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Winners of the 2021 Blue Peter Awards

Announced on World Book Day in a special edition of Blue Peter, the 2021 winners of The Best Story and The Best Book of Facts were voted for by over 300 children from 12 participating schools around the UK, after shortlists had been drawn up by a panel of judges.

The Best Story is A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicholl. Knights Of. ISBN: 978-1913311056

A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard? This brilliant debut novel by neurodivergent author Elle offers an utterly convincing and honest narrative voice and challenges the stereotypes that can be associated with autism.

The Best Book with Facts is A Day In The Life Of A Poo, A Gnu And You Mike Barfield and illustrator Jess Bradley. Buster Books. ISBN: 978-1780556468. This is the second  consecutive win for this tiny publisher!

The inside story of brains, eyes, teeth, pimples, farts, porcupines, Bactrian camels, komodo dragons, Japanese knotweed, lichen, clouds, clocks, Mars rovers, snowflakes – and everything in between

Packed full of zany trivia each element is written in the form of a first-person diary and brilliantly presented in cartoon strips. This is a very unusual presentation of information- highly accessible, engaging and often very funny.

Managed by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, the immensely popular Blue Peter Book Awards have been honouring amazing authors, imaginative illustrators and the best books for children, published in the previous 12 months, since 2000. You can read blogs by shortlisted authors and find out more on the website.


Best story shortlist

  1. A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll ( Knights Of)ISBN: 978-1913311056
  2. Anisha, Accidental Detective: School’s Cancelled by Serena Patel, illustrated by Emma McCann (Usborne) 978-1474959520
  3. Life of Riley: Beginner’s Luck by Simon James Green, illustrated by Alexei Bitskoff ( Scholastic) ISBN: 978-0702303623

Best book with facts shortlist

  1. A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You by Mike Barfield, illustrated by Jess Bradley ( Buster Books) ISBN: 978-1780556468
  2. Inventors by Professor Robert Winston, illustrated by Jessamy Hake ( DK Children) ISBN: 978-0241412466
  3. The Humans by Jonny Marx, illustrated by Charlie Davis (360 Degrees) ISBN: 978-1848579934

The 2021 judging panel consisted of: 

Ellen Evans                                Editor, Blue Peter

Angela Young                            Producer, Blue Peter

Esther Jackson-Burton           Assistant Script Editor at BBC Children’s

Emily Drabble                           Head of Children’s Books and Prizes at BookTrust

Caroline Hill-Trevor                 Head of Book Purchasing at BookTrust

Scott Evans                                Primary school teacher and reading lead in South Wales

Simon Hudd                               Primary school teacher and reading lead in London

Soraya Berry                              Secondary School Learning Resource Manager in London

Jasmine Richards                     Founder of Storymix


Schools taking part in the judging process:

Catton Grove Primary School

Brookland Junior School

Kelvin Grove Primary

Garstang Community Primary School

Sacred Heart Primary School

Hamilton College

Beechview School

Charter Primary School

Laira Green Primary School

St Joseph’s R.C. Primary School

St. Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School

Allerton Primary School

More Awards

The British Book Awards 2020

First launched in 1990 and now run by The Bookseller, the British Book Awards seek to showcase and celebrate the best books, the best bookshops and the best publishers.