The children of West Earlham Junior School are extremely excited at being one of only ten schools in the whole country chosen to judge this year’s Blue Peter Book Awards. Over forty children from Year 5 and 6 are currently working their way through the amazing list of books, getting ready to vote for their favourites at the end of February. The results will be announced live on Blue Peter in March. The shortlists are below- it's going to be an extremely tough choice! To learn more about the awards, visit the Blue Peter website.
Best story shortlist
Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes
In extraordinary circumstances people are capable of extraordinary things. It is 1944 and Nazi German forces have occupied Florence in Italy. The Italian resistance movement has not given up hope and neither have Paolo and his sister, Constanza. Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can two siblings do against a whole army with only a bicycle to help them?
The Boy who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond
Stanley Potts is just an ordinary boy, but when all the jobs in Fish Quay disappear, his Uncle Ernie develops an extraordinary fascination with canning fish. Suddenly their home is filled with the sound of clanging machinery and the stench of mackerel.
Uncle Ernie's obsession reaches such heights that he would even can Stan's beloved goldfish! Stan, however, has his own destiny which leads him to the famous Pancho Pirelli, the blue-caped madman who swims with piranhas. As Stan delves into the waters, he finally discovers who he really can be.
Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly) by L. Pichon
It’s nearly time for the school Sports Day and everyone is getting very competitive. Tom’s teacher, the beady-eyed Mr Fullerman, is desperate for his class to win their race and has them all practicing hard. Even Tom’s dad has started training like mad for the Dads' Race – but does he have to do so in BLUE CYCLING SHORTS?! And speaking of embarrassing family members – why on earth is Delia’s hair bright green?
Poor Tom would much rather be playing the guitar with his band, Dog Zombies. The school Talent Show is coming up, and he is desperate to become a proper rock star. But will they actually get a chance to play this time or will Tom’s plans be thwarted by the measly Marcus Meldrew? Find out in the fourth book of the multi-award-winning Tom Gates series!
Best book with facts shortlist
Horrible Science: House of Horrors by Nick Arnold and Tony De Saulles.Is your bedroom clean or messy? Are you a slob or a clean-freak? However you feel about cleaning your room, this book will have you running for cover when you find out about what lives in your carpet! House of Horrors, the latest in the Horrible Science series of books, lifts the lid on the disgusting details of domestic life and even features a pouch of squishy realistic- looking maggots on the front cover… Yuck!
Fantastic Mr Dahl by Michael Rosen,
Every book fan knows the work of Roald Dahl. From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to The Twits, Fantastic Mr Fox and George’s Marvellous Medicine, his books have entertained generations of readers. But just how did Mr. Dahl get into writing and where did he get his ideas from?
Michael Rosen - poet, radio presenter and former Children's Laureate, answers these and many more questions in his biography of the world's number 1 storyteller. Full of funny stories from Roald Dahl's school days and family life, the book creates a vivid picture of one of the most famous children's writers of all time.
Walter Tull’s Scrapbook by Michaela Morgan
The true story of Walter Tull: star footballer and war hero. When he joined the Footballers' Battalion during the First World War, Tull’s leadership and courage won him a commission and a recommendation for the Military Cross. However, Walter wasn't just a great footballer and British officer. He was also black, at a time when the rulebook stated that only white men could become army officers.
From Walter's childhood in an orphanage, through his footballing years at Tottenham Hotspur, to the Western Front; this fictionalized scrapbook uses actual photos, documents and records from the time, to bring alive a man who lived outside the limitations of his age.