Children's Illustrated & Non-Fiction

Winner: Children's Illustrated & Non-Fiction

You Are Awesome

You Are Awesome

Matthew Syed (author), Toby Triumph (illustrator)

Wren & Rook

In a year when the mental wellbeing of children seemed a more pressing concern than ever before, Matthew Syed’s You Are Awesome was a timely and genuinely life-changing piece of publishing.

A still-growing pile of grateful reviews testifies to the difference the book has made to the self-confidence of many. Engaging and careful not to patronise, Syed’s accessible advice and relatable examples were complemented by Toby Triumph’s lively and playful illustrations, helping You Are Awesome to create a genre of its own. Hachette’s Wren & Rook imprint published it with care, using education specialists to introduce it to schools and provide resources to support its messages.

With TCM sales of nearly 140,000 copies, it was the bestselling children’s non-fiction book of the year. A large proportion of sales were through online channels—which suggests that this is a book that children and parents actively searched for. As one judge put it: “This is a fantastic and much needed resource for your people growing up in an increasingly challenging world.” Another added: “An important book for the whole market—a real category launcher.”

Highly commended here is Politics for Beginners, written by Alex Frith, Rosie Hore and Louie Stowell and illustrated by Kellan Stover. At a time of so much political debate, judges applauded the way this brightly illustrated and well-reviewed book made complex issues accessible to young readers. “An essential read for all children—and adults—to help make sense of the confusing world we live in,” said one.


  • Stories for Boys who Dare to Be Different
    Ben Brooks (author), Quinton Winter (illustrator)
  • Politics for Beginners
    Alex Frith, Rosie Hore & Louise Stowell (authors), Kellan Stover (illustrator)
  • You Are Awesome
    Matthew Syed (author), Toby Triumph (illustrator)
    (Wren & Rook)
  • Oi Duck-Billed Platypus
    Kes Gray (author), Jim Field (illustrator)
    (Hodder Children's Books)
  • Fantastically Great Women Who Made History
    Kate Pankhurst (author and illustrator)
    (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
  • I am the Seed that Grew the Tree
    Fiona Waters (editor) Frann Preston-Gannon (illustrator)
    (Nosy Crow)