Thursday, 6 March 2014

Blue Peter Book Awards 2014 Winners

Baldrick Bags a Second Blue Peter Book Award along with newcomer Katherine Rundell

Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders: World War II wins Best Book with Facts, while Rooftoppers is announced as the Best Story

Tony Robinson has beaten off the competition to win himself his second Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book with Facts, with the WWII instalment in his Weird World of Wonders series. Newcomer Katherine Rundell, aged 26, joins him as the winner of the Best Story for her critically acclaimed second novel Rooftoppers. A panel of judges including author Marcus Sedgwick, CBBC presenter Katie Thistleton, World Book Day director Kirsten Grant and as a non-voting chair of judges, Blue Peter editor Ewan Vinnicombe, selected the shortlist from publishers’ submissions. These were then read and voted on by over 400 children from 10 schools across the UK to decide the winners in each category. The winners were announced on a special World Book Day morning bulletin of Newsround and viewers will be able to see them receive their awards on Blue Peter tonight.

Robinson is known for his role as Baldrick in historical comedy Blackadder, as well as presenting on Time Team, but he has also written over 20 books for children and adults, including The Worst Children’s Jobs in History, which sold over 60,000 copies and won a Blue Peter Book Award in 2007. There are six titles in the Weird World of Wonders series, plus a World Book Day special, published in 2013. Rundell, who is the youngest female fellow ever to be elected at All Souls College in Oxford, already counts Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson among her fans and was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award in 2013. Her first book, Girl Savage, was inspired by childhood years living in Zimbabwe and Rooftoppers from her summers working in Paris as well as night-time explorations on the roof of All Souls and a side hobby in tightrope walking. She is currently working on her doctorate alongside an adult novel.

Ewan Vinnicombe, Blue Peter editor and chair of judges said of the Best Book with Facts Winner:
“Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders: WWII is a worthy winner of the Best Book with Facts. It’s witty, clever and gives the reader an insight into an important historical event.”

Tony Robinson was delighted to win for a second time:
“If happiness is usually the size of a tennis ball, my feelings are the size of Australia! Blue Peter is a genuine stamp of approval and because children themselves do the voting, there’s something very real about this win – it actually feels like a pat on the back from the readership themselves.”

Judge and author Marcus Sedgwick said of the Best Story winner:
“Rooftoppers is a lovely book - free and imaginative, original and touching. The judges loved the way it defies genre and convention, and it's a fantastic winner for the Blue Peter Book Award.”

Katherine Rundell commented on her win:
“I am so wildly delighted and grateful: to win a prize that is voted for by the people for you whom you wrote the book is the most spectacular feeling. And I am thrilled to get a Blue Peter badge at last! I spent most of my childhood loitering hopefully near rivers, waiting for someone to fall in and need rescuing so that I could get a badge - and now I don't even have to get wet. Thank you!”

The full shortlist was as follows:

Best Story
Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (Faber & Faber)
Whale Boy by Nicola Davies (Yearling, Random House Children’s Books)

Best Book with Facts
Marvellous Maths by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Thomas Flintham (Templar)
Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders: World War II by Tony Robinson, illustrated by Del Thorpe (Macmillan)
Animal Kingdom (The World in Infographics) by Jon Richards and Ed Simpkins

The adult judges for this year’s Awards were:
Award-winning marketer and Director of World Book Day, Kirsten Grant
Marcus Sedgwick, award-winning author of children’s and YA fiction
CBBC presenter and host of the CBBC Book Club, Katie Thistleton
Ewan Vinnicombe (non-voting Chair of judges), Blue Peter Editor and Head of Presentation for CBeebies and CBBC

The 10 schools that judged the Blue Peter Book Awards 2014 were:
  • Antony CE VA Primary School, Cornwall
  • Burford School, Buckinghamshire
  • Cragside Church of England Primary, Northumberland
  • Gorsefield Primary School, Manchester
  • The Grove Academy, Hertfordshire
  • Magor Church in Wales Primary School, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Kilkeel Primary School, Co Down, Northern Ireland
  • Latymer Prep School, London
  • St. Columba's RC Primary, Cupar, Scotland
  • St Francis Catholic Primary, Somerset

HUGE congratulations to all the winners!!!!!!!!!!

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