World Book Day has revealed its YA book titles for 2018, including novels by John Green, Frances Hardinge and Benjamin Zephaniah.
The list comprises Green’s comic novel An Abundance of Katherines (Penguin Random House), Hardinge’s 2005 fantasy title Fly by Night (Macmillan Children’s Books) and Zephaniah’s social drama Gangsta Rap (Bloomsbury). Completing the list are I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson (Egmont), about a girl with cerebral palsy, and The Novice, a fantasy book by Taran Matharu and published by Hachette Children’s Books.
The full-length books will be availble for £2.50 or £1.50 with a World Book Day token at participating retailers.
World Book Day also today announced plans for this year's book show, The Biggest Book Show on Earth, which will run from 26th February to 3rd March. More than 30 authors including Clare Balding, Abi Elphinstone, Tracey Corderoy, Tom Fletcher and Frank Cottrell-Boyce will visit venues in Dublin, Oswestry, Aberystwyth, Doncaster, Brighton and Newcastle.
The World Book Day Award (WoBoD) which gives schools the opportunity to win libraries of books, will also return this year. Piccadilly Press is the award's partner and the prize will be themed around the Flying Fergus series of books by Sir Chris Hoy, Joanna Nadin and Clare Elsom.
World Book Day released its list of books for younger readers in October last year. The selection, which included Clare Balding, Tom Fletcher, Julian Clary and Nadiya Hussain, was, however, slammed by many authors for being too focused on celebrity writers.
Writing on Facebook, David Almond said: "I couldn't believe it when the list popped up on my screen” while Joanne Harris wrote on her blog: “Celebrity authors are the complete opposite of diversity. Celebrity authors reduce children’s fiction to a small group of well-known faces, leaving less room for newcomers, originality, variety."
Staff at Kenilworth Books said they were so concerned about the dominance of celebrity writers would donate to the Society of Authors every time a customer took one of their recommendations instead.
In response to the criticism, Kirsten Grant, director of WBD, said “getting the right mix of the £1 books is key” and if a book by a celebrity was the catalyst to encouraging a non-reader to pick up a book, widen the reach and start a nationwide conversation about reading, “then everyone will be better off”.
The World Book Day books for 2018 in full:
Oi Goat! by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)
Mr Men: My Book About Me By Mr Silly written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, original concept by Roger Hargreaves (Egmont)
The Baby Brother From Outer Space! by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)
Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Clair Rossiter (Hodder Children’s Books)
Terry’s Dumb Dot Story: A Treehouse Tale by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Macmillan)
The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog by Clare Balding, illustrated by Tony Ross (Puffin)
Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries (Puffin)
The Bolds’ Great Adventure by Julian Clary, illustrated by David Roberts (Andersen Press)
Marvel Avengers: The Greatest Heroes by Alastair Dougall (DK)
Rugby Roar by Gerard Siggins (O’Brien Press)
Teen & Young Adult:
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (Penguin)
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson (Egmont)
Summoner: The Novice by Taran Matharu (Hachette)
Gangsta Rap by Benjamin Zephaniah (Bloomsbury)