Our Favourite Award-winning Children's Books

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...

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1. The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler | 3+

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.

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2. The Day the Crayons Quit

Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers | 3+

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.

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3. The Sheep-Pig

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.

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4. Private Peaceful

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.

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5. Journey to the River Sea

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.

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6. The Graveyard Book

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.

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7. Northern Lights

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...

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8. The Girl of Ink and Stars

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.

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9. A Monster Calls

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.

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10. The Bombs That Brought Us Together

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...

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  • AAAWZ 11 years +
    Neil Gaiman
    11 years +
    (2)
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60

    When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

  • PVU2 9 years +
    Michael Morpurgo
    9 years +
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Michael Morpurgo's novel, Private Peaceful, swoops the reader's emotions up and down in this stirring story of a soldier caught up in the horrors of the First World War.

    Although the story takes place in the space of just one night, there's a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows in store as Tommo recounts anecdotes from his childhood and relives nightmare experiences of fighting in the trenches.

    Private Peaceful won the Red House Children's Book Award and is an essential read for children aged nine and above who are learning about the First World War and how it affected ordinary lives.

    Readers who enjoy Private Peaceful may also like Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian.
  • ABFHC 3 years +
    Julia Donaldson
    3 years +
    (4)
    • £11.29
    • RRP £11.99
    • Save £0.70

    A rhyming story of a mouse and a monster. Little mouse goes for a walk in a dangerous forest. To scare off his enemies, he invents tales of a fantastical creature called the Gruffalo. Imagine his surprise when he meets the real Gruffalo!

  • ABKNI 12 years +
    Philip Pullman
    12 years +
    (2)
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60
    Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world...
  • CQZ2 3 years +
    D. Daywalt & O. Jeffers
    3 years +
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £4.00
    Duncan wants to start drawing but when he opens his box of crayons, he's surprised - Beige is fed up of being second choice to Brown, Blue is tired from being all that sea and sky, Pink is waiting for a chance to shine and Yellow and Orange are barely speaking...

    Battle lines have been drawn and only Duncan can save the day if he wants to colour in ever again. With its creative illustrations and a unique insight into the life of a humble crayon, The Day the Crayons Quit is a brilliantly funny and imaginative story that young readers will return to again and again!

    Written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by the award-winning Oliver Jeffers, this is a unique and original children's book that will bring a smile to the face of all who read it.

    Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers' The Day the Crayons Quit has been named the winner of the Red House Children's Book Award 2015.
  • ASXWC 9 years +
    Kiran Millwood-Hargrave
    9 years +
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.40
    Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland - and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

    Winner of the British Book Award Children's Book of the Year 2017
  • JOR2 9 years +
    Eva Ibbotson
    9 years +
    (3)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    A huge favourite with us at Book People and described by the Sunday Times as 'the most perfect children's book', Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea is an enchanting read that proves that every kid should live their life full of adventure.

    The story of an orphan shipped to her distant relatives, Maia is disappointed when she is not welcomed with the open arms she was expecting... but the wonders of the Amazonian rainforest soon make up for this!

    When she meets a mysterious boy who lives alone on the wild river shores, things become even more extraordinary. A beautiful, traditional adventure story, we just know you will adore this book.
  • PXG2 5 years +
    Dick King-Smith
    5 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £3.00
    Dick King-Smith's story of the little orphaned piglet who longs to become a sheep-dog will charm and entrance young readers aged 5 and over.

    Farmer Hogget wins Babe in a guess-the-weight-of-the-pig competition. With the help of kindly sheep-dog Fly, the young piglet settles in to life on the farm but he also harbours a strange ambition for a pig...

    Lots of laughs and plenty of suspense make this a touching story to share with young readers. Fans of The Sheep-Pig will also enjoy reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.
  • The Bombs that Brought Us Together - Hardback - 9781408855744 - Brian Conaghan
    CSCTD 13 years +
    Brian Conaghan
    13 years +
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00
    Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2016, Brian Conaghan's The Bombs that Brought Us Together is a powerful tale of survival and morality that will appeal to fans of John Boyne and Patrick Ness.

    Charlie Law is a 14-year-old who has lived in Little Town his whole life. On the border with Old Country, he's had to live by a string of rules: no drinking, no litter, no fighting. But then he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country and everything changes...

    Bombs start to fall and then Old Country's soldiers arrive... Charlie soon learns that to keep the people you love safe, sometimes you have to do bad things. Charlie finds himself sucked into a dangerous game that includes a gun, a bad man, his closest friend and his dearest enemy.
  • MNSC 13 years +
    Patrick Ness
    13 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    This is a special film tie-in edition of Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls; a novel that won both the Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal when it was published in 2012.

    Now adapted into a heartbreaking film (by director J.A. Bayona) starring Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson as the voice of the monster, the book discusses the difficult subject of terminal illness and coming to terms with loss. Based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness is the author of the novel and it's an unforgettable page-turner - just make sure you have some tissues on hand to dry your eyes.

    The story begins with the intriguing sentence: 'The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do...' and what follows is a compelling account of Conor's visions of this creature, who comes to be nothing quite like what he imagined...

    As his mum begins treatments, he starts to see another side of this ancient and wild monster.