Junior Books (2018)

The Junior Book Shortlist from 2018 is below – and the WINNER, with 42.1% of the vote was …


George’ by Alex Gino

‘George’ by Alex Gino

BE WHO YOU ARE. When peo­ple look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret for­ev­er. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Char­lot­te’s Web. George real­ly, real­ly, REALLY wants to play Char­lotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part … because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kel­ly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Char­lotte – but so every­one can know who she is, once and for all.


Ghosts’ by Raina Telgemeier

‘Ghosts’ by Raina Telgemeier

Cat­ri­na and her fam­i­ly are mov­ing to the coast of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia because her lit­tle sis­ter, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t hap­py about leav­ing her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cys­tic fibro­sis and will ben­e­fit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neigh­bor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is deter­mined to meet one, but Cat wants noth­ing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approach­es, Cat must fig­ure out how to put aside her fears for her sis­ter’s sake — and her own.



Stormy Seas’ by Mary Beth Leatherdale

‘Stormy Seas’ by Mary Beth Leatherdale

The phe­nom­e­non of des­per­ate refugees risk­ing their lives to reach safe­ty is not new. For hun­dreds of years, peo­ple have left behind fam­i­ly, friends, and all they know in hope of a bet­ter life. This book presents five true sto­ries about young peo­ple who lived through the har­row­ing expe­ri­ence of set­ting sail in search of asy­lum: Ruth and her fam­i­ly board the St. Louis to escape Nazism; Phu sets out alone from war-torn Viet­nam; José tries to reach the U.S. from Cuba; Najee­ba flees Afghanistan and the Tal­iban; Mohamed, an orphan, runs from his vil­lage on the Ivory Coast. Aimed at mid­dle grade stu­dents, Stormy Seas com­bines a con­tem­po­rary col­lage-based design, side­bars, fact box­es, time­line and fur­ther read­ing to pro­duce a book that is ide­al for both read­ing and research. Read­ers will gain new insights into a sit­u­a­tion that has con­stant­ly been mak­ing the headlines.

The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas’ by David Almond

‘The Boy Who Swam with Pira­nhas’ by David Almond

Stan­ley Potts’s uncle Ernie has devel­oped an over-the-top fas­ci­na­tion with can­ning fish in the house, and life at 69 Fish Quay Lane has turned barmy. But there’s dark­ness in the mad­ness, and when Uncle Ernie’s obses­sion takes an unex­pect­ed­ly cru­el turn, Stan has no choice but to leave. As he jour­neys away from the life he’s always known, he min­gles with a car­ni­val full of eccen­tric char­ac­ters and meets the leg­endary Pan­cho Pirelli, the man who swims in a tank full of per­ilous pira­nhas. Will Stan be bold enough to dive in the churn­ing waters him­self and choose his own destiny?




The Wild Robot’ by Peter Brown

‘The Wild Robot’ by Peter Brown

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she dis­cov­ers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most impor­tant, how will she sur­vive in her harsh sur­round­ings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hos­tile ani­mal inhab­i­tants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the oth­er ani­mals final­ly decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot­’s mys­te­ri­ous past comes back to haunt her …




Weirdo’ by Anh Do

‘Weirdo’ by Anh Do

My par­ents could have giv­en me any first name at all, like John, Kevin, Shmevin … ANYTHING. Instead I’m stuck with the worst name since Mrs Face called her son Bum.

Meet Weir Do. No, that’s not a typo, that’s his name! Weir Do’s the new kid in school. With an unfor­get­table name, a crazy fam­i­ly and some seri­ous­ly weird habits, fit­ting in won’t be easy … but it will be funny!