The Neev Book Award for distinguished children’s literature aims to recognize outstanding writing that leads to a fuller understanding of India, Indian lives, and Indian stories. This award aims to promote and encourage high-quality children’s literature from India. In 2018, the Neev Literature Festival extended its vision to promote and encourage high-quality children’s literature from India.

In 2018, the Neev Literature Festival (NLF) expanded its vision of recognising and growing outstanding children’s literature about India with the introduction of the Neev Book Award. The 2020 Neev Book Award was presented to The Mountains of Mumbai by Labanya Ghosh, illustrated by Pallavi Jain, and published by Karadi Tales in the Picture Book category; Srinivasa Ramanujan: Friend of Numbers by Priya Narayanan, illustrated by Satwik Gade, and published by Tulika in the Emerging Readers category; All of Me by Venita Coelho and published by HarperCollins in the Junior Readers category; The Prince by Samhita Arni and published by Juggernaut in the Young Adult category. Each winner was honoured at NLF for their contributions towards a greater understanding of India, Indian lives, and Indian stories with a certificate, trophy, and cash award of ₹1,00,000.

The 2021 Neev Book Award will recognise outstanding literature in four distinct categories.

Neev Book Award 2021 Shortlist – Award Categories and Criteria

Early Years

Books in this category must follow the conventions of a picture book format. A picture book must be a maximum of 48 pages in length and provide the reader with a rich visual experience. The story can be narrated through both text and images or only images.

Written By: Vinitha R
Illustrated By: Jayesh Sivan
Publisher: Pratham Books

Written By: Sarah H Paul
Illustrated By: Urvashi Dubey
Publisher: Daffodil Lane Books

Written By: Lavanya Karthik
Illustrated By:Ayeshe Sadr and Ishaan Dasgupta
Publisher: Karadi Tales

Written By: CG Salamander
Illustrated By: Aindri C
Publisher: Duckbill

Written By: Lalita Iyer
Illustrated By: Proiti Roy
Publisher: Karadi Tales

Written By: Karan Johar
Illustrated By: Priya Kuriyan
Publisher: Juggernaut

Emerging Readers

These books must address an audience of children between the ages of 7 and 9 (Grades 1 to 3) who should be able to read these books independently. The book’s length should fall between 7,000 and a maximum of 20,000 words and may or may not have illustrations.

Written By: Varsha Seshan
Publisher: Duckbill

Written By: Harshikaa Udasi
Illustrated By: Krishna Bala Shenoi
Publisher: Puffin

Written By: Nandini Nayar
Illustrated By: Isha Nagar
Publisher: Harper Children’s

Written By: Nandita da Cunha
Illustrated By: Priya Kuriyan
Publisher: Kalpavriksh

Written By: Arefa Tehsin
Publisher: Duckbill

Junior Readers

Books in this category should be appropriately complex and sophisticated for children between the ages of 10 and 12 (Grades 4 to 7).

Written By: Deepa Agarwal
Publisher: Puffin

Written By: Aparna Karthikeyan
Publisher: Karadi Tales

Written By: William Dalrymple, Anita Anand and Devika Cariapa
Publisher: Juggernaut

Written By: Nandita Basu
Publisher: Duckbill

Written By: AB Majumdar
Publisher: Puffin

Written By: Anupam Arunachalam
Publisher: Hachette

Young Adult

For children between the ages of 13 and 16. The book may explore more mature content appropriate for younger teenagers. The protagonist should not be above 18 years.

Written By: Anita Roy
Publisher: Red Panda

Written By: Paro Anand
Publisher: Talking Cub

Written By: Devashish Makhija
Publisher: Tulika

Written By: Devika Rangachari
Publisher: Duckbill

Written By: Vibha Batra
Illustrated By: Kalyani Ganapathy
Publisher: Harper Children’s

Written By: Anitha Murthy
Publisher: Talking Cub

Neev Book Award Jury 2021

Helpful tips from our Jury to get children to engage with book