Booktrust unveils judging panel for Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle

Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc and Made in Chelsea’s Andy Jordan amongst judges for inaugural Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle

The reading charity is today delighted to reveal the judging panel that will decide the winners of the brand new Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle.

The diverse group features widely loved names from literature, showbiz and business, including Waterstones Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, Apprentice star Tom Pellereau and Made in Chelsea’s Andy Jordan. Great British Bake Off star Mel Giedroyc will host the awards ceremony that will take place on 2nd July.

Tom Pellereau will be joined by literary scout John McLay and author and illustrator Lauren Child in judging the 0-5 years category, while TV presenters Cerrie Burnell and Andy Akinwolere will judge the 6-8 group, alongside the Guardian’s children’s books editor Julia Eccleshare.

As well as her duties as ceremony host, Mel Giedroyc will swap pastries for pages in judging the 9-11 category alongside Blue Peter’s Helen Skelton, DJ and radio presenter Nemone Metaxas, and respected school librarian Andy Lancaster. Judging the oldest age group, the 12-14s, are novelists Amanda Craig and Louise Rennison, with Made in Chelsea star Andy Jordan.

To reflect how reading has embraced the digital era, there will also be a technology award that will celebrate the best innovations in online literature. Tech journalist Stuart Dredge will assist Amanda Craig and Cerrie Burnell in deciding this award.

The panel will now go into bookworm mode, reading their assigned categories’ long list, to create a short list that will be announced on 27th March. Children across the country, signed up for the project by schools and libraries, will then be invited to vote for the overall winners of each specific category.

The current and former Children’s Laureate – Malorie Blackman and Booktrust President Michael Morpurgo – will be on hand to decide the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, alongside the Daily Telegraph’s culture editor Martin Chilton and Booktrust’s CEO Viv Bird.

Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman commented;

“I am thrilled to be part of the judging panel for the Lifetime Achievement Award, to help to recognise the outstanding talent in the world of children’s books. We are incredibly lucky in this country to have a wealth of authors and illustrators who have entertained generation after generation with fantastic stories, and it’s important to celebrate this whenever possible.

“Many of us writing today owe everything to the stories we read at home, at school and in libraries as children, so I couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of honouring achievement in this field.”

Booktrust Chief Executive Viv Bird, added;

“We’re very excited to announce our panel, which is a great mix of some of the nation’s most talented writers, respected journalists and popular celebrities.

There’s a lot of fantastic reading ahead for our judges, and we hope they enjoy embracing their inner child in providing a shortlist for the nation’s school-children to choose from. With so many top authors and titles in the running, we anticipate an exciting vote.”

The full judging panel is below:


0-5 years

• John McLay

• Lauren Child

• Tom Pellereau

6-8 years

• Julia Eccleshare

• Cerrie Burnell

• Andy Akinwolere

9-11 years

• Adam Lancaster

• Helen Skelton

• Mel Giedroyc

• Nemone Metaxas

12-14 years

• Amanda Craig

• Louise Rennison

• Andy Jordan


• Amanda Craig

• Stuart Dredge

• Cerrie Burnell

Lifetime Achievement Award

• Viv Bird

• Malorie Blackman

• Michael Morpurgo

• Martin Chilton

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