Waterstones Children's Book Prize Shortlist 2024

In the award’s twentieth anniversary year, it is our enormous pleasure to share with you our Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlist for 2024. Chosen by knowledgeable and passionate booksellers from the very beginning, the last two decades’ worth of winners include writers and illustrators such as Katherine Rundell, Rob Biddulph, Kiran Millward Hargrave and Angie Thomas who have gone on to forge stellar careers in children’s literature. This year’s selection marks our continuing commitment to championing the finest new talent in children’s writing and illustration today. The overall winner and three category winners will be announced on Thursday 21 March.

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

Illustrated Books Shortlist

The Queen Next Door
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Incredible Jobs You've (Probably) Never Heard Of
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The Secret Elephant
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£6.99   £5.49
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Wolf and Bear
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Whose Dog is This?
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The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish
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Younger Readers Shortlist

Crookhaven
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Vivi Conway and the Sword of Legend
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The Swifts
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My Name is Sunshine Simpson
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Greenwild: The World Behind The Door
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Older Readers Shortlist

Promise Boys
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What the World Doesn't See
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Girl, Goddess, Queen
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Thieves' Gambit
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You Think You Know Me
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Friendship Never Ends
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Presenting Our Overall Winners

Ever since Stuart Hill’s masterful fantasy The Cry of the Icemark scooped the inaugural gong two decades ago, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize has grown in stature to become one of the most prestigious children’s book awards in the literary calendar. As we celebrate the award's 20th anniversary, the time is ripe to look back on the modern classics that the prize has created.

Rising Stars

We are passionate about discovering new talent. From the beginning, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize has been sharing the best in new writing for children and teenagers and has helped to forge the careers of authors and illustrators who are now household names.

Hard-Hitters

We applaud Young Adult works that refuse to speak down to their readers, covering gritty and controversial topics with intelligence and sincerity.

Picture Perfect

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

Action-Packed Pages

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

Literary Laughs

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 either a chuckle or a full-on guffaw.

Conversation Starters

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

Family, Friends & Feelings

Throughout the history of the prize, we’ve rewarded books that really understand the dynamics of children’s relationships with both family and friends. These uniquely emotive connections have been brilliantly explored with humour, tenderness and power by a number of our winners.

2023's Overall Winner

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With the world due to end imminently, Aisha and her brilliantly drawn family undertake an eventful road trip across Malaysia to find her estranged sister June in this blazingly original and wonderfully affecting debut.
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Previous Overall Winners

The Last Bear
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A Kind of Spark
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Look Up!
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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 (2019 NE)
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Darkside
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The Diamond of Drury Lane
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The Cry of the Icemark
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Previous Illustrated Category Winners

Gretel the Wonder Mammoth
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Grandad's Camper
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The Grumpy Fairies
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Look Up!
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The Girls
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The Secret of Black Rock
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There's a Tiger in the Garden
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The Bear and the Piano
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Blown Away
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Open Very Carefully
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Lunchtime
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The Pirates Next Door
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Previous Younger Fiction Category Winners

Nura and the Immortal Palace
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The Last Bear
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A Kind of Spark
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£7.99
Paperback
High-Rise Mystery
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The Boy At the Back of the Class
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Nevermoor
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£7.99
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The Girl of Ink & Stars
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My Brother Is a Superhero
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Murder Most Unladylike
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Rooftoppers
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£6.99
Paperback
Wonder
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£7.99
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The Brilliant World of Tom Gates
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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 (2019 NE)
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The Diamond of Drury Lane
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The Cry of the Icemark
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Previous Older Fiction Category Winners

The Cats We Meet Along the Way
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Not My Problem
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Wranglestone
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£8.99
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Bearmouth
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£8.99
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Children of Blood and Bone
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The Hate U Give
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£8.99
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Orangeboy
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£8.99
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The Art of Being Normal
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Half Bad
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£8.99
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Geek Girl
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£7.99
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Ketchup Clouds
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£7.99
Paperback
You Against Me
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£7.99
Paperback

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