Amazon support Oscar’s Book Prize and launch Oscar’s Book Club

Category: Amazon News
Amazon support Oscar’s Book Prize and launch Oscar’s Book Club

Children’s picturebook award Oscar’s Book Prize has named Rachel Riley as Oscar’s Book Club Ambassador, to inspire and encourage reading with children at a grass-roots level.

Now in its eleventh year, the prize, which is supported by Amazon and Evening Standard, was set up by James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand to celebrate magical stories for children in memory of their son Oscar, who was three-and-a-half when he died from a heart condition in December 2012. The £10,000 prize seeks to find the best breakout illustrated book for young children, inspired by Oscar’s endless imagination and love of storytelling.

This year, for the first time, Amazon is also teaming up with Oscar’s Book Prize to create Oscar’s Book Club, which aims to reach children in areas with typically low engagement with the arts. Throughout April, the Amazon Reading Volunteers, a national network of schools volunteers that Amazon has been growing since September 2023, will be donating the Oscar’s Book Prize shortlisted books to schools and nurseries across the country and supporting on the ground with group reading sessions, to inspire young children through the magic of reading. 

Newly named ambassador Rachel Riley will be joining Oscar’s Book Club and Amazon this April to champion the campaign for early-years reading. Riley regularly works with schools to spread the joy of maths with students, wrote her first book At Sixes and Sevens: How to Understand Numbers and Make Maths Easy in 2021, and has two daughters of her own, aged 4 and 2.

I always loved reading growing up and now having children of my own, I have a whole new perspective on the magic of children’s literature. It’s a real skill to capture the attention of young children like mine, so we look forward to getting stuck into this year’s Oscar’s Book Prize shortlist in the coming months. I love what Oscar’s Book Club is doing to help children and young families to engage more with books, and look forward to experiencing the joy of reading with some of them for myself in a few months’ time.

– Rachel Riley

Oscar’s Book Prize has also announced their judging panel for 2024. Rachel Riley will be joining judge Zoey Dixon, Librarian of the Year 2020 and The Bookseller Rising Star 2020. Children’s author and Oscar’s Book Prize alumnus Chris Haughton, who won the prize in 2022, will sit alongside them. Completing the lineup is Viveka Alvestrand, who co-founded the literary award in memory of her son Oscar, and Lisa de Meyer, the UK Books Country Manager at

HRH Princess Beatrice is patron of Oscar’s Book Prize, which is supported by Amazon Books and Evening Standard. Submissions closed in January and the shortlist will be revealed in April, before the winner is announced in May 2024.  

We’ve championed brilliant picture books for a decade and always encouraged parents, carers and children to dive into these stories together, so I’m delighted this year we can extend Oscar’s Book Prize into Oscar’s Book Club, reaching more young readers than ever as we deepen our relationship with Amazon.

– James Ashton, chairman and co-founder, Oscar’s Book Prize

It’s always a joy to work with Oscar’s Book Prize each year to celebrate the best talent in children’s literature. Picturebooks are a vehicle for teaching children about themselves and the world around them, and I know from personal experience with my own daughter how special our time reading together is. It’s because of this that we’re so proud to support the prize and also work together to roll out Oscar’s Book Club through our Amazon Reading Volunteers. We hope that through this new initiative, we can inspire a whole new generation of book lovers together.

– Lisa de Meyer, Country Manager, Amazon UK Books


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