Illustrated adventure book wins 2019 ALCS Educational Writers Award

The winner of the 2019 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award is Alastair Humphreys’ Great Adventurers: The Incredible Expeditions of 20 Explorers, illustrated by Kevin Ward – described as an 'enthralling' and 'visually captivating' book containing remarkable stories of the intrepid journeys undertaken by Humphreys’ explorer heroes.

The result of this year’s Educational Writers’ Award – the UK’s only award for creative educational writing – was announced this evening at a reception at the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) in London.

Children’s author and Chair of ALCS, Tony Bradman, presented Alastair Humphreys and Kevin Ward with a shared cheque for £2,000.

Alastair Humphreys’ Great Adventurers: The Incredible Expeditions of 20 Explorers is a compendium of great expeditions, hand-picked by Alastair Humphreys, whose own adventures include cycling the world and rowing the Atlantic Ocean. It retells the extraordinary stories of 20 men and women who have ventured into space, and across oceans, continents, deserts and jungles – inspiring Alastair’s own adventurous travels. They include Amelia Earhart, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Dervla Murphy, Ibn Battuta and Sacagawea.


What the judges said

This year’s judges – Hollie Davis, a primary school teacher; Michaela Morgan, a prolific author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children; and Fiona Shufflebotham, a junior school librarian – were full of praise for the winning title:

"Intertwining Alastair Humphreys’ own experiences with those of his explorer heroes, this book has something for everyone. The thoughtfully chosen range of adventurers stretches across history, ages and genders which means that any child can pick this book up and find at least one person they can relate to or feel excited about. A particular charm of the book is the authorial voice, full of excitement and humour. Even the dedication which reads “…a book full of madcap adventurers, daft exploits, dubious career paths…” provides a breath of fresh air.

"Full marks to illustrator Kevin Ward and to the design and editing team too who have also adventured, explored, and succeeded beautifully. A book to inspire future adventurers as well as inform children across the age range in an exciting, original and accessible way."


About the award

Now in its twelfth year, the 2019 Educational Writers’ Award focused on books for 5-11-year-olds, published in 2017 and 2018. Click to check out this year's shortlist here

The award was established in 2008 by ALCS and the Society of Authors to celebrate educational writing that inspires creativity and encourages students to read widely and build up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications.