Belfast Telegraph

Fight for top children's book title

David Walliams is to go up against authors including JK Rowling and Charlie Higson as they battle to see their titles declared the best children's book of the past decade.

The new Britain's Got Talent judge is in the running to land the accolade, which will be decided by viewers of BBC series Blue Peter.

Also in contention are celebrated authors such as Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo and thriller writer John Grisham.

The list includes three former children's laureates - Michael, Jacqueline and illustrator Quentin Blake.

The books deal with issues such as homelessness, divorce and secret agents.

The shortlist - announced on tonight's edition of the programme - has been compiled from the 10 biggest-selling fiction books for five to 11-year-olds in each of the past 10 years, although only the top seller for each author is included.

Programme editor Tim Levell said: "Children care as much about books as adults do - if not more so. We wanted to capture that by creating a vote to find out which book from the last 10 years they love the most.

"Normally I'm all for playground harmony, but if on this occasion there is the odd playground argument about which book is better, then bring it on."

The winner will be announced alongside the annual Blue Peter book of the year victor on a special book-themed edition of the CBBC show on March 1. Viewers can vote for the award - organised in conjunction with Booktrust - at the show's website.

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