The Fault In Our Stars has repeated its box office success to top the poll at the Booktrust Best Book Awards

Reality has kicked-in to the usual fantasy world of children’s books with the winning titles, voted for by children themselves, being firmly based on real-life issues.

At a party-style awards ceremony in central London, live streamed to schools and attended by authors and 300 child judges, reading charity Booktrust today (July 2nd) revealed the winners of the first ever Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle, as part of Children’s Book Week 2014.

12,000 schoolchildren nationwide voted for the winning titles to produce a host of superb winners crossing six categories. The winners are a genuinely eclectic mix of literary gold ranging from charming and humorous illustrated reads about the challenges and traumas of everyday life, to gritty coming-of-age stories.

The winners from each category are:


In the youngest age group, the 0-5 Best Picture Book category, Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins topped the children’s vote. Written by the multi-award winning creator of Maisy – which sold more than 28 million copies around the world and even has its own popular TV show – this colourful, interactive story tells the endearing tale of a woodpecker being taught to peck for the first time.


Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastiscame out on top in the 6-8 Best Story group. Coming from the man behind the devoutly followed comic strip Pearls Before Swine, the book features a perfect combination of deadpan humour, visual gags and comic-strip style illustrations to tell the tale of a wannabe middle-school detective.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, the eighth book of the bestselling series, topped the fictional category. Written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney, the story focuses on protagonist Greg’s difficulty adapting to middle-school after being abandoned by his best friend.


The 9-11 age group was split into two categories – fact and fiction. Winning the factual award was Operation Ouch!: Your Brilliant Body by twins, Doctor Chris and Xand van Tulleken. Based on the popular CBBC TV series, the book mixes mischief with medicine and engaged the children voters with their unique take on biology.


The Fault In Our Stars by American author John Green is a tear-jerking but irreverent and humorous tale of teen love in challenging circumstances. The book’s critical acclaim is that, as well as seeing soaring sales in bookshops, it made a £3.4m debut at the UK box office on its opening weekend, making it this summer’s must-see film. Beautifully written and laced with humour and teen angst, the story follows the cancer ridden lives of teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. This book was a major hit with the judges and dominated the votes for this category.


Celebrating the innovative use of technology in children’s books, Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Ed Bryan conquered the Best Tech group. The interactive storybook app provides a completely new take on the classic fairytale, allowing children to create their own story by choosing from multiple paths. Published by Nosy Crow, Little Red Riding Hood beat David Walliams’The Slightly Annoying Elephant, to top the poll.


A group of high-profile judges, featuring widely loved names from literature, showbiz and children’s TV, compiled a shortlist for each category of the awards – before the public vote decided the eventual winners.

Judges included teen-queen author Louise Rennison, renowned children’s author and illustrator Lauren Child, Made in Chelsea’s Andy Jordan and Great British Bake Off star Mel Giedroyc who hosted today’s Best Book awards ceremony.

Viv Bird, CEO of Booktrust said:

What’s unique about the new Booktrust Best Book Awards is that children choose the winners themselves. Strikingly, this year, real life drama has taken over from fantasy, with children voting for books that deal with some of the real challenges facing young people today. Often using humour to lighten the load, these types of books can offer comfort and reassurance to children as well as entertaining them.

Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, EU Kindle added:

Reading is important. Amazon Kindle is delighted to sponsor the Booktrust Best Book Awards which celebrate the enduring popularity of children’s books. It’s wonderful that children have been given the opportunity to decide the winners themselves and they have clearly chosen some fantastic titles.

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