Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019: Shortlists

Waterstones children's book prize

For the past 15 years Waterstones have shown us the best new talent in Children’s literature with their Children’s Book Prize. The six shortlists from each of the three categories have been chosen as always by booksellers. The three categories up for the prize are Illustrated Books (picture book), young-fiction (5–12 years) & older-fiction (teen).

Each category winner receives £2,000 with the overall winner chosen from the three getting an additional £3,000, making their total winnings £5,000.

All fans and supporters of Children’s literature will be keeping a close eye on this years shortlisted entries, promoting and supporting rising authors of our future is Waterstones overall goal, and to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve for shaping our Children’s imaginations into magical places of joy.

Waterstones will reveal their category winners and of course their overall Children’s book prize 2019 on .

Good luck to all nominees, and we thank you for bringing the wonderful world of literature to our Children’s every day lives.

The nominees from the three categories are:

Illustrated Books Shortlist

  • Cover of the book, 100 Dogs.

    *WINNER- Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards- Children's Book of the Year!* *WINNER- Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards- Best Picture Book!* Small dog, tall dog, playing with a ball dog, big dog, dig dog burying a bone . . .Can there really be 100 dogs doing 100 doggy things packed into the pages of this picture book? Yep, we've counted and we're pawsitive! Follow the bouncy rhy...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 28 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, Julián Is a Mermaid.

    In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, day...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 3,071 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.

    Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chem...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 1,614 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, Mini Rabbit Not Lost (Mini Rabbit).

    A deliciously funny debut from a major new talent!MiniRabbit is making a cake.Cake, cake, cake!But he’s run out of berries.No berries, no cake.No cake? No way!So off he goes to look for some…He’s not cold, not too small.And, no, no, definitely NOT LOST…or is he?

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 31 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The Girls.

    Four little girls meet under an apple tree and form a bond that grows as they share secrets, dreams, worries and schemes. This beautifully illustrated tale charts the girls' lives through ups and downs and laughter and tears. Find out how their friendship flourishes as the years pass by and the girls become women.

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 57 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The King Who Banned the Dark.

    There was once a little boy who was afraid of the dark. There's nothing unusual about that. Most children are afraid of the dark at one time of another. But this little boy was a Prince, and he decided that when he became King, he would do something about the dark.He would ban it.When the King bans the dark completely, installing an artificial sun, and enforcing "anti-dark" law...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 26 ratings.

Younger fiction shortlist

  • Cover of the book, Brightstorm.

    Twins Arthur and Maudie receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father died in a failed attempt to reach South Polaris. Not only that, but he has been accused of trying to steal fuel from his competitors before he died! The twins don't believe the news, and they answer an ad to help crew a new exploration attempt in the hope of learning the truth and salvaging their ...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 253 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery.

    A nonstop middle-grade fantasy adventure, The Train to Impossible Places by debut author P. G. Bell is as fun as it is full of heart, and the first book of a planned trilogy.A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a trol...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 369 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The Mystery of the Colour Thief.

    First the accident, then the nightmares. The shadowy thief steals all the colours from Izzy's world leaving her feeling empty and hopeless. Will her new neighbour and a nest full of cygnets save Izzy and solve the mystery of the colour thief? A heartwarming story about families, friendships,school, nature, hope and self-confidence.After a frightening car accident, Izzy's mum is...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 46 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The House with Chicken Legs.

    All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with. But that's tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It's even harder when you live in a...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 1,431 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The Boy At the Back of the Class.

    There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.He's eight years old (just like me), but he's very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn't like sweets - not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!But the truth is, Ahmet really isn't very strange at all. He's a refugee who's run away from a War. A real on...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 346 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The Boy Who Grew Dragons.

    When Tomas discovers a strange old tree at the bottom of his grandad's garden, he doesn't think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house - and gets the shock and delight of his life when a tiny dragon hatches! The tree is a dragonfruit tree, and Tomas has got his very own dragon, Flicker ...Tomas soon finds out that life with Flicker is great f...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 146 ratings.

Older Fiction shortlist

  • Cover of the book, Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1).

    They killed my mother.They took our magic.They tried to bury us.Now we rise.Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 73,001 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, Boy 87.

    Shif is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves chess and playing with his best friend. But, one day, he is forced to leave home to avoid conscription into the army. He embarks on an epic journey, in which he encounters dangers and cruelties - and great acts of human kindness - as he bravely makes his way to a future he can only imagine.Told in the powerful first person, this star...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 152 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The Poet X.

    A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.But Xiomara has...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 18,091 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, The Truth About Lies.

    Jess has an incredible memory. She can remember every single detail of every single day since she was eleven. But Jess would rather not be remarkable and, after years of testing at the hands of a ruthless research team, she has finally managed to escape.Just when Jess thinks that she’s managing to settle in to living a normal life, everything changes. Her boarding-school room...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 109 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor Quartet, #1).

    Volume 1 of The Mirror Visitor QuartetWinner of the Grand Prix de l’ImaginaireWhere once there was unity, vastly different worlds now exist. Over each, the spirit of an omnipotent and immortal ancestor abides.Long ago, following a cataclysm called the Rupture, the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands, known now as arks. Ophelia lives on Anima, where inhabi...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 8,843 ratings.

  • Cover of the book, Me Mam. Me Dad. Me..

    Humorous and heartbreaking debut novel with the fresh, funny, honest voice of a 14-year-old Geordie lad recounting the trials and tribulations of family life and finding first love. Danny’s mam has a new boyfriend. Initially, all is good – Callum seems nice enough, and Danny can’t deny he’s got a cool set up; big house, fast car, massive TV, and Mam seems to really like...(Read More)

    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    based on 84 ratings.

Listen to the views from this years panel

Previous Winners:

  1. 2018 — Older Fiction

    The Hate U Give – by Angie Thomas

  2. 2017 — Younger fiction

    The Girl of Ink & Stars – by Kiran Millwood Hargrave 

  3. 2016 — Younger fiction

    My Brother Is a Superhero – by David Solomons 

  4. 2015 — Picture books

    Blown Away – by Rob Biddulph

  5. 2014 — Young Fiction

    Rooftoppers – by Katherine Rundell 

  6. 2013 — Older Fiction

    Ketchup Clouds — by Annabel Pitcher

  7. 2012 — Picture Book

    The Pirates Next Door — by Jonny Duddle

  8. 2011 — Younger fiction

    Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari 

  9. 2010 — Younger fiction

    The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies

  10. 2009 — Young Fiction

    The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison 

  11. 2008 — Young Fiction

    Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls 

  12. 2007 — Older Fiction

    Darkside NE – Darkside 1 by Tom Becker

  13. 2006 — Young Fiction

    The Diamond of Drury Lane – Cat Royal 1 by Julia golding

  14. 2005 — Young Fiction

    The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill

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