The titles combine the leading mental health shortlist for the Children’s Book Award

Books incorporating mental health topics lead the shortlist for the 2023 Waterstones Children’s Book Awards.

The winner, which will be selected from a total of 18 books in three categories and voted on by Waterstones bookstores, will be announced in a ceremony on March 30.

With six books nominated in each category, illustrated nominees include The Missing Piece, by author Jordan Stephens and illustrator Beth Suzanna, which is a tale of family and friendship. , while gently addressing how to overcome feelings of isolation.


Gretal The Wonder Mammoth by Kim Hillyard (?)

Elsewhere in this category, Gretel The Wonder Mammoth, by Kim Hillyard, explores the difficulties and anxieties associated with change, and offers guidance on how to ask for help when feeling overwhelmed. overwhelmed and lonely.

Completing illustrated book nominations is What Do You See When You Look At A Tree? by Emma Carlisle, The Station Cat by Stephen Hogtun, I Am NOT A Prince by author Rachael Davis and illustrator Beatrix Hatcher, and The Fairy Garden written by Georgia Buckthorn and illustrated by Isabella Mazzanti.

The nominations for 2023 come after years of challenges for children and young people in the UK, including the risk of loneliness and anxiety due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown orders.

Mental health topics also make their way into the younger-reader category, with Lee Newbery’s The Last Firefox addressing struggles at school and at home to deliver a subtle message of how to be courageous. deal with anxiety.

Other contenders in this category are David Farr’s Book of Stolen Dreams, MT Khan’s Nura And The Immortal Palace, Small! by Hannah Moffatt, Ajay And The Mumbai Sun by Varsha Shah, and The Lizzie And Belle Mysteries: Drama And Danger written by JT Williams and illustrated by Simone Douglas.


The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery is nominated in category X (?)

In the book genre for older readers, Angharad Walker’s Once Upon a Time sees a world ravaged by a monstrous illness, the cause of which is attributed to strong emotions.

The category also saw the first graphic novel memoir shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award, as Lewis Hancox tells the story of learning how to be the happiest human being. himself in Welcome To St Hell.

All That Remains in the World by Erik J Brown, The Cats We Met Along the Road by Nadia Mikail, Ellie Pillai Is Brown by Christine Pillainayagam, and If You Still Recognize Me by Cynthia.

Following the announcement of the shortlist, Florentyna Martin, head of children’s at Waterstones, said: “Books have the magical power to help develop individuals in safe, supportive spaces, no matter what their readers’ needs. Explore the site or visit the bookstore.

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“With the rise of mental health topics in children’s books and studies showing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and social media on young people’s health, it is remarkable that we see reflections on mental health and identity on the shortlist.

“Our booksellers have curated a list of special new articles that offer something for everyone.”


Once Upon a Time by Angarad Walker (?)

The winning author in each category will be awarded a prize of £2,000 and the overall winner will receive an additional £3,000. If the prize is awarded to one partner, the bonus amount will be divided equally.

The winners will also receive an ongoing commitment to their writing career from Waterstones.

The 2022 award was given to Hannah Gold for The Last Bear. The titles combine the leading mental health shortlist for the Children’s Book Award

Fry Electronics Team

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