Winner of the Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award 2022 Unveiled!

“Today is an occasion that will have inspired so many children to read.”

Mrs Rowley, WGS Head Librarian

Winner of the Wolverhampton Children's Book Award 2022 Unveiled!

A.F. Steadman was unveiled as the winning author of the 2022 Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award, with her fantasy adventure novel Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, at an exciting ceremony at Wolverhampton Grammar School in partnership with Authors Aloud UK on Tuesday 27th June. Annabel was presented the award by the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre.

Now in its fifth year, the Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award celebrates children’s books published in the last year. It is an opportunity for children aged 9 to 13 to read a range of fiction and to nominate new books which they have enjoyed reading. Both the longlist and shortlist of books are chosen by young people from schools across the region.

Since the Award began in 2019, young people across Wolverhampton have voted the following winners: 2018, Will you Catch Me by Jane Elson; 2019, Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad; 2020, Wilde by Eloise Williams; 2021, The Hideaway by Pam Smy.

This year, the star-studded shortlist included: The Tale of Truthwater Lake by Emma Carroll, The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery, Resist: One Girl’s Fight Back Against the Nazis by Tom Palmer, The Breakfast Club Adventures by Marcus Rashford and Alex-Falase-Koya, Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman, and Spaceboy by David Walliams.

Annabel delivered a gripping presentation on the genesis of her book, before she challenged the audience to create, characterise and name their own unicorn, which may appear later in the book series. The lucky attendees also had the opportunity to have their copies of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief signed. Skandar fans can keep their eyes peeled for a live-action adaptation of the book, currently being produced by Sony Pictures. As always, the event was a fantastic celebration of children’s literature; promoting reading for pleasure and reinforcing the importance of fiction.

WGS Librarian, Mr McAllister commented, “Skandar and the Unicorn Thief has been voted the worthy winner of this year’s Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award. Children across Wolverhampton have been enthralled by the exploits of its hero, Skandar Smith, in his fight against a host of both external and internal enemies, which has resonated with many young readers across the city. This book is an instant classic, and A. F. Steadman has created an unforgettable realm to rival Hogwarts and Middle-earth.”

WGS Head Librarian, Mrs Rowley shared with us, “A.F. Steadman is the fifth author to be awarded the Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award. This Award is so special because the shortlisted titles and the winner are all voted for by young people across Wolverhampton. Thanks to all the schools who took part in this year’s Award, the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Authors Aloud UK and our winning author, over 130 children from 8 schools have enjoyed an afternoon that beautifully captured the magic of reading. Today is an occasion that will have inspired so many children to read, and we hope that everyone in attendance takes away a little magic and lots of memories”.

Annie Everall, Director of Authors Aloud UK said ”It’s a great pleasure for Authors Aloud UK to be a partner in the Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award. It’s a very special award because it is the child readers whose votes determine the shortlist and the winner. We all know how vital reading for pleasure is for a child’s development and one of the best ways to get children reading is through books recommended to them by their peers, which is just what the Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award does.”

For more information about this, or other ways Wolverhampton Grammar School can support your school or organisation, please contact Zoe Rowley by email: or telephone: 01902 951770.

For information about Authors Aloud UK, please contact Annie Everall, by email: or telephone: 07889 274637.

Proud to be one of the oldest schools in the country but forward-looking in our approach.