Waterstones Children's Book Prize Shortlist 2021

It is our enormous pleasure to share with you our Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlist for 2021. This year’s selection – as always chosen by our booksellers - mark our continuing commitment to championing the finest new talent in children’s writing and illustration today.

Which one of our 2021 selection will follow in the formidable footsteps of last year’s winner Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola? Follow all the latest news on our social media channels. We wish all our nominees the very best of luck!

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 sensitively handled introductions to important themes. From a heartwarming tale of a lost teddy and the power of community to a vivid parable about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, these books are perfect for little hands and enquiring minds.

Bear Shaped
Added to basket
£6.99   £5.99
Paperback
Found You
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£6.99   £5.99
Paperback
Freedom, We Sing
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£11.99   £9.99
Hardback
The Grumpy Fairies
Added to basket
£6.99   £5.99
Paperback
The Blue Giant
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£6.99   £5.99
Paperback
Where Happiness Begins
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£6.99   £5.99
Paperback

Younger Readers' Shortlist

Magical worlds mingle with side-splitting comedy and real-life narratives in these six page-turning books for independent readers. An intergalactic race against time, a revelatory story of neurodiversity and an evocative Caribbean mystery all feature in a wide-ranging shortlist of consistently high quality.

A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth
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A Kind of Spark
Added to basket
£6.99
Paperback
Llama Out Loud!
Added to basket
£6.99   £5.99
Paperback
Orion Lost
Added to basket
£7.99   £5.99
Paperback
The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates
Added to basket
When Life Gives You Mangoes
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£7.99   £6.99
Paperback

Older Readers' Shortlist

Reflecting the maturity and intelligence of publishing for Teenagers and Young Adults, the Older Fiction shortlist boasts hard-hitting plotlines, complex characterisation and deft humour that never patronises or condescends. Fearless fantasy rubs shoulders with contemporary drama in this dazzling selection.

And the Stars Were Burning Brightly
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Boy, Everywhere
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£7.99   £6.99
Paperback
Only Mostly Devastated
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£7.99   £6.99
Paperback
Raybearer
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£7.99   £6.99
Paperback
The Black Flamingo
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£7.99   £6.99
Paperback
Wranglestone
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£7.99   £6.99
Paperback

Previous Overall Winners

Look Up!
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£6.99   £5.99
Paperback
The Boy At the Back of the Class
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£7.99   £6.49
Paperback
The Hate U Give
Added to basket
£7.99   £6.99
Paperback
The Girl of Ink & Stars
Added to basket
£6.99   £5.99
Paperback
My Brother Is a Superhero
Added to basket
£7.99   £6.49
Paperback
Blown Away
Added to basket
£6.99
Paperback
Rooftoppers
Added to basket
£6.99   £5.49
Paperback
Ketchup Clouds
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
The Pirates Next Door
Added to basket
Artichoke Hearts
Added to basket
The Great Hamster Massacre
Added to basket
The Thirteen Treasures
Added to basket
Ways to Live Forever
Added to basket
Darkside NE
Added to basket
£6.99
Paperback
The Diamond of Drury Lane
Added to basket
The Cry of the Icemark
Added to basket

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 2020, we crowned Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola’s touching and vibrant picture book Look Up! 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? Join the conversation on Twitter - #WCBP21 – and make the case for your favourite.

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