Established in 1971, the Whitbread Book Awards are now in their 30th year. The Awards actively promote the enjoyment of reading, working in partnership with amazon.co.uk, CILIP (previously the Library Association), the National Reading Campaign and the Booksellers Association.

On January 27, 2004, Sir John Banham, Chairman of Whitbread PLC, presented Mark Haddon with his award and a £25,000 cheque.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which is published in both an adult and a children’s version, is the sixth novel to win the Whitbread Book of the Year since 1985.  It has already won numerous children’s and teenage fiction awards and was initially entered for the Children’s Book Award as well, but was withdrawn by the publishers in preference to the Novel Award.  (Whitbread Book Awards rules stipulate that books may only be entered in one category.)



2003 Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
2002 Claire Tomalin Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
2001 Philip Pullman The Amber Spyglass
2000 Zadie Smith White Teeth
1999 Seamus Heaney Beowulf
1998 Ted Hughes Birthday Letters
1997 Ted Hughes Tales from Ovid
1996 Seamus Heaney The Spirit Level
1995 Kate Atkinson Behind the Scenes at the Museum
1994 William Trevor Felicia's Journey
1993 Joan Brady Theory of War
1992 Jeff Torrington Swing Hammer Swing!
1991 John Richarson A Life of Picasso
1990 Nicholas Mosley Hopeful Monsters
1989 Richard Holmes Coleridge: Early Visions
1987 Christopher Nolan Under the Eye of the Clock
1986 Kazuo Ishiguro An Artist of the Floating World
1985 Douglas Dunn Elegies