JK Rowling will go head-to-head with celebrity writers Tom Fletcher, David Walliams and Nadiya Hussain to win the children’s book of the year prize at the British Book Awards.
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, the renowned writer’s latest instalment about the boy wizard, features in a shortlist of 36 contenders, announced on Wednesday.
The category also includes McFly singer Tom’s The Christmasaurus, comedian David’s The World’s Worst Children and Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya’s interactive cookery book Nadiya’s Bake Me A Story.
In the non-fiction lifestyle category, British astronaut Tim Peake’s Hello, Is This Planet Earth? will compete with Joe Wicks’ Lean In 15: The Sustain Plan for the title.
American singer Bruce Springsteen also features in the non-fiction narrative category with his 2016 autobiography, Born To Run.
Meanwhile, last year’s Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty could be in line for the best fiction award with his satirical racially charged bestseller, The Sellout.
The final awards, which this year include the crime and thriller, non-fiction narrative and non-fiction lifestyle categories for the first time, will be revealed at London’s Grosvenor House on May 8.
Recognising each of the entries’ authors, illustrators and publishers, the books of the year prizes are part of the greater British Book Awards, run by The Bookseller magazine.
A panel of judges will select a winner out of six entries from each of the six categories, and a separate panel, including TV presenter and writer June Sarpong, will then pick out the overall book of the year
The Last Act Of Love author who will lead the judges, Cathy Rentzenbrink, said: “Our shortlists are full of unleashed imaginations, smart ideas, brave new worlds and personal stories tamed on to the page.
“It is a joy to judge this prize and to be able to consider every part of the journey from the author’s mind to the readers’ hands.”
The full shortlist for the British Book Awards: Books Of The Year awards is as follows…
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld)
The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador)
Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop (Headline Review)
This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell (Headline)
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail)
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (Borough Press)
The Girls by Emma Cline (Chatto & Windus)
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal (Penguin General)
What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell (Picador)
Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris (Doubleday)
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (Faber)
Crime and Thriller:
The Widow by Fiona Barton (Bantam Press)
Dodgers by Bill Beverley (No Exit Press)
Night School by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant (Mulholland Books)
Conclave by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)
I See You by Claire Mackintosh (Little, Brown)
Non-fiction – Narrative:
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (Headline)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (The Bodley Head)
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate)
East West Street by Philippe Sands (W&N)
The Good Immigrant, ed by Nikesh Shukla (Unbound)
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (S&S)
Non-fiction – Lifestyle:
Hello, is this Planet Earth? By Tim Peake (Century)
Sidemen The Book by The Sidemen (Coronet)
The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner (Bantam Press)
Five on Brexit Island by Bruno Vincent (Quercus)
Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan by Joe Wicks (Bluebird)
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (Penguin Life)
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher, Shane Devries (illus) (Puffin)
Oi Dog! Kes and Claire Gray and Jim Field (Hodder)
Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, Clair Rossiter (illus) (Hodder)
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargreave (Chicken House)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (Little, Brown and Pottermore)
The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams and Tony Ross (Harper Collins Children’s Books)