Jazz Dog, Becoming Dinah and Mutant Zombies Cursed My School Trip among the contenders for the Children's Book Award
Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...
Dear Reader. The Children's Book Award is the only national award voted for solely by children from start to finish.
It is highly regarded by parents, teachers, librarians, publishers and children's authors and illustrators as it truly represents the children's choice.
Children are encouraged to read the books and vote online at www.fcbg.org.uk/childrens-book-award.
Here are the books on this year's shortlist...
Books for younger children
Jazz Dog, written and illustrated by Marie Voigt
A thoughtful and entertaining story about togetherness and inclusion.
In a divided world of cats and dogs - where dogs only play dog music and cats only play cat music - one little dog chooses to follow the music in his heart, and that means jamming with the cats!
Matisse's Magical Trail, written by Tim Hopgood and illustrated by Sam Boughton
A beautiful, colourful and bold picture book that encourages children to notice the small things, think big, and express themselves!
Matisse is a young snail who loves to create beautiful drawings with his trail. The trouble is most of the time people are far too busy to even notice them.
It's only when a child notices Matisse's beautiful trails that his art is finally celebrated - and they inspire a whole class of children to get creative too!
The Runaway Pea, written by Kjartan Poskitt and illustrated by Alex Willmore
It's time for tea, but one pesky pea has decided to ping himself off the plate in search of a party!
The rogue pea shoots, flings and bounces across the kitchen as he embarks on his perilous adventure - but will he find the fun he is looking for or is the kitchen a scarier place than he thought?
This quirky caper from debut duo Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore will show you just what can happen when you take your eye off your dinner for a second!
Books for younger readers
Mutant Zombies Cursed My School Trip, written by Matt Brown and illustrated by Paco Sordo
Ian Iansson is a little bit worried about his school trip. Firstly, Ian doesn't have any friends, plus, his mum has packed him 10 pairs of pants for the two-day trip.
But, as it turns out, these are the least of Ian's problems. Because when Ian's class arrives at the spooky old house, there's something very weird going on.
Something that looks awfully like zombies; groaning, dribbling zombies who are just wandering about - and no one but Ian seems to have noticed.
Owen and The Soldier by Lisa Thompson
A crumbling stone soldier sits on a bench in the park. Only Owen understands how important he is.
At home, Owen and his mum are struggling and there's nobody he can talk to. Hidden away in the park, Owen feels free to be himself.
When the war-weary soldier is listening, his worries slip away. But nobody else cares about the soldier, and the town council wants to tear him down.
Owen's the only one who can save him, but can he find the courage to speak up before it's too late?
The Maker of Monsters by Lorraine Gregory
Brat has always lived in the isolated castle on the island, taking care of the vicious creatures that his master creates, waiting in terror for the moment when they are ready to be put to use.
But then the unthinkable happens. The monsters get out.
Now Brat must overcome his fears, and venture into the world he has hidden from his whole life. For the fate of everyone rests on his shoulders alone.
Books for older readers
Becoming Dinah by Kit de Waal
"Dinah's whole world is upside down, dead things and angry men and cuts all over her head that are beginning to sting."
Seventeen-year-old Dinah needs to leave her home, the weird commune where she grew up. She needs a whole new identity, starting with how she looks, starting with shaving off her hair, her 'crowning glory'. She has to do it quickly, because she has to go NOW.
Dinah was going to go alone and hitch a ride down south. Except, she ends up being persuaded to illegally drive a VW campervan for hundreds of miles, accompanied by a grumpy man with one leg. This wasn't the plan.
But while she's driving, Dinah will be forced to confront everything that led her here, everything that will finally show her which direction to turn.
On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri's got massive shoes to fill.
But when her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Bri finds herself at the centre of controversy and portrayed by the media as more menace than MC.
And with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it – she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M McManus
A perfect town is hiding secrets. Secrets that somebody would kill to keep hidden.
Ellery's never been to Echo Ridge, but she's heard all about it. It's where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a homecoming queen's murder five years ago made national news.
And now she has to live there with her estranged grandmother, after her mother lands in rehab.
Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the homecoming queen's death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace.
But now he's back- just as mysterious threats appear around town, hinting that a killer will strike again. Then another girl disappears.
As Ellery and Malcolm race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge.