Okay, so this obviously isn’t an official award and there’s no shiny trophies or prizes (sorry folks!) but as much as 2020 has been a rubbish year for so many reasons, it certainly hasn’t been the same in the world of children’s books.
There have been some cracking books released this year and I’ve also discovered some brilliant books I hadn’t yet read, so I wanted to just put together a few of my top reads this year. It was a huge task whittling these down – and I’m sure if I did it on another day the choices might be different – but I think I managed it.
I think funny books are so important to help children read for pleasure and find true enjoyment in the experience, therefore it had to be the first award I thought about! There are so many books to choose from, including picture books but for me, my two favourites were for older readers.
Runner Up: Llama Out Loud – Annabelle Sami
My winner: Uma and the Answer to Absolutely Everything – Sam Copeland
Technically, this book isn’t out in 2020 but I still included it, as I’ve read it! If you haven’t read Sam’s books before then I can highly recommend you start with this one! Featuring a drunk alpaca (I bet you already smiled at that!) this is a laugh out loud book for all ages!
This year has been a very different one for us all, but something good to come out of it was the amazing debuts that have appeared in 2020! There have been so many I have enjoyed, but I managed to pick out two that I really loved.
Runner Up: A Kind of Spark – Elle McNicoll
My Winner: The Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates – Jenny Pearson
Jenny’s writing is funny whilst still connecting with the readers emotion – and I’m not surprised she has just been nominated for the Costa Children’s Book Award! This is the perfect book for reader’s to explore and move on from more typical funny reads and authors. Her next book is out next year and it’s just as good!
Best Picture Book
This doesn’t need much explaining – there are so many fantastic options of picture books for children of all ages to enjoy!
Runner Up: This Book Is Not A Bedtime Story – Eoin McLaughlin
My winner: Migrants – Issa Watanabe
A wordless picture book, this is beautifully illustrated to demonstrate the experience migrants might have. It’s full of such a huge range of characters and this is a book which has so much to offer.
Best Non-Fiction Book
Prior to the last few years, I found non-fiction books to be quite ‘ordinary’. They gave facts but with presentation that wasn’t as engaging for children as other books they might read. However, this certainly isn’t the case anymore! Now, non-fiction books are not only crammed with amazing facts and information but are also beautifully illustrated too!
Runner Up: All New Children’s Encyclopedia – edited by Christopher Lloyd
My Winner: The Humans – Jonny Marx / Charlie Davis
Not only is this packed with information about a range of civilisations within history, it is stunningly illustrated as well! I learnt so much from this book and I loved the fun presentation which is super appealing to both children and adults alike.
I wanted this category to be all about books which have been out before 2020 but that I’ve only just discovered myself!
Runner Up: Hate List – Jennifer Brown
My Winner: Dear Evan Hansen – Val Emmich
I am desperate to see this on the stage but wanted to read the book first. I absolutely loved it and can see why so many people rave about both this, and the musical too! As soon as I can, I am booking myself some tickets.
In the last year I have discovered how many amazing books there currently are for young adults and teens. They don’t just have to be for that age range though! With so many interesting themes included, they’re often just as well written as adult books!
Runner Up: Black Flamingo – Dean Atta
My Winner: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins
I’ve been looking forward to the prequel to the Hunger Games for a long time so this was a clear winner! I half expected to be disappointed; sometimes they never quite live up to expectations. However, this wasn’t the case at all – I loved it!
Best Adult Book
Runner Up: Blood Orange
My Winner: The Chain
I love a good thriller and this was definitely one of those. With an exciting (but dark) premise which will have you hanging on every word, this is definitely one which stuck in my mind after I read it!
Best Book of 2020
There was an incredible amount of competition this year – it was a fantastic array of literature we were exposed to in 2020!
Runner Up: Light Hunters – Dan Walker
My Winner: Orphans of the Tide – Struan Murphy
This is a book I heard so many people rave about before I finally got round to reading it. Often when this happens, the hype can make the book a let down, but this absolutely was not the case with Orphans of the Tide! It was a really gripping read and you’ll be pleased to know the sequel is coming soon!
I hope you enjoyed seeing what books I’ve enjoyed this year and have maybe found some new ones to add to your own TBR pile! I can’t wait to see what fantastic reads 2021 will bring.