Children’s Book Award Books for Younger Readers Blog Tour Round-up

We’ve been so lucky to have three fantastic bloggers to help us celebrate the shortlisted books in the younger reader category this year.

You can take a look at any you might have missed by visiting for links to all three blogs.  Here is a round-up of what they had to say.


The Explorer
By Katherine Rundell
Published by Bloomsbury
Blog post by

This is what librarygirlandbookboy thought of the book:

‘This is an absolutely gripping read, with the jungle described in such delicious detail you can almost feel the sweat trickling down your neck and the twigs crunching underfoot. I gulped the story down in two big greedy helpings – held in a thrall as I raced to find out how it all ended.

Another stunning story from Katherine Rundell with characters you will root for and relate to – prickles and all. Guaranteed to awaken your inner explorer and make you want pack your rucksack and head off into the wild.’

When asked how she felt on hearing her book had been shortlisted Katherine said:

“I’m over the moon to be shortlisted for the Children’s Book Awards – all awards are exciting, but this one is especially so because it’s voted for by the exact people I wrote The Explorer for – children. I’ve found that children are both the best and most challenging readers – they carry the stories they love deep under their skin, but they’ll drop a book the moment it becomes tedious or indulgent, which is exactly as it should be. It’s also astonishing that the FCBG is run entirely by volunteers – it’s proof that there are people who care so ferociously about children’s books they’ll give a great deal to make sure they get into kids’ hands; I’m so very grateful they exist.”

Click here for some excellent resources to go with the book.

The Island at the End of Everything
By Kiran Millwood-Hargrave
Published by Chicken House
Blog post by

Goldenbooksgirl had this to say about the book:

“Amihan lives on Culion Island, where some of the inhabitants – including her mother – have leprosy. Ami loves her home – with its blue seas and lush forests, Culion is all she has ever known. But the arrival of malicious government official Mr Zamora changes her world forever: islanders untouched by sickness are forced to leave. Banished across the sea, she’s desperate to return, and finds a strange and fragile hope in a colony of butterflies. Can they lead her home before it’s too late?”

Kiran was delighted to discover she was part of the shortlisted authors this year and had this to say;

“It is always a joy to know your book is being read, and even more so when it is enjoyed!  Reading opened so many doors for me and made me dream of going through so many more: from the backs of wardrobes to have tea with Mr Tumnus and the ticket barrier to platform 9 and 3/4s, to crossing the Northern Lights into another world.  If you read you can go anywhere, learn anything, see the world a thousand different ways – to be a part of making stories is wondrous.  I am so grateful to the Children’s Book Award for considering my story.”

Find out more about this book here

The Goldfish Boy
By Lisa Thompson
Published by Scholastic
Blog post by

Lisa noted the importance of an award voted for by the intended audience:

“What an honour to have made the shortlist of the FCBG Children’s Book Award.  Knowing that this award is voted for solely by children makes it even more special.  Thank you!”

Here is what BookloverJo had to say about this book:

“‘The Goldfish Boy’ was one of my favourite debuts of 2017, Lisa’s talent for captivating storytelling is evident in this assured and confidently told tale. Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, spending most of his time staring out of his window as the inhabitants of Chestnut Close go about their business. Until the day a toddler staying next door goes missing and Matthew finds himself at the centre of the mystery. Every one of his neighbours is a suspect, so Matthew must turn detective whilst facing his own fears.  A beautifully written tale that deals with grief, mental illness and the power of friendship. Lisa has assembled a fantastic cast of characters that highlights that we all have our own unique quirks that are part of our personalities, but don’t necessarily need to define us as individuals. It also offers the reader an insightful look into why people behave the way they do. I failed to unravel the mystery of who was responsible for the disappearance of the boy next door, but I was so enthralled by this tale I read 300 pages in one sitting, desperate to uncover the truth. Warm and wonderful, a definite must have read.”

There are some great lesson plans and resources for the book here.

Remember, if you have read all three of these books and you are under 18 then you can have your say now.  Vote for the book you would most like to see win this category and keep your fingers crossed.


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