Waterstones Children's Book Prize Winners 2022

It is with enormous pleasure that we announce The Last Bear by Hannah Gold as the Overall Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2022

Classic, character-driven storytelling powers The Last Bear, and its enthralling adventure and hopeful ecological message struck a huge chord with our booksellers – even those who don’t normally read children’s books. Focusing primarily on just two beautifully realised characters in 11-year-old April and the lonely, grieving polar bear she befriends on the Arctic outpost of Bear Island, Hannah Gold’s magnificent debut - boasting gorgeous illustrations from the acclaimed Levi Pinfold - will make readers of all ages laugh, cry and think about the nature of companionship and the debt we owe to a struggling planet.

 

“Our booksellers have expertly chosen a winner that provides a symbol of hope to the next generation; part battle cry, part love letter to our planet, April and Bear’s unique bond will teach every young reader how to roar.”

Florentyna Martin, Head of Children's

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Delightfully colourful and carrying a warm, positive message of inclusion and love, Woodgate's uplifting picture book depicts a grandad recapturing the adventures of his youth courtesy of his granddaughter.

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Fizzing with witty one-liners and blessed with some truly memorable teen characters, Smyth's delightful second novel sees school 'fixer' Aideen battling her own demons whilst trying to sort out her classmates' problems.

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

Illustrated Books Shortlist

Grandad's Camper
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The Viking Who Liked Icing
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Wolfboy
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Alone!
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The Duck Who Didn't Like Water
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Out to Sea
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Younger Readers Shortlist

Children of the Quicksands
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Amari and the Night Brothers
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The Last Bear
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Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates
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Front Desk
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Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow
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Older Readers Shortlist

Not My Problem
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The Crossing
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The Upper World
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Firekeeper's Daughter
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The Gilded Ones
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Not Here To Be Liked
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Previous Overall Winners

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 NE
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The Diamond of Drury Lane
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The Cry of the Icemark
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Celebrating the Waterstones Children's Book Prize

Celebrating the Waterstones Children's Book Prize

Ever since Stuart Hill’s masterful fantasy The Cry of the Icemark scooped the inaugural gong back in 2005, 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.

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.

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.

Conversation Starters

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.

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.

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.

Bold & Brave

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

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