2021 Costa Children’s Book Award – Winner Announced!

4 January, 2022

Congratulations to Manjeet Mann, winner of the 2021 Costa Children’s Book Award for her powerful verse novel The Crossing (Penguin).

Described by the judges as a book to ‘enrich all who read it’, The Crossing is a dual narrative that follows the stories of two teenagers from very different worlds – Natalie, who has just lost her mum and takes refuge in her swimming, and Sammy, a refugee from Eritrea hoping for a new life in Europe.

The Crossing is Mann’s second novel. Her debut novel Run, Rebel, won the Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Award, The Diverse Book Awards, the UKLA Book Awards and the Sheffield Children’s Book Award.

Over 190 titles were submitted for the 2021 Costa Children’s Book Award. These were whittled down to a shortlist of four by a panel of judges made up of children’s author, Smriti Halls; bookshop owner, Gill Edwards; and school librarian and podcaster, Lucas Maxwell.

Also shortlisted were:

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter (Scholastic UK)

The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery (Walker Books)

Maggie Blue and the Dark World by Anna Goodall (Guppy Books)

You can read interviews with all four of the shortlisted authors in the online magazine Books for Keeps.

The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK’s most prestigious book prizes, celebrating the most enjoyable and recommendable books of the year by writers residing in the UK and Ireland. The prize has five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.

The winners of the five award categories each receive a prize of £5000 and will now compete for the title of 2021 Costa Book of the Year and a prize of £30,000. The overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 1st February 2022.

2021 Costa Book Award Category Winners

2021 Costa First Novel Award – Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking).

2021 Costa Novel Award – Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree).

2021 Costa Biography Award – Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston (Viking).

2021 Costa Poetry Award – The Kids by Hannah Lowe (Bloodaxe Books).

Costa Book Award 50th anniversary