Waterstones Children's Book Prize Winners 2020

It is with enormous pleasure that we announce Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola's Look Up! as the Overall Winner and Best Illustrated Book winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2020.

Rocket is very excited about the impending meteor shower - but she just can't understand why her big brother won't put down his phone and Look Up! Nathan Bryon's energetic text and Dapo Adeola's vibrant artwork combine to create a big-hearted, wide-eyed story of interstellar wonder.

 

“The mould of traditional picture book storytelling is redefined for a new era in this joyful and energetic tale... More than ever before, we are exploring non-fiction and inspirational characters at younger ages, and we champion Rocket’s boundless enthusiasm, curious nature and kind spirit as a hero for us all. She is a little person with big dreams, who has captured our hearts.”

FloreNtyna Martin, Waterstones Children's Buyer

 

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With its vibrant urban setting and winning characterisation, High Rise Mystery is a very welcome addition to the burgeoning child detective genre. The murder of their art school teacher sets young sleuths Nik and Norva on a thrilling adventure to bring his killer to justice. Whilst the brooding presence of the high rise block, theTri, ensures the novel feels topical and real, High Rise Mystery is, at its heart, a classic children’s whodunit.
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In a subterranean society, a young labourer begins to question the system in this invigorating dystopia from debut novelist Liz Hyder. Claustrophobic, oppressive and pulsating with tension, Bearmouth’s character-driven narrative bears comparison with the greatest dark fantasy that YA has to offer.
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Meet the winners
Meet the winners

In conversation with Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola, overall winners of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2020


 

 
Illustrated Books Shortlist
Younger Readers Shortlist
Older Readers Shortlist
History of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize

Illustrated Books Shortlist

Sparking the imaginations of our very youngest readers, our Illustrated Books shortlist combines exciting visual storytelling with fun ways to learn and develop. From a counting book that doubles as a barnyard caper to an interstellar adventure about a meteor storm, these books are perfect for little hands and enquiring minds.

Look Up!
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Once Upon a Unicorn Horn
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Otto Blotter, Bird Spotter
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One Fox
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Me and My Sister
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Hidden Planet
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Books for Younger Readers Shortlist

Magic and myth mingle with the tough choices of real life in these six page-turning books for independent readers. Budding romance, exotic adventure and the perils of transforming into poultry all feature in a wide-ranging shortlist of consistently high quality.

The Middler
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Asha & the Spirit Bird
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Charlie Changes Into a Chicken
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The Deepest Breath
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High-Rise Mystery
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Our Castle by the Sea
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Books for Older Readers Shortlist

Reflecting the increasingly mature and intelligent publishing emerging for Teenagers and Young Adults, the Older Fiction shortlist boasts hard-hitting plotlines and complex characterisation that never patronises or condescends. Stark dystopia rubs shoulders with contemporary drama in this dazzling selection.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder
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Bearmouth
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Internment
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Jemima Small Versus the Universe
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The Million Pieces of Neena Gill
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Previous Overall Winners

The Boy At the Back of the Class
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The Hate U Give
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The Girl of Ink & Stars
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My Brother Is a Superhero
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Blown Away
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Rooftoppers
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Ketchup Clouds
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The Pirates Next Door
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Artichoke Hearts
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The Great Hamster Massacre
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The Thirteen Treasures
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Ways to Live Forever
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Darkside NE
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The Diamond of Drury Lane
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The Cry of the Icemark
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Celebrating 15 Years of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize

Celebrating 15 Years of the Waterstones Children's Books Prize

In 2019 we celebrated 15 years of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, reflecting on how far this unique award has come in discovering and championing the very best in children’s publishing.

15 Years of New Talent

We are passionate about discovering new talent. Since the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize first began, we’ve been sharing the best in new writing for children and teenagers.

15 Years of Illustration

We know that pictures can bring stories to life. Over the years, it’s been our pleasure to introduce fresh creative talent which combines words and pictures to stunning effect.

15 Years of Leading Conversation

Our choices always put readers first, rewarding the books that matter to them and reflecting the topics young people of all ages are most passionate about.

15 Years of Fun

We know that one of the hardest challenges for a writer is making readers laugh and that’s why we love to celebrate books that raise a chuckle.

15 Years Finding Adventure

Feeding young imaginations with the fuel to build universes of their own, we have always championed sweeping adventures of new worlds and brave deeds.

15 Years Being Brave

Throughout the history of the prize, we’ve rewarded books that engage with difficult issues in innovative and extraordinary ways. Stories that move, provoke and stay with you forever.

The Next 15 Years

In 2019 we crowned Onjali Q. Rauf’s compelling and compassionate The Boy at the Back of the Class as our winner, and its huge success is testament to the unerringly good judgement of our booksellers. What will scoop the coveted award this year? And what delights do the next 15 years hold? Join the conversation on Twitter - #wcbp20 – and make the case for your favourite.

Illustrated Books Shortlist
Younger Readers Shortlist
Older Readers Shortlist
History of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize