Podkin One Ear and Survivors tell stories of struggle and strength

Podkin One Ear and Survivors have been chosen as this year’s Blue Peter Book Awards winners. The awards, managed by Book Trust, the largest children’s reading charity in Britain, are now in their 17th year and celebrate the best new children’s books from the last 12 months. 

Stealing the top spot for Best Story is a rabbit adventure tale Podkin One Ear, written by Kieran Larwood and illustrated by David Wyatt. Whilst David Long’s Survivors, an anthology of incredible true stories illustrated by Kerry Hyndman has been awarded the Best Book with Facts prize. Both books are published by Faber & Faber.

This year’s judging panel, who selected the shortlist, was made up of children’s author/illustrator and BookTrust’s Writer in Residence Sarah McIntyre, radio presenter Nihal Arthanayake and Waterstone’s Children’s Book Buyer Florentyna Martin. The winning titles were chosen by over 400 children from 12 schools across the UK who read the shortlisted books and voted for their favourite in each category. Authors will receive their awards on the Blue Peter Book Awards World Book Day special on 2nd March on CBBC.

Teacher Sarah Newman from Porth Y Felin school in Conwy, Wales, one of the 12 judging schools said: “It’s been a pleasure to see the children walking the corridors with their books in their hands, especially the boys. Pupils say being Blue Peter Book Awards judges has given them a purpose to their reading, and opened their eyes to books they might not otherwise have chosen. It’s a long time since I’ve seen so many students so excited about reading, and they’ve said they feel honoured to have been chosen to be part of it all.”                                                                               

Podkin One Ear is the first in the adventure series of a young rabbit, Podkin, whose flees his warren with his siblings after the brutal murder of their father, the warrior chieftain. Running for their lives, the three rabbits embark on a terrifying journey to escape the Gorm and save their mother.

Kieran Larwood, author of Podkin One Ear said: “I am hugely excited to have won the Blue Peter Book Award.  It is such an honour, especially as I grew up watching Blue Peter, and the fact that it was voted for by children makes it all the more amazing.”

Survivors recounts shocking yet inspiring stories of the fight for survival – including classic tales of Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic, to the adventurer who inspired the film 127 Hours.

David Long, author of Survivors said “I’m overjoyed at the news that Survivors has won this award. I grew up watching Blue Peter with my brother and sister. My sons never missed an episode, and now I’m going to visit the studio and meet the team. It’s fantastic news.”

Illustrator of Survivors Kerry Hyndman said “I’m so excited our book won! I really enjoyed illustrating these amazing stories and it’s great to know the children who voted enjoyed them too. It’s a huge honour!”

The Blue Peter Book Awards, managed by Book Trust, the largest reading charity in Britain, are now in their 17th year and celebrate the best new children’s books from the last 12 months. 

Ewan Vinnicombe, Editor, Blue Peter said: ‘Over their 17 year history, the Blue Peter Book Awards have grown to become a highly respected accolade in the world of literature; inspiring and encouraging children to become lifelong readers. This year is no exception, and school children across the country, along with our distinguished judging panel, have chosen two exceptional books as their winners’

Keep up-to-date with the Awards at Book Trust : Blue Peter and on Twitter by following @Booktrust and #BPBA

Titles shortlisted for the 2017 awards:

Best Story

Lost Tales (David Fickling Books) by Adam Murphy and Lisa Murphy

Podkin One Ear (Faber & Faber) by Kieran Larwood and illustrated by David Wyatt

Time Travelling with a Hamster (Harper Collins) by Ross Welford

Best Book with Facts

Survivors (Faber & Faber) by David Long and illustrated by Kerry Hyndman

Destination: Space (Wide Eyed Editions) by Dr Christoph Englert and illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole

Football School – Where Football Explains the World (Walker Books) by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton and illustrated by Spike Gerrell

The judges for this year’s awards are:

  • Ewan Vinnicombe – (non-voting chair) Editor, Blue Peter
  • Florentyna Martin – Children’s Book Buyer for Waterstones
  • Nihal Arthanayake – BBC Radio Presenter, father of two
  • Sarah McIntyre – Children’s author and illustrator 

About Blue Peter

Blue Peter is the longest running children’s magazine programme in the world. As well as the Book Awards, the show’s family of presenters, live studio home, amazing competitions, incredible challenges, live music, interviews with celebrities, access behind the scenes, pets, makes and bakes, free games online and most importantly its commitment to the audience are all long standing elements of this iconic show. BBC : Blue Peter

About Book Trust

BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. We work to inspire a love of reading in children because we know that reading can transform lives. Each year we reach 2.5 million children across the UK with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading, because we know that reading can transform lives. Every parent receives a BookTrust book in the baby’s first year. Our books are delivered via health, library, schools and early year’s practitioners, and are supported with guidance, advice and resources to encourage the reading habit. Reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on educational outcomes, well-being and social mobility, and is also a huge pleasure in itself. We are committed to starting children on their reading journey and supporting them throughout. Book Trust

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