The judges for this category will have a tough time choosing between these books: a natural historian, a former president and a Second World War veteran are just some of the authors on this list. Weaving a string between all of these books is the remarkable stories they tell and the important topics they tackle, from racism to climate change to hopefulness.
Diary of a Young Naturalist
Dorset-based indie Little Toller Books had been following and supporting Dara McAnulty’s development as a writer on his blog for many years before it acquired Diary of a Young Naturalist. The author was just 14 when he penned his diary following a year in his life juggling home, school, nature and activism, and so the publisher worked hard to nurture the manuscript at a pace he and his family were comfortable with. The result is a book that is “eloquent, hopeful and an inspiration and encouragement for us all to connect to the natural world around us,” thought one judge.
When it came to designing the cover, the publisher commissioned artist Barry Falls, who spent a day with the author walking to the teenager’s favourite places in order to better understand him and the landscape he writes of. The design became integral to the book’s positioning: hopeful, eye-catching and representative of the author.
The four-person team also impressed with its marketing and publicity efforts. It sent out proof copies for the first time in Little Toller’s history, and planned events and publicity a year ahead of publication, securing a coveted Radio 4 “Book of the Week” slot. “An incredible achievement,” the judges said.
A Promised Land by Barack ObamaViking
A Life on Our Planet by David AttenboroughWitness Books
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnultyLittle Toller
Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day by Captain Sir Tom MooreMichael Joseph
Entangled Life by Merlin SheldrakeThe Bodley Head
Me And White Supremacy by Layla F SaadQuercus