The winners of the Waterstones Children Book Prize were officially announced on the 3rd April at a reception at Waterstones flagship Piccadilly store. The prize awards new and emerging talent in children’s writing and is unique in that it is voted for solely by Waterstones Children’s booksellers. Each category winner receives £2000 with the overall winner chosen from the three receiving an additional £3000.
The winners of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2014 are…
Best Fiction for 5-12’s and the Overall Winner
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
My mother is still alive, and she is going to come for me one day.
Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive, but that means still possible. You should never ignore a possible.
So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has – the address of the cello maker.
Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers – urchins who live in the sky. Together they scour the city for Sophie’s mother before she is caught and sent back to London and most importantly before she loses hope.
Best Picture Book Winner
Open Very Carefully written by Nick Bromley and Illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne
What would you do if you were settling down for a quiet bedtime story and you realised that a crocodile had fallen into your storybook and was – not to put too fine a point on it – furious? Would you slam that book shut, cram it in the bookshelf for evermore or would you be brave enough to peek?
Best Book for Teens
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.”
Harriet Manners knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. She knows that bats always turn left when exiting a cave and that peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
But she doesn’t know why nobody at school seems to like her.
So when Harriet is spotted by a top model agent, she grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her best friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of impossibly handsome model Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
Veering from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, Harriet begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.
As her old life starts to fall apart, will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
Congratulations to the winners and to all the other books that made the shortlists!