The shortlists for the 2020 British Book Awards have been announced. Winners in each category will be selected by different panels of judges, with one panel focused on selecting the overall best book of the year. Winners will be announced on June 29th. Here are the shortlists for the juvenile categories:
CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
The 117-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams & Tony Ross
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell
A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison
The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q. Rauf
CHILDREN’S ILLUSTRATED & NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
Heartstopper: Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman
Look Up! By Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola
On the Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall, illustrated by Grace Easton and Jessica Smith
The Smeds and the Smoos by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
You Got This by Bryony Gordon
Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik (9780593109212)
Omar and his family have moved, which means that Omar has to start at a new school. He lives with his mother, father, older sister and younger brother. One of their new neighbors doesn’t seem happy to have Muslim neighbors, glaring at them through her fence and not being friendly when approached. Omar is also facing a bully at school. Daniel has even told him that because Omar is a Muslim he could be kicked out of the country! Luckily, Omar also has a new best friend and a family who can support him as he learns the ins and outs of being Muslim in America.
Mian’s #ownvoices novel for elementary readers is wildly funny and really approachable. Omar himself seems the world through a silly and engaging lens, where teachers may be aliens and he is a magnet for trouble. That trouble includes spitting on his little brother in bed, getting lost during a field trip, and asking Allah to bring him a Ferrari. The book has lots of illustrations, making it just right for elementary-aged readers who need some breaks in their text. They will find that the humor and format make for an engaging read.
A winner of a children’s book that is about prejudice, friendship and community. Appropriate for ages 7-10.
Reviewed from library copy.