The shortlists for the Blue Peter Book Awards have been revealed, with Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson, the first dyslexia-friendly title to be shortlisted by the prize, managed by BookTrust.
The book's author, Thompson from Barrington Stoke, called it "an absolute honour" and "so exciting" to have made it to the final three, competing for the accolade of Best Story. The book, about a young boy's pursuit to save a special war memorial from being destroyed, is joined by two other titles vying for the prize: Vote for Effie written by Laura Wood and Wildspark by Vashti Hardy, both published by Scholastic Children’s Books.
Fighting for the title of Best Book with Facts are meanwhile Fanatical About Frogs written and illustrated by Owen Davey (Flying Eye Books), How to be an Astronaut and Other Space Jobs written by Dr Sheila Kanani and illustrated by Sol Linero (Nosy Crow) and Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li and illustrated by Amy Blackwell (Buster Books).
Diana Gerald, c.e.o., BookTrust said: "Once again we are delighted be involved in the Blue Peter Book Awards. These fantastic books are helping to inspire and encourage children everywhere to love reading and discover more about science, space and how to truly be yourself."
The winning titles, voted for by over 400 children from 12 schools across the UK, will be revealed live on Blue Peter on World Book Day on Thursday 5th March 2020 with the winning authors and illustrators appearing on the special awards episode of the show.
Meryl Fernandes, TV presenter, actress and Blue Peter Book Awards judge, said: "I absolutely loved being on the judging panel this year for the Blue Peterbook awards and thoroughly enjoyed discussing all the books with the other judges. All the books in the longlist were so incredible that it actually made shortlisting a very tough task for all of us. I am delighted with our final shortlist as they are all equally brilliant and I can't wait for kids and parents to fall in love with them as much as I did and to read them again and again."