the Long Novel category four years in succession, 1998 to 2001, for the first four Harry Potter books.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b From 1981 to 1991 there was only a single Children's Book Award. From 1992 to 2001 there were three award categories called Picture Book, Short Novel, and Long Novel; the current category names date from 2002. The official website calls for schoolchildren to nominate a "picture book, chapter book, or novel" (RHCBA, Nominate).


  1. ^ a b c RHCBA, About.
  2. ^ "The 5th Wave wins Red House children's book award". Charles Green. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-21.
  3. ^ RHCBA, Nominate.
  4. ^ a b c "Children vote A Monster Calls best book of 2012". Charlotte Jones. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  5. ^ RHCBA, Pick of the Year.
  6. ^ RHCBA, 2012 Shortlist. Current shortlist not yet available 2012-09-23.
  7. ^ RHCBA, Past Winners. Retrieved 2014-10-21.

External links[edit]