I have put together a list of the main book awards for children. Many of these are selected by teachers, librarians and children so they are always useful sources for you to refer to when choosing books for use in your teaching practice.
The Amazing Book Awards (Secondary)
A newish book award aimed at secondary school students. School librarians and publishers create the longlist and then students decide on the shortlist and the three winners (gold, silver and bronze).
This is a new set of awards with the shortlists chosen by booksellers and the winners decided by a public vote. The categories include Fiction, Non-Fiction and Breakthrough Author, but the one we’re interested in is the Children’s Award.
This award is decided by children. This prize has 2 categories – best story and best book with facts.
The BBA is awarded annually for an outstanding first book for ages 7 and up by a debut author. In recognition of the mentoring the author receives, the award is also presented to the book’s editor.
These illustrator and author awards are the USA’s most prestigious children’s book prizes and feature outstanding books that are usually available in the UK. These awards are definitely worth keeping an eye on for future classics.
Children’s Book Award (previously called the Red House Children’s Book Awards)
This award is voted for entirely by children and has 3 categories – younger children, younger readers and older readers.
These illustrator and author awards are the oldest and most prestigious children’s book awards in the UK and are judged by children’s librarians. You can also shadow the awards with your students via the official shadowing site. One book from the shortlist which reflects or celebrates personal rights and freedoms will also receive the Amnesty CILIP Honour Award.
The only award for children’s poetry books in the UK. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has a site for poetry called Poetryline which provides resources to accompany the shortlisted titles for the award.
This is the only prize which is part of an adult book awards group. The Costa Book Award has a category for children’s books and honours the most outstanding book written by an author based in the UK and Ireland.
The East Sussex Children’s Book Award, which is run by East Sussex Libraries, is aimed at children aged 8 to 11. Once the shortlist is revealed, children can cast their votes and decide which book wins.
This prize recognises outstanding non-fiction books which broadens the horizons of young readers. The 2015 Award focused on books for 5-11 year olds, published in 2013 and 2014.
This award for outstanding picture books is awarded for both fiction and non-fiction in two age ranges – 4-7 and 7-11. 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 selected by a panel of teachers.
An American annual children’s science picture book award. The book must be a children’s science picture book written in the English language and published within five years of the award date and serve children between ages 4-8. The book must teach its young reader at least one important scientific principle well, or encourage the reader toward specific science-related attitudes, pursuits, or inquiries. The book’s artwork, illustrations, photographs, or graphics must work in harmony with the text to tell an important story well. The text must have a story with a plot and characters. Past winners include Laura Vaccaro Seeger (2013) and Jason Chin (2010). The website has clear synopses describing visual, literary and science features and how they support each other.
This is a prize to promote the translation and UK publication of outstanding children’s literature from around the world.
Lancashire Book of the Year Award (Secondary)
The award is voted for by Year 9 students in twelve high schools around the county. Each school is given a collection of books, submitted by publishers as being the best books they had produced for the 12-14 age group. The young people then read and shortlist the books before choosing the overall winner.
The Laugh Out Loud Book Award (The Lollies)
This a new award starting in February 2016 to replace the now defunct Roald Dahl Funny Prize. 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. The prize 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
This award for the best new comics for children is run in association with Leeds Library and is judged by young people with an aim to celebrate the best comics aimed at a youth audience.
This is a relatively new award administered by the wonderful Letterbox Library and presented by the Radical Booksellers Alliance. The prize is awarded to an outstanding radical fiction title for ages 0-12. Radical’ is defined widely to include books informed by inclusive/anti-discriminatory concerns or those which promote social equality or social justice.
This award was established to support teachers in developing reading for pleasure in their classrooms. There are 6 categories:
- Picture books
- Poetry books
- Quality fiction
- Read aloud
- Information books
- Moving on (more challenging reads for primary school children)
Each year the Royal Society celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people. The Prize aims to inspire young people to read about science and promotes the writing of excellent, accessible books for under-14s.
This award for the best non-fiction children’s books is judged by children and librarians and has 3 categories – ages 0-7, 7-12 and 12-16
This award is presented annually to the author of the book judged by students to have been the best book published for 13-14 year-olds during the year. The schools involved are all from the South of England.
The Stan Lee Excelsior Award is the only UK book award for graphic novels and manga. Children aged 11-16 decide the winner by rating each book as they read it.
These awards, made by the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), are judged by teachers who use the shortlisted books with their classes to help decide the winners. The categories are by ages 3-6, 7-11 and 12-16.
This award is voted for by booksellers and focuses on championing new and emerging talent. It has 3 categories – picture books, 5-12 fiction and teen fiction.
Young Adult (YA) Book Prize (Secondary)
A relatively new prize administered by The Bookseller for titles aimed at teenagers and young adults.