Why should teachers follow children’s literature awards, prizes and shortlists?
Following a selection of established annual children’s literature awards, medals and prizes is a good way to decide which books to pick when purchasing new book stock for your school library, or which new books to buy for your children. Book award shortlists are also ideal to generate discussion and talking points in book clubs, encourage reading for pleasure and to find suitable authors to book for school visits. Keeping track of books that have been nominated for awards is also an informed method for teachers in primary and secondary schools to ensure that they always have lists of recently published titles to suggest to parents who ask for new reading recommendations.
Leading UK Children’s Literature awards
- The Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
- The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize
- The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize – ran between 1967 and 2016. The shortlists are still a good source of reading for pleasure ideas.
- The Klaus Flugge Prize – for “the year’s best new picture book“.
- The Branford Boase Award – “for an outstanding first novel to a first-time writer of a book for young people.”
- FCBG Children’s Book Award
- Nottingham Children’s Book Award – “to foster a love of books and reading … children vote for their favourite.”
- The British Book Awards (Nibbies) – includes categories for children’s fiction, children’s illustrated and non-fiction, and audiobooks.
- The YA Book Prize – ‘launched in 2014 to celebrate great books for teenagers and young adults’.
- UKLA Book Awards
- The Nero Book Awards – launched in 2023 an expert panel of judges celebrates “outstanding writing by great authors living in the UK and Ireland“. Includes a Children’s Fiction category.
- CLiPPA – The CLPE Poetry Award – an award for poetry published for children. There’s a well-developed shadowing program for schools and a shadowing competition where schools are invited to send their performances of poetry on the current shortlist.
- The Cybils – Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards
- The Juniper Book Awards – “designed to improve literacy, facilitate debate and encourage reading for pleasure among pupils at upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3“. A useful book award to follow, schools can take part by reviewing the books and voting for their favourite from the shortlisted titles. Highly recommended for middle schools, book clubs in years 7&8 and more able upper primary children.
- The English Association Prizes – including the English 4-11 Picture Book Awards and the Margaret Mallett Award for Children’s Non-Fiction.
- Indie Book Awards – these awards feature categories for children’s fiction and picture books judged by panels of independent booksellers.
- Hans Christian Andersen Awards
- The Little Rebels Award – this award “celebrates children’s fiction which challenges stereotypes, promotes social justice and advocates for a more peaceful and fairer world“.
- The National Book Awards (Books Are My Bag Reader Awards, run by the National Book Tokens)
- The Scottish Teenage Book Prize – run by the Scottish Book Trust, this award is a great source of new fiction ideas for KS3 and KS4 school libraries.
- Cumbria county council runs the Spellbinding book awards, with two categories – Spellbinding Primary and Spellbinding Secondary. The winning books are chosen by pupils who go to school in Cumbria. With lots of videos, features and resources, this is a great award for KS2 and KS3 book clubs to follow.
- Doncaster Book Award – books that will make you laugh, cry, and take you to wondrous places and on amazing adventures.
- The Lollies (Laugh Out Loud book awards).
- Young Quills Award – run by the Historical Association, this is an award “to recognise good historical fiction writing” and shortlists novels aimed at both primary-aged pupils and secondary-aged pupils.
- The Berkshire Book Award – “The Award is for books written for 11-14-year-olds and participation is open to all young teens living or studying in Berkshire.”
- Grampian Children’s Book Award – a book award for pupils in S1-S3 to promote literacy, reading for pleasure, and a love of books.
- The Young People’s Book Prize – run by the Royal Society, “to promote literacy in young people and to inspire them to read about science.”
- Sheffield Children’s Book Award – “launched in 1988 to encourage children and young people to read.” The winners are selected by Sheffield school children via libraries and local schools.
- Spark Children’s Book Awards
- Stockton Children’s Book of the Year (SCBY) – this children’s literature award is aimed at “pupils in Years 5 and 6 … to demonstrate the pleasure of reading and literature.”
- Staffordshire’s Young Teen Fiction Book Award – aimed at pupils in KS3 aged 11-14.
- Coventry Inspiration Book Awards – awarded to books for children and young people aged 4 to 18. Includes five categories, each containing eight books: What’s the Story, Telling Tales, Hooked on Books, Simply the Book & Rapid Reads.
- The Alligator’s Mouth award – for illustrated early fiction.
- Salford Children’s Book Award – selected by pupils in Salford secondary schools.
- Awesome Book Awards – awarded to the “new fiction authors for young readers aged between 7 and 10”, and chosen by pupils across the South East.
- Tir na n-Og Awards – one of the most established and well-respected awards for children’s literature in Wales. There are three categories: “Welsh-language Primary (ages 4-11)”, “Welsh-language Secondary (ages 11-18)”, and “Best English-language book with an authentic Welsh background for primary or secondary age children (4-18)”.
- Southwark Book Awards – chosen by secondary school pupils in Southwark.
- NE Book Awards – including the NEBA “to enthuse their younger readers in Year 7 and 8” and NETBA to “engage and challenge” YA readers.
- Redbridge Children’s Book Awards – including the Children’s Book Award “for school students aged 10 to 12 years old” and the Teenage Book Award “for school students aged 13 to 16 years old”.
- The Information Book Award – run by the SLA.
- The Costa Children’s Book Award – (2022, no longer running.)
- Wales Book of the Year – run by Literature Wales, this award features English and Welsh language shortlists and includes a children’s and young people award.
- The Kelpies Prize for Writing – “launched in 2004 to find the best new Scottish writing for children.”
- Blue Peter Book Award
- The Waterstones Children’s Laureate
- The Excelsior Award – “the only nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga – where kids aged 11-18 decide the winner.”
- The Roald Dahl Funny Prize
- Stockport Children’s Book Awards – “celebrate new children’s fiction and increase parents, teachers and school librarians’ awareness of quality new children’s fiction.” There are three categories: ‘best picture book’ for EYFS/KS1, ‘best read for juniors’ in LKS2, and ‘best read for Juniors’ in UKS2.
- Southern Schools Book Award – Teachers, librarians and students select the best YA fiction books (targeted at Year 9) published that year.
- The Diverse Book Awards
- Lancashire Book of the Year – The best 12-14 age group books, “voted for by Year 9 students in high schools around the county.”
- The National Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year
ran between 2006 and 2022.
– ran from 2008 to 2013.
Worldwide children’s literature awards and shortlists
- Children’s Books Ireland Awards – the leading children’s literature awards in Ireland. Includes categories for books of the year, fiction, illustration, first children’s book, special award and juries award.
- The Newbery Medal
- The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards
- The Burgess Awards
- The Charlotte Zolotow Award
- The National Book Awards (National Book Foundation, USA)
- The Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction
- The SIBA Children’s Book Award
- NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature
- The E.B. White Read Aloud Awards
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal
- The Sydney Taylor Book Award
- YRCA [Young Reader’s Choice Awards]
- The Golden Kite Awards
- The Parent’s Choice Awards – (closed in 2022)
- The Children’s Literature Association Phoenix Award
- The Golden Baobab African Children’s Literature Award
- Jane Addams Children’s Book Award
- Notable Books for Children, by ALSC.
- Alex Awards
- Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Website
- Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards
- California Young Reader Medal
- Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award
- Massachusetts Children’s Book Award
- Australian Children’s Laureate
- Aurealis Awards
- Dromkeen Medal
- Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards
- Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation
- Ann Connor Brimer Book Award
- Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award
This page of children’s literature awards was last updated on .
Have we missed something?
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If you found this page useful, you might also want to look at our list of children’s writing competitions, our rundown of the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2021 shortlisted books, and our recommended children’s and YA literature blogs to follow.