Waterstones Children's Book Prize

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The Waterstones Children's Book Prize is an annual award given to a work of children's literature published during the previous year. First awarded in 2005, the purpose of the prize is "to uncover hidden talent in children's writing" and is therefore open only to authors who have published no more than three books. The prize is awarded by British book retailer Waterstones.

Beginning in 2012, the prize was divided into three categories: Picture Books, Fiction 5–12, and Teen.[1] Each category winner receives £2,000 with an overall winner chosen from the three getting an additional £3,000 (thus the overall winner receives £5,000 in total).[2]


Waterstones Children's Book Prize winners and finalists
Year Category Author Title Result Ref.
2005 Best Book Stuart Hill The Cry of the Icemark Winner
M. I. McAllister Urchin of the Riding Stars Finalist
Barry Jonsberg The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull
Livi Michael The Whispering Road
Val Tyler The Time Wreccas
Julie Hearn The Merrybegot
Shannon Hale The Goose Girl
Ann Halam Siberia
Ellen Potter Olivia Kidney
Kes Gray Nelly the Monster Sitter
Bowering Sivers Jammy Dodgers on the Run
Kenneth Oppel Airborn
2006 Best Book Julia Golding The Diamond of Drury Lane Winner
Michael Carroll The Quantum Prophecy Finalist
Beth Goobie The Lottery
John Boyne The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Heather Vogel Frederick Spymice
Elise Broach Shakespeare's Secret
Adam Frost Ralph the Magic Rabbit
Edith Pattou North Child
John Dougherty Jack Slater, Monster Investigator
Suzanne Collins Gregor and the Rats of Underland
2007 Best Book Tom Becker Darkside Winner
Tom Kelly The Thing with Finn Finalist
Gareth P. Jones The Case of the Missing Cats
F. E. Higgins The Black Book of Secrets
Christopher Russell Smugglers
Philip Caveney Sebastian Darke
L. Brittney Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times
Michael Broad Jake Cake: The Werewolf Teacher
J. A. Henderson Bunker 10
Siobhan Dowd A Swift Pure Cry
2008 Best Book Sally Nicholls Ways to Live Forever Winner
Emily Bearn Tumtum and Nutmeg Finalist
Sam Enthoven TIM Defender of the Earth
David Melling Stone Goblins
Matt Haig Shadow Forest
Jenny Valentine Broken Soup
Gabrielle Halberstam Blue Sky Freedom
Marie-Louise Jensen Between Two Seas
Oisín McGann Ancient Appetites
2009 Best Book Michelle Harrison 13 Treasures Winner
Vanessa Curtis Zelah Green Queen of Clean Finalist
Marie-Louise Jensen The Lady in the Tower
Rachel Ward Numbers
Rob Stevens Mapmaker's Monsters
Elen Caldecott How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant
Ceci Jenkinson Gnomes are Forever
Steve Feasey Changeling
2010 Best Book Katie Davies The Great Hamster Massacre Winner
Jeremy De Quidt The Toymaker Finalist
Caro King The Seven Sorcerers
Victoria Forester The Girl Who Could Fly
Pat Walsh The Crowfield Curse
A. G. Taylor Meteorite Strike
Suzanne Lafleur Love, Aubrey
Lucy Christopher Flyaway
Laura Summers Desperate Measures
2011 Best Book Sita Brahmachari Artichoke Hearts Winner [3][4]
Rebecca Stead When You Reach Me Finalist
Curtis Jobling Wereworld: The Rise of the Wolf
Janice Hardy The Pain Merchants
Ruth Eastham The Memory Cage
Candy Gourlay Tall Story
Jon Mayhew Mortlock
Anna Kemp Fantastic Frankie and the Brain-Drain
Irfan Master A Beautiful Lie
2012 Overall Jonny Duddle The Pirates Next Door Winner [5]
Fiction 5-12 Liz Pichon 'The Brilliant World of Tom Gates Winner
Mackenzie Crook The Windvale Sprites Finalist [5]
Janet Foxley Muncle Trogg
Gill Lewis Sky Hawk
Alan Silberberg Milo and the Restart Button
Alex T. Smith Claude in the City
Picture Book Jonny Duddle The Pirates Next Door Winner [5]
Marta Altés No! Finalist
Jon Klassen I Want My Hat Back
Ann Bonwill and Simon Rickerty I Don't Want to be a Pea!
Nadia Shireen Good Little Wolf
Chris Haughton A Bit Lost
Teen Jonny Duddle The Pirates Next Door Winner
Jenny Downham You Against Me Finalist
Annabel Pitcher My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Veronica Roth Divergent
Ruta Sepetys Between Shades of Gray
Phil Earle Being Billy
Morgan Matson Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
2013 Overall Annabel Pitcher Ketchup Clouds Winner
Fiction 5-12 R. J. Palacio Wonder Winner
Catherine Constable The Wolf Princess Finalist
Helen Peters The Secret Hen House Theatre
Jim Smith I Am Not A Loser
Geoff Rodkey Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise
Jennifer Gray Atticus Claw Breaks the Law
Picture Book Rebecca Cobb Lunchtime Winner
Anna Kemp The Worst Princess Finalist
Frann Preston-Gannon The Journey Home
Jo Empson Rabbityness
Chris Haughton Oh No, George!
Sam Usher Can You See Sassoon?
Teen Annabel Pitcher Ketchup Clouds Winner
Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass Finalist
Laura Jarratt Skin Deep
Rachel Hartman Seraphina
S. J. Kincaid Insignia
Andy Robb Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind
2014 Overall Katherine Rundell Rooftoppers Winner
Fiction 5–12 Katherine Rundell Rooftoppers Winner
Soman Chainani The School for Good and Evil Finalist
Piers Torday The Last Wild
Sandra Greaves Skull in the Wood
Emerald Fennell Shiverton Hall
Laura Dockrill Darcy Durdock
Picture Book Nicola O'Byrne Open Very Carefully Winner
Elys Dolan Weasels Finalist
Yasmeen Ismail Time For Bed, Fred
Gemma Merino The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water
Helen Hancocks Penguin in Peril
Courtney Dicmas Harold Finds a Voice
Teen Holly Smale Geek Girl Winner
Alexia Casale The Bone Dragon Finalist
Dawn O'Porter Paper Aeroplanes
Ruta Sepetys Our of the Easy
Emily Murdoch If You Find Me
Erin Lange Butter
2015 Overall Rob Biddulph Blown Away Winner [6][7]
Fiction 5-12 Robin Stevens 'Murder Most Unladylike Winner
Harriet Whitehorn with Beck Moor (illus.) Violet and the Pearl of the Orient Finalist
Anne Booth Girl with a White Dog
GR Gemin Cowgirl
Polly Ho-Yen Boy in the Tower
Lara Williamson A Boy Called Hope
Picture Book Rob Biddulph Blown Away Winner
Sophy Henn Where Bear? Finalist
Victoria Turnbull The Sea Tiger
Steve Antony The Queen's Hat
Suzanne Barton The Dawn Chorus
Lucy Letherland Atlas of Adventures
Teen Sally Green Half Bad Winner
Leslye Walton The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Finalist
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald The Apple Tart of Hope
Kim Skater Smart
Louise O'Neill Only Ever Yours
Erin Lange Dead Ends
2016 Overall David Solomon My Brother is a Superhero Winner [8]
Illustrated Book David Litchfield The Bear and the Piano Winner [8]
Naomi Howarth The Crow's Tale Finalist
Matty Long Super Happy Magic Forest
Nicholas John Frith Hector and Hummingbird
David Barrow Have You Seen Elephant?
Lorraine Carey and Migy Blanco Cinderella's Sister and the Big Bad Wolf
Older Fiction Lisa Williamson The Art of Being Normal Winner [8]
Melinda Salisbury The Sin Eater's Daughter Finalist [9]
Moïra Fowley-Doyle The Accident Season
Lisa Heathfield Seed
Jandy Nelson I'll Give You the Sun
Leo Hunt 13 Days of Midnight
Younger Fiction David Solomon My Brother is a Superhero Winner [8]
Sibéal Pounder Witch Wars Finalist
Katherine Woodfine The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow
Kevin Sands The Blackthorn Key
Shane Hegarty Darkmouth
Crystal Chan Bird
2017 Overall Kiran Millwood Hargrave The Girl of Ink and Stars Winner [10]
Illustrated Book Lizzy Stewart There’s a Tiger in the Garden Winner
Fabi Santiago Tiger in a Tutu Finalist [11]
Francesca Sanna The Journey
Duncan Beedie The Bear Who Stared
Matt Robertson Super Stan
Meg McLaren Life is Magic
Older Fiction Patrice Lawrence Orangeboy Winner
Nilanjana Roy The Wildings Finalist [11]
Nicola Yoon The Sun is also a Star
Lisa Heathfield Paper Butterflies
Lindsay Eager Hour of the Bees
Gavriel Savit Anna and the Swallow Man
Younger Fiction Kiran Millwood Hargrave The Girl of Ink and Stars Winner [10]
Lauren Wolk Wolf Hollow Finalist [11]
Ross Welford Time Travelling with a Hamster
Peter Bunzl Cogheart
Laura James Captain Pug
MG Leonard Beetle Boy
2018 Overall Angie Thomas The Hate U Give Winner [12][13]
Illustrated Book Joe Todd-Stanton The Secret of Black Rock Winner [12]
Louise Greig The Night Box Finalist
Matt Carr Superbat
Sandra Dieckmann Leaf
Simon Philip I Really Want the Cake
Robert Starling Fergal is Fuming!
Older Fiction Angie Thomas The Hate U Give Winner
Catherine Barter Troublemakers Finalist
Pam Smy Thornhill
Emily Suvada This Mortal Coil
Emily Bain Murphy The Disappearances
Alice Broadway Ink
Younger Fiction Jessica Townsend Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Winner
Maz Evans Who Let the Gods Out? Finalist
Kieran Larwood The Legend of Podkin One-Ear
Lisa Thompson The Goldfish Boy
Greg James and Chris Smith Kid Normal
Helena Duggan A Place Called Perfect
2019 Overall Onjali Q. Raúf The Boy At The Back Of The Class Winner [13]
Illustrated Book Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie The Girl Winner
Emily Haworth-Booth The King Who Banned the Dark Finalist [14]
John Bond Mini Rabbit Not Lost
Vashti Harrison Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Jessica Love Julián is a Mermaid
Michael Whaite 100 Dogs
Older Fiction Tomi Adeyemi Children Of Blood And Bone Winner
Tracy Darnton The Truth About Lies Finalist [14]
Elizabeth Acevedo The Poet X
Malcolm Duffy Me Mam. Me Dad. Me.
Ele Fountain Boy 87
Christelle Dabos A Winter's Promise
Younger Fiction Onjali Q. Raúf The Boy At The Back Of The Class Winner [13]
P.G. Bell The Train to Impossible Places Finalist [14]
Ewa Jozefkowicz The Mystery of the Colour Thief
Sophie Anderson The House With Chicken Legs
Andy Shepherd The Boy Who Grew Dragons
Vashti Hardy Brightstorm: A Sky-Ship Adventure
2020 Overall Nathan Bryon Look Up! Winner [15]
Illustrated Book Nathan Bryon Look Up! Winner [15]
Graham Carter Otto Blotter, Bird Spotter Finalist
Kate Read One Fox
Beatrice Blue Once Upon a Unicorn Horn
Rose Robbins Me and My Sister
Ben Rothery Hidden Planet
Older Fiction Liz Hyder Bearmouth Winner [15]
Emma Smith-Barton The Million Pieces of Neena Gill Finalist
Tamsin Winter Jemima Small Versus the Universe
Samira Ahmed Internment
gal-dem I Will Not Be Erased: Our stories about growing up as people of colour
Holly Jackson A Good Girl's Guide to Murder
Younger Fiction Sharna Jackson High-Rise Mystery Winner
Kirsty Applebaum The Middler Finalist
Meg Grehan The Deepest Breath
Lucy Strange Our Castle, the Sea
Sam Copeland Charlie Changes Into a Chicken
Jasbinder Bilan Asha & the Spirit Bird
2021 Overall Elle McNicoll A Kind of Spark Winner [16][17]
Illustrated Book Bethan Stevens The Grumpy Fairies Winner [16]
Eva Eland Where Happiness Begins Finalist
Katie Cottle The Blue Giant
Amyra Leon Freedom, We Sing
Devon Holzwarth Found You
Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden Bear Shaped
Older Fiction Darren Charlton Wranglestone Winner [16]
Dean Atta The Black Flamingo Finalist
Jordan Ifueko Raybearer
Sophie Gonzales Only Mostly Devastated
A. M. Dassu Boy, Everywhere
Danielle Jawando And the Stars Were Burning Brightly
Younger Fiction Elle McNicoll A Kind of Spark Winner [16][17]
Kereen Getten When Life Gives You Mangoes Finalist
Jenny Pearson The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates
Alastair Chisholm Orion Lost
Annabelle Sami Llama Out Loud!
Francesca Gibbons A Clock of Stars: The shadow moth
2022 Illustrated Book Andy Harkness Wolfboy Finalist [18]
Lu Fraser The Viking Who Liked Icing
Steve Small The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water
Helen Kellock Out to Sea
Harry Woodgate Grandad’s Camper
Barr Falls Alone!
Older Fiction Femi Fadugba The Upper World
Namina Forna The Gilded Ones
Manjeet Mann The Crossing
Ciara Smyth Not My Problem
Michelle Quach Not Here to Be Liked
Angeline Boulley Firekeeper’s Daughter
Younger Fiction Hannah Gold The Last Bear
Benjamin Dean Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow
Kelly Yang Front Desk
Efua Traoré Children of the Quicksands
Mark Bradley Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates
B. B. Alston Amari and the Night Brothers


  1. ^ Michelle Pauli (8 February 2012). "Gritty teen reads dominate Waterstones children's prize shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  2. ^ Robert Dux (29 March 2012). "Jonny Duddle's 'The Pirates Next Door' wins Waterstone's Children's Book Prize". The Independent. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  3. ^ Stanley, Kelli (11 February 2011). "Awards: Colby Winner; Waterstone's Children's Book; Sami Rohr". Shelf Awareness. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  4. ^ Chua, Amy (14 January 2011). "Awards: Langum Winners; Waterstone's Children's Book Shortlist". www.shelf-awareness.com. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  5. ^ a b c de, Robert (29 March 2012). "Jonny Duddle's 'The Pirates Next Door' wins Waterstone's Children's". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  6. ^ McAloon, Jonathan (26 March 2015). "Picture book wins 2015 Waterstones Children's Book Prize". Telegraph. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Waterstones children's book prize 2015 – shortlist announced!". The Guardian. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "David Solomons wins Waterstones Children's Book Prize with debut". BBC News. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  9. ^ Chilton, Martin (11 February 2016). "Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016 shortlist". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  10. ^ a b Kean, Danuta (30 March 2017). "Waterstones children's book prize goes to 'mesmerising' debut adventure story". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  11. ^ a b c Kean, Danuta (8 February 2017). "Waterstones children's prize shortlists reflect readers' search for hope in anxious times". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2018". Waterstones. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  13. ^ a b c "'Upbeat' refugee tale wins children's book prize". BBC News. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  14. ^ a b c Muxworthy, Catherine (9 February 2019). "Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019 - Shortlist". For Reading Addicts. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  15. ^ a b c Green, Alex (29 July 2020). "Waterstones Children's Book Prize winner revealed". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  16. ^ a b c d "'A Kind of Spark' wins Waterstones Children's Book Prize". Books+Publishing. 2 July 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  17. ^ a b Jin, Ha (2 July 2021). "Awards: Waterstones Children's Book Winners". Shelf Awareness. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Waterstones Children's Book Prize shortlists announced". Books+Publishing. 11 February 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.

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