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Owen and the Soldier shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2020!

Blue Peter Book Award 2020
Blue Peter Book Award 2020

We can’t quite believe it but Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2020 in the Best Story category!

We’ve long been fans of Lisa’s writing, so it was a joy when she said ‘yes’ to her first book with us. She’s known for wonderfully empathetic stories about ordinary children going through tough times, and Owen and the Soldier is no different – she has brought all her compassion and insight to our list and created a heartfelt, perfectly pitched novella. We’re so proud to publish Lisa and this fantastic story.

It’s always an honour and a privilege whenever any of our titles are considered for awards. We’re lucky to have been on some brilliant shortlists – and even won a time or two. But something like the Blue Peter Book Award is particularly special. It’s a milestone in our 20-year history and no mean feat for a specialist publisher.

Our mission to make great stories by great authors accessible to more readers means that we are a little different from other publishers. We’re firm believers that the length of a book is no indication of the value of the story within, and we’re delighted that the Blue Peter Book Award judges agree and recognise the powerful impact that a short novel can have. We want to open up books and reading by championing quality writing that everyone can enjoy.

We work with so many wonderful booksellers, librarians, teachers, parents and more who have supported us for every one of our 20+ years, and we can’t thank them enough for their continual advocacy for our mission – thank you! It’s an incredible shortlist and we’re so proud to have a place on it, but, even more, we hope it’s a sign that more thought and consideration is being put into inclusion and accessibility at every stage of the reading journey, so that we can ensure future generations will grow their own love of reading. Now it’s up to the children to judge the winner and we can’t wait to hear what they think.

Congratulations to all the authors and illustrators, and especially to Lisa!


Lisa Thompson by Nick Ilott Photography

© Nick Ilott Photography

Owen and the Soldier cover image

Cover artwork by Mike Lowery












If you’re using Owen and the Soldier in the classroom or for book groups click here to download our resources!

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