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Press Release: Prizes and Awards
How To Be A Blue Peter Book Awards Judge

Posted at 1:01AM Friday 12 Oct 2012

The Times columnist and best-selling author of How to be a Woman Caitlin Moran, will be one of the judges helping to select Blue Peter's favourite children's books of the year, as part of the 2013 Blue Peter Book Awards judging panel. These enormously popular and influential awards have been recognising and celebrating the best children's authors, the most fascinating fact books and the greatest reads for children since 2000. Joining her on the judging panel will be best-selling children's author of How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell; librarian extraordinaire Jake Hope; and Blue Peter Editor Tim Levell, who will be chairing the panel.

Caitlin Moran comments:

'As someone raised on books, and now a mother of two, I know there is no more amazing world to share with your kids than being able to climb into a book together and talk about it forever, like a cross between gossip, news and Christmas. Being able to judge this prize is a total honour. Plus, they said I could have a Blue Peter badge. There's a childhood dream fulfilled, right there.'

Submitted books – which are for 6-12 year olds – are judged in two categories: Best Story and Best Book with Facts. Both categories will have a shortlist of three, selected by the adult panel of judges, with an overall winner being chosen by Blue Peter viewers.

The shortlists will be announced on Blue Peter on Thursday 10 January (5.45pm CBBC). The winners will be announced and receive their trophies live on a special edition of Blue Peter to be broadcast on World Book Day, Thursday 7 March.

Blue Peter Editor Tim Levell comments:

'The variety and brilliance of the children's books that I am lucky enough to read as a judge every year always astounds me. I sometimes wish that I was 10 again so that I could benefit from the richness of children's literature out there in 2012. Once again, it will be a tough old choice, working out the shortlisted books, but I am confident that with such distinguished fellow judges, we will come up trumps.'

Past winners of the Awards, which have been running since 2000, include JK Rowling, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Andy Stanton, Matt Haig, Ali Sparkes and Lauren St John.

Booktrust CEO Viv Bird comments:

'The Blue Peter Book Awards are renowned for seeking out and celebrating the very best in children's literature, so I am delighted that we have three such prestigious and creative judges on board in this, the thirteenth year of the Awards. With past winners including names as diverse as Michael Morpurgo, Gareth P Jones and Oliver Jeffers, I can't wait to see what fantastic facts and stories 2013's choices bring.'

****For interviews with the winners, biographies, photographs and jacket images please contact:

Alice Ingall on 020 8875 4827 / alice.ingall@booktrust.org.uk

OR

Will White on 020 8875 4583 / will.white@booktrust.org.uk

Judges biographies:

Cressida Cowell was born in London in 1966 and grew up there and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland where she and her family spent summers in complete isolation from the outside world. Her time on the island fuelled her imagination – especially in terms of writing about dragons and Vikings - and she had begun writing stories by the time she was nine years old. Cressida has published several picture books, including the Emily Brown stories, which won the Nestle childrens' book prize in 2006. Since 2002 she has also written books for older children, the Hiccup series, the first book of which, How to Train Your Dragon was made by DreamWorks Animation. The tenth book in the series, How To Seize a Dragon's Jewel, is published in September 2012. Cressida still lives in London and is married with three children.

Jake Hope is a freelance book consultant and is the reading development manager for Lancashire. Voted as one of only ten top librarians of the future during the national 'Love Libraries Campaign', Jake regularly reviews and commentates on children's books and has lectured on psychoanalytical approaches to children's literature. Jake has judged the prestigious Carnegie and Greenaway medals and has trained judges for both awards. He has been a Jury member on the International Bologna Ragazzi award and has spoken on and chaired panels at conferences and festivals across the United Kingdom. Jake is a passionate champion of children's reading and literature.

Tim Levell has been Blue Peter Editor since September 2007. Previously he was the Editor of the children's news programme Newsround, where he was also a producer and reporter. In total, Tim has worked in children's media for 13 years. Tim has also spent time at Sky News and on the BBC News website, and started his career as a local radio reporter at BBC Radio Sheffield.

Caitlin Moran published her first novel, for children, aged 15, became a columnist for The Times at eighteen, and is the author of the international best-seller How To Be A Woman. She also has very big hair. Her latest book Moranthology is out now.

Notes to Editors:

Blue Peter is the longest running children's programme in the world. The weekly factual magazine show, presented by Barney Harwood and Helen Skelton, is broadcast at 5.45pm on Thursday on the CBBC Channel and is repeated on BBC One on Fridays at 4.30pm. The programme's remit is to inspire, entertain, excite and enthral children aged six- 12 about the world. www.bbc.co.uk/bluepeter

Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity that makes a nationwide impact on individuals, families and communities, and culture in the UK. Booktrust makes a significant positive contribution to the educational outcomes of children from the earliest age. We work to empower people of all ages and abilities by giving them confidence and choices about reading. And we want individuals of all backgrounds to benefit from the wellbeing that a rich and positive engagement in reading and writing can bring. Booktrust is responsible for a number of successful national reading promotions, sponsored book prizes and creative reading projects aimed at encouraging readers to discover and enjoy books. These include the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Children's Laureate, and Bookstart, the national programme that works through locally based organisations to give a free pack of books to babies and toddlers, with guidance materials for parents and carers. www.booktrust.org.uk

www.booktrust.org.uk/bluepeter




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