What’s happening in children’s books in 2016? A literary calendar – The Guardian

January

4 Never Evers by the authors of Lobsters, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison, is published.

4 Costa category award winners announced. Check out the shortlist here.

7 Juno Dawson’s new book Mind Your Head is out (the writer formerly known as James Dawson). Plus ublication of The Icarus Show by Sally Christie (the daughter of Tom’s Midnight Garden author Philippa Pearce).

11 It’s a Little Baby published, by former Children’s laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb.

22 The 5th Wave film (based of Rick Yancey’s book) released in the UK, starring Chloe Grace Moretz.

Alex Roe, left, and Chloe Grace Moretz in The 5th Wave.


Alex Roe, left, and Chloe Grace Moretz in The 5th Wave. Photograph: Chuck Zlotnick/SONY

26 Costa Book of the Year 2015 announced. Check out the shortlist here.

28 Provisional date for Guardian children’s book site Twitterchat on transgender representation in YA fiction @Gdnchildrensbks – more info soon! AND the second book by Clare Furniss (author of The Year of the Rat) is out! It’s called How not to Disappear. Plus the debut Waiting for Callback by mother and daughter Perdita and Honor Cargill.

30 (to 6 Feb) National Storytelling Week.

February

At some point… YA book prize winner is announced (who will scoop the crown won by Louise O’Neill on its debut last year?).

4 Wands at the ready: it’s Harry Potter Book Night and the publication of Wild Lily, a new historical novel by award-winning author K.M. Peyton and Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton published – a very hotly anticipated YA fantasy.

6 National Libraries Day.

10 – 21 The Imagine Children’s Festival at London Southbank – take a look at the jam-packed programme here.

14 Guardian children’s book site Twitterchat for Valentine’s Day on sex in YA fiction @Gdnchildrensbks – more info soon! It’s also Book Giving Day.

18 The Home for Peculiar Children, film adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children with Eva Green and Samuel L Jackson, is released in the UK.

23 Worcestershire’s Awesomest Book Award winner announced.

25 Abi Elphinstone’s follow up to the much loved The Dreamsnatcher is published: Shadow Keeper.

March

At some point… the winners of the Waterstones children’s book prize 2016 and the winners of the North East Teenage Book Awards 2015 announced.

1 Call for entries to the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2016 opens.

3 World Book Day – check out the £1 book titles here and find out which authors are coming to a venue near you in the Biggest Book Show on Earth tour! and winners announced in the Blue Peter Book Awards.

3 Eve Ainsworth’s Crush comes out.

2 Scottish Children’s Book Award winner announced – you can see who’s in the running here.

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11 Divergent: Allegiant is released, the final film in Veronica Roth’s trilogy.

15 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist announced.

18 Worcestershire Teen Book Award winner announced.

21 World Poetry Day.

23 World Book Night.

April

2 International Children’s Book Day.

2-10 Oxford literary festival – see the programme here.

4 Winner announced in the 2016 Hans Christian Anderson Award (at the Bologna Book Fair which runs from 4 – 7).

5 The winner of the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial award is announced and another hotly anticipated debut, this one a time-travel-meets-romance called The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

Author Neil Gaiman is among a number of authors nominated for the 2016 Astrid Lindgren award.


Author Neil Gaiman is among a number of authors nominated for the 2016 Astrid Lindgren award. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

7 OK, this is a big one, deep breath: published today are Tidy by Emily Gravett, winner of two Kate Greenaway awards, AND Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce AND the debut children’s book by TV historian Lucy Worsley, called Eliza Rose AND Sophia Bennett’s Love Song. Phew!

12 – 14 London Book Fair.

13 Young Romantics Prize winners announced – entries are open till Monday 1 Feb (more info here) so sharpen those pencils and get writing.

15 The Jungle Book, based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic, starring Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba and Bill Murray is released.

Sher Khan and Kaa from The Jungle Book (1967)


Sher Khan and Kaa from The Jungle Book (1967) – about to get an update! Photograph: Allstar/DISNEY

16 – 24 Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival – the programme is here.

May

All this month it’s National Share-a-Story month, on the theme of stories in unusual places.

5 Sarah J Maas publishes “A Court of Thorns and Roses 2” (title TBA).

7 Little Rebels Children’s Book Award winner announced.

7 – 29 Brighton Festival.

24 The Last Star, the final instalment in Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave trilogy released.

26 ( – 5 June) Hay Festival, where the YA book prize will be announced.

27 Alice Through the Looking Glass – a cinematic return to Wonderland with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.

28 The Children’s Book Award (formerly Red House Book Award) winners announced – check out the shortlist here.

June

At some point… Carnegie and Kate Greenaway winners announced.

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2 The Nest by Kenneth Oppel is published – eerie, lyrical, surreal; do not read this late at night! Plus Sophie Cleverly’s third Scarlet and Ivy book, The Dance In The Dark.

6 – 10 Booktrust National Bookstart Week.

9 Last ever CHERUB book by Robert Muchamore, called New Guard, is published today.

18 – 25 Independent Bookshop Week – there will be a range of events at local and independent bookshops across the country, find those closest to you here.

24 (– 3 July) Manchester Children’s Book Festival – the programme will be posted here.

28 Launch of Guardian Young Critics competition and announcement of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize longlist

July

At some point… the winners of the Bransford Boase Award 2016 and the winners of Queen of Teen 2016 and the winners of the CLPE Poetry Award 2016 will be announced.

16-17 Guardian children’s books festival – more details soon!

Beatrix Potter


Beatrix Potter, who would have been 150 this year. Photograph: Express Newspapers/Getty Images

22 Steven Spielberg’s The BFG released, adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel and starring Mark Rylance and Rebecca Hall.

28 It’s the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter.

29 – 31 Yalc and Comic Con – more info here.

August

4 Keren David’s Cuckoo published.

5 – 29 The Edinburgh international festival – programme here.

19 – 21 Just So Festival in Cheshire.

September

At some point… UKYA Extravaganza and UKMG Extravaganza 2016 in Newcastle.

13 Roald Dahl Day and the 100th anniversary of his birth!

30 (– 9 Oct) Bath Kids Literature Festival.

October

All this month it’s The Big Draw – keep looking here for events near you.

6 National Poetry Day, and Foyles Young Poets of the Year award winners announced.

14 90th anniversary of the publication of Winnie the Pooh.

21 A Monster Calls – yes it’s actually a film! Adapted by Patrick Ness himself and starring Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver.

22 Provisional date for YA Shot, a YA and middle grade library festival in Uxbridge and (this year) beyond.

November

All this month it’s National non-fiction month.

At some point… National Short Story Week and the winner of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize is announced. Also the Book Trust will be holding their Children’s Book Week (dates tba).

17 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and Young Critics Award winners announced.

18 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film is released, starring Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell.

December

This is way too far in advance, folks!

What have we missed? Email us at childrens.books@theguardian.com or tell us on Twitter, @GdnChildrensBks.We’ll add to this as more dates become available so keep it bookmarked!