Geoff Rodkey, the mastermind behind US comedies like Beavis and Butthead and Daddy Day Care is one of the nominees for Waterstone’s Children’s Book of the Year. The author has been nominated in the 5-to-12 category, for his debut work, Deadweather and Sunrise. The other nominees in this category are Cathryn Constable with The Wolf Princess, and RJ Palacio's Wonder.
James Daunt, the chain’s managing director, described the criteria for the awards as “great beauty, humour, intrigue, imagination and important things to say, but most crucially all are fantastically good reads” Of course, the 5-to-12-year-olds is only one category, but the winner in each of the award groups will get some perks none the less, among which are a 2000 cash prize and a chance to compete for the Best Book of the Year honor. This year won’t be easy on the children’s books though, as it’s pretty easy to see that teen fiction is currently dominating the landscape. In this category, dramatic books with heavy themes abound.
Seraphima by Rachel Hartman tells the story of a mystical kingdom where dragons and humans live side by side, until a mysterious murder threatens peace. Anabel Pitcher’s second novel, Ketchup Clouds, about a girl, who confesses her deepest secrets to a convict is also up for the honor. Rounding out the teen fiction category is Skin Deep by Laura Jaratt, which tells the story of Jenna, a girl left permanently scarred after a car crash, which killed her best friend. Those are certainly some heavy subjects, but then again, good authors don’t pander to their readers, right? The winners will be announced at a reception in London on March 21st.