Jamie Oliver and Julia Donaldson shortlisted for The Week Junior 2024 Book Awards, but probably not for the books you think

 The Week Junior 2024 Book Awards shortlist, including The Bowerbird by Julia Donaldson, Guinness World Records 2024, Roots of Happiness and more.
Credit: Future

Big names, including Jamie Oliver and Julia Donaldson, have just been shortlisted in a book awards scheme, aimed at encouraging children to read.

Julia Donaldson, author of the nation's favourite children's book, The Gruffalo, is joined by Countdown's Susie Dent, TV presenter Philippa Forrester and British geneticist Adam Rutherford on the shortlist for GoodtoKnow's sister title The Week Junior 2024 Book Awards.

While your child might already have their favourite bedtime story, or be lucky enough to have a personalised children's book where they themselves appear in the story, a recent report shows that the number of books being read by children has dropped by more than four per cent in the last 12 months. The Week Junior's award scheme is designed to inspire more children to read for pleasure.

The shortlist was selected by an expert committee, including booksellers, librarians and primary school teachers, from more than 370 entries. In total there are 74 books shortlisted across 13 categories, including:

  • Animals and Nature (New for 2024)

  • Graphic Novel (New for 2024)

  • Hobbies and Interests (New for 2024)

  • Picture Book (New for 2024)

  • Poetry (New for 2024)

  • Wellbeing (New for 2024)

  • Audiobook

  • Breakthrough Book

  • Cover of the Year

  • Fiction Older

  • Fiction Younger

  • Non-Fiction

  • STEM (in partnership with The Week Junior Science+Nature magazine)

Readers of The Week Junior get the chance to vote for the Cover of the Year, and the Children's Choice Award - which is the overall winner of the shortlist in all categories. Better still, WHSmith is also offering a voucher to The Week Junior readers for 20 per cent off books bought in-store and online this summer.

Anna Bassi, editorial director of The Week Junior, says, "The 74 books on our shortlist represent an incredible range of authors, illustrators, designers, stories and subjects – testament to the endless creativity and innovation in children’s publishing. Our judges are in for some excellent reading over the next couple of months. I’m really excited to find out which of the books readers of The Week Junior elect to win our Children’s Choice trophy – this is their chance to vote and I hope they’ll use it. With reading for pleasure seemingly in decline I’d like to think our shortlists will inspire more kids to give books a go, discover something new, and hopefully spark a love of reading that lasts for life."

The Week Junior Book Awards were launched in 2023 to celebrate children's books and honour creative excellence within the industry. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on 30 September.

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