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. The purpose of the Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award is not only to celebrate children’s literature, but to promote reading for pleasure and to reinforce the importance of fiction.
Young people across Wolverhampton selected Jane Elson as the inaugural Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award winner in 2018 for her moving story, Will You Catch Me?. In 2019, Humza Arshad won for his hilarious book Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties, whilst last year’s winner was Eloise Williams for her hauntingly beautiful book Wilde.
This year, the following titles have been shortlisted:
Introducing the shortlisted authors:
Hannah grew up in a family where books, animals, and the beauty of the outside world were ever present, and is passionate about writing stories that share her love of the planet. After studying screenwriting at university, she went onto work in the London film and theatre industry before following her heart to sunnier climes.
In her debut novel The Last Bear, there are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life.
The Last Bear – illustrated by Levi Pinfold
Greg James and Chris Smith
Born in London in 1985, Greg studied drama at university. In 2007, he joined BBC Radio 1. Since 2018, he has hosted Radio 1 Breakfast. In 2017, he teamed up with Chris Smith to write their children’s book series Kid Normal.
Born in Kettering, Chris studied English at university. In 2007, he joined BBC Radio 1 as a newsreader. Chris dreamed of being a writer ever since he was eight years old and won a competition.
In The Great Dream Robbery, Maya Clayton is desperate to go to bed early, unlike most 12-year-olds. Falling asleep is the only chance she has to save her dad – the brilliant but slightly odd Professor Dexter. The Professor invented a device that allows you to visit other people’s dreams. But the devious Lilith Delamere has trapped him inside a nightmare and Maya and the mysterious Dream Bandits must find a way to rescue him before it’s too late!
The Great Dream Robbery – illustrated by Amy Nguyen
Believing that all children deserve to feel seen in the stories they read and that books are an important tool for empathy, Serena has always loved reading and writing. She has combined this passion with working as a law firm training co-ordinator.
In Anisha, Accidental Detective: Show Stoppers, Anisha and her friends Milo and Mindy are preparing to put on a class musical about Albert Einstein. As the director’s assistant Anisha’s life is getting chaotic. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s almost Diwali, which means her Granny Jas is cooking non-stop and her Aunti Bindi is determined to bring the bling. But everything seems to be going wrong! Even Molly the cat is forgetting her cues. Miss Jove believes the show is cursed, but could it be something more sinister? Is someone trying to stop the show? Time for Anisha and friends to investigate.
Anisha, Accidental Detective: Show Stoppers – illustrated by Emma McCann
With over 20 years of art school teaching and lecturing experience at Cambridge School of Art, Pam has developed an understanding of how to nurture the creative process and work through ideas with illustrators.
In The Hideaway, two alternating narratives reveal different aspects of the same story. One thread tells of Billy’s experience of hiding away in the graveyard, his mixed-up feelings and emotions, and the supernatural events he eventually witnesses. The other tells of his mother’s situation at home and the police search for Billy. Billy’s story is enhanced by being illustrated throughout with tonal and textured black and white drawings, until the event on All Souls’ Eve, when the text gives way to a series of double page images of the supernatural happening.
The Hideaway – illustrated by Pam Smy
Voting has now closed. Good luck to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators!
In collaboration with Authors Aloud UK, the shortlisted authors will be invited to attend an award ceremony on Thursday 30thJune. If your school would like to join this event, then please contact Zoe Rowley: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about this, or other ways Wolverhampton Grammar School can support your school or organisation, please contact Zoe Rowley by email: email@example.com or telephone: 01902 421326.
For information about Authors Aloud UK, please contact Annie Everall, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 07889 274637.