Saturday 9th June saw the Union Jack Club in London buzzing with excitement as authors, children, friends and members of the FCBG came to celebrate the Children’s Book Award ceremony 2018.
Sadly four of our shortlisted authors were in far corners of the globe and so were unable to attend but it was wonderful to see Reece Wykes, Alice Broadway, Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, Penny Joelson, Lisa Thompson and Joe Todd-Stanton, and the children certainly enjoyed meeting some of their chosen authors for a chat and an autograph!
Penny, Kiran, Alice and Reece meeting some of their fans.
Steve Cole was our master of ceremonies and entertained everyone with jokes, a rant about fruit (why is a strawberry called a berry when it isn’t one yet a banana, which is a berry, is never given that title?) and a tune on the ukulele!
Then it was on to the prize giving. Each one of our top 10 authors was presented with a portfolio of amazing work produced by some of our child voters. They were full of letters, pictures, movie posters, reviews and all sorts of other things the children came up with to show how much they loved the books they had voted for.
Some of the wonderful artwork included in the Top Ten portfolios.
With much excitement our first group of children came up to award the prize for the winner of the ‘Books For Young Children’ category. And the winner is….
I Dare You
Written and illustrated by Reece Wykes
Published by Andersen Press
A brilliantly funny and wonderfully illustrated book about not pushing your luck! When two apes start daring each other to eat crazier and crazier things in the jungle, who knows where it will end?!
When we asked Reece how he felt about winning this category with his debut picture book he told us,
“It feels amazing, completely unexpected. It’s such a meaningful award considering it’s all voted for by the kids. They’re why I wrote the book.”
And so on to the ‘Books for Younger Readers’ category.
And the winner is…..
By Katherine Rundell,
with illustrations by Hannah Horn
Published by Bloomsbury
A wonderful adventure set in the Amazon, beautifully illustrated throughout. The Explorer tells the tale of a group of children who crash land in the middle of the rainforest and have to use their knowledge and courage to find safety and the way home.
Unfortunately Katherine Rundell was unable to be with us in person as she is currently away on Japan. However she was able to send us a video and had this to say of her category win,
“I’m so sorry I can’t be there today. I wanted to say thank you so much for shortlisting me for this prize, it means a huge amount to me because it’s the one that is voted for by children and I’m really looking forward to seeing the portfolio for this presentation. I am so excited to hear that The Explorer has won the younger readers’ award. I am absolutely thrilled. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, it means a great deal.”
The final award for the day was presented the winner of the ‘Books For Older Readers,’ category…..
I Have No Secrets
By Penny Joelson
Published by Egmont
A deeply moving book about a teenager with cerebral palsy who is unable to communicate using speech. She has a very active and intelligent brain but when confronted by the most awful secret, she feels powerless to act.
Penny, a member of the FCBG herself, was at the awards ceremony and spoke to us about winning this category,
“It is incredibly special to win a national award for a start, voted for right throughout the country and by young people themselves. And as a member of the Federation, I see the amount of work that goes in from volunteers, amazing school librarians who are part of my local group and all the national groups that make this all happen. It’s just incredible commitment and a love of books that really shines through. It’s just incredible for my book to come out at the top of my category.”
With three such wonderful category winners it was difficult to predict which of the books would go on to be this year’s overall winner. But, with huge applause, The Explorer won the crown for 2018.
Katherine Rundell was delighted with the news and sent this message from Japan,
“I am so thrilled to be the overall winner of the prize. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me, I can’t say how grateful I am. This is so exciting, thank you.”