Ordered by target age, below are just some of our favourite award-winning children's books. These wonderful stories are simply must-reads for kids, and the list includes epic fantasies, poignant tales and uplifting adventures...
This gorgeous picture book has won several awards, including a Nestle Smarties Gold Book Award in 1999 and Blue Peter's Best Book to Read Aloud Award in 2000. Featuring the famous half-grizzly bear, half-buffalo, this tale follows a brave little mouse who believes the Gruffalo is nothing but a figment of his own imagination - until he comes face-to-face with him! Complete with distinctive illustrations by Axel Scheffler, this story is guaranteed to delight little readers and be remembered forever.
This quirky picture book has earned multiple awards, including the Red House Children's Book Award 2015, the Children's Choice Book Award 2014 and the E. B. White Read Aloud Award 2014. In this fun story, Duncan wants to draw and opens his box of crayons - only to find a very strange situation. Beige is fed up of being second choice to Brown, Blue is tired of all that sea and sky, Pink is waiting for the chance to shine and Yellow and Orange are barely talking. If Duncan ever wants to draw again, he must reunite the crayons and save the day. With bright illustrations and a riotous storyline, discover the secret life of crayons in this imaginative book.
Dick King-Smith | 5+
This farm-tastic story by bestselling author Dick King-Smith won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1984 and was adapted into the hugely popular film, Babe, in 1995. In the story, Farmer Hoggett wins Babe the pig in a guess-the-weight-of-the-pig competition. With the assistance of kindly sheepdog Fly, the little piglet seems to settle in well to life on the farm - but also harbours a strange ambition for a pig... Kids will be laughing, grinning and gasping at this enthralling classic story.
Michael Morpurgo | 9+
This shocking and poignant story won the Red House Children's Award 2004 and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award 2005, and was adapted into a film in 2012. The book stars Tommo as he recounts touching anecdotes from his childhood, his affection and love for a girl called Molly (with whom his brother was also enamoured), and his horrifying experiences fighting in the trenches of World War I. This eye-opening insight into the realities of war will shock and thrill readers of any age and is truly unmissable.
Eva Ibbotson | 9+
This wonderful adventure novel has been shortlisted for numerous book awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award, and won a Nestle Smarties Gold Book Award in 2001. Set in 1910, it follows Maia, tragically orphaned at just thirteen and sent from England to faraway Manaus to live with relatives hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She is accompanied by an enigmatic and eccentric governess who has her own mysterious reasons for making the journey. Before long, both will discover a rich, exotic world, filled with new experiences that will enchant and challenge them both.
Neil Gaiman | 11+
This quirky, unique and amusing tale has won several awards, including the Newbery Medal 2009, the Hugo Award for Best Novel 2009, the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel 2009 and the Carnegie Medal 2010. Neil Gaiman's bizarre yet brilliant novel stars Bod, a baby who escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family. Bod finds safety in the most unlikely of places: a graveyard. Brought up by the local ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has a unique childhood, learning about life from the dead. But the murderer is still out there looking for him... will he survive into adulthood? This eccentric novel features every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence.
Philip Pullman | 11+
This exhilarating fantasy novel won the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year Award 1997, the Carnegie Medal in 1995 and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1996. Philip Pullman's magical tale, the first in a trilogy of riveting reads, follows Lyra and her 'daemon' - the animal embodiment of her inner self - who live half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. However, Lyra's destiny will take her to frozen lands, magical witch-clans and savage ice-bears. Join her on her extraordinary quest, which will have unimaginable consequences far beyond her own world...
Kiran Millwood Hargrave | 11+
This stunning novel won the Waterstones Children's Prize 2017 and the British Book Award Children's Book of the Year Award 2017. It follows Isabella, who dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to lead the search. But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland, and beneath the arid rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its slumber. Soon - following her heart, her map and an ancient myth - Isabella will discover the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.
Patrick Ness | 13+
This powerful book won the Carnegie Medal 2012, the Red House Children's Book Award 2012 and the National Book Awards Children's Book of the Year Award 2011. It features an ancient monster, made up of leaves and branches, who visits 13-year-old Conor O'Malley each night at 12.07am. The monster offers to tell Conor three stories - if Conor will tell his own story afterwards. We learn that Conor's mother has cancer, Conor is bullied at school, and that he has strained relationships with his father and grandmother, but the monster has come to heal him. Friendship, love and overcoming loss are central to this poignant tale.
Brian Conaghan | 13+
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2016, this shocking tale follows 14-year-old Charlie Law, who has lived in Little Town his entire life under strict rules: no drinking, no fighting, no litter. But then he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, and everything changes. Bombs start to fall, Old Country's soldiers arrive, and Charlie soon learns that to keep loved ones safe, sometimes you have to do bad things. He finds himself entangled in a perilous game, featuring a gun, a bad man, his best friend and his dearest enemy...