News

Blue Peter Book Awards 2021 longlist!

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We are so excited to share the news that three of our amazing clients have made the Blue Peter Book Awards 2021 longlist! Currently, ten books are in the running for Best Story, while ten are on the list for Best Book With Facts. Watch Blue Peter on 5 November to discover which titles end up on this year’s shortlists!

The nominated books will then be sent to children in judging schools across the country, who will read them all and then vote for their favourites.

Since 2000, the enormously popular and influential Blue Peter Book Awards have been recognising and celebrating the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children.

Addie’s class are told they have a ‘fun’ new project to study in the run-up to Halloween. As the teacher recounts how 16th century women were accused of witchcraft for reasons as innocuous as being left-handed, 11 year old Addie is left stunned. She’s horrified that innocent people, including women from her own area, were persecuted, executed, then forgotten by society. The revelation leaves her determined to lobby for a local memorial in her small Scottish village.

Oppression of those with perceived ‘differences’ is of course not confined to the history books. And Addie, who is autistic, experiences this at first hand and in various forms, both at school and in the local community. But we soon see that she is not one to sit back and accept injustice – and with support from a new girl at school - she fights valiantly for what she knows is right.

This debut novel from a neurodivergent writer offers an utterly convincing and hugely likeable narrative voice. Challenging many a myth and a stereotype, but never forcing its messages, this is a powerful book with a gentle touch. With Addie’s twin sister also on the spectrum, we are reminded that there are ‘many different ways to be autistic’. We see that there are regrettably also many ways to ignorant and unpleasant, and that even adults can be bullies. And we are reminded what a phoney place the world of social media can be. But above all, we revel in joining Addie in her crusade for equality and truth.

A short, sweet and accessible read, but with so very much to say.

Pizazz is a superhero, but she hates her superpower. In fact, she hates it so much that sometimes she’d rather let the baddies win than have to use it because it’s so embarrassing. Compared with her superhero family – Mum (superhero name Atomic), Dad (Ore) and Pizazz’s annoying little fire-breathing sister Red Dragon, who are forever diverting meteors from Earth, realigning planets or press-ganging her into fighting evil nemeses – Pizazz would just much rather eat ice cream and play with her hamsters.

Yet when Pizazz becomes an eco-monitor at school, she finds out that a local business – run by the dad of one of her school enemies – is planning to steamroller the nice local park and build a car park on it instead. Despite a disastrous initial presentation to the rather intimidating businessmen with her friend Ivy, Pizazz’s Grampa helps them hatch a plan which will bring the community together to protest the new car park – and, in so doing, provide an opportunity for Pizazz to use her actually quite fabulous superpower.

Sophy Henn’s new illustrated adventure aimed at younger to middle-primary school aged readers is perfect for fans of her previous series Bad Nana, with the same level of illustration and zany text throughout. Like Bad Nana, this is a humourous story about families, and in Pizazz’s case, about being someone who feels less powerful than everyone else, yet someone who can still make significant change happen. Pizazz’s local community protest might not be quite the same as saving the earth from being covered in snot, but it’s a down to earth, achievable and positive activity she can be proud of.

This book, written by Kids Against Plastic founders Amy and Ella Meek, explains everything we need to know about the problem of plastic, in full but digestible detail - for example, the difference between essential (ie medical) and avoidable plastics - and why recycling isn’t enough. It also illustrates why bioplastics, which are often touted as eco-friendly, actually can’t be recycled and don’t really compost down.

The book offers some great solutions for young eco-conscious people trying to reduce their plastic use, and looks at the lives of great activists for inspiration - from Gandhi to the most famous environmental campaigner of her generation, Greta Thunberg.

This is a well written and empowering book on how young people can make a difference. Even though there is a lot of information here for a young audience, the book is well designed and acccessible with lovely illustrations and engaging layouts. A much needed book for young people who want to get their facts right, and help them encourage the adults they know into living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.