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
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.
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.
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.
Previous Overall Winners
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.
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