Wolverhampton Children's Book Award 2023

The winner of the Wolverhampton Children's Book Award 2023 has been revealed!

Winner of the Wolverhampton Children's Book Award 2023 is revealed!

G.M. Linton was revealed as the winning author of the 2023 Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award, with her heartwarming novel 'My Name is Sunshine Simpson', at an exciting ceremony at Wolverhampton Grammar School in partnership with Authors Aloud UK on Tuesday 25th June. The award was presented by the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Linda Leach, in the presence of young book fanatics from five local schools.

The Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award, now in its sixth year, celebrates children’s books published in the past year. It offers a platform for young readers, aged 9 to 13, to explore a diverse range of fiction and nominate their favourite new reads. Both the longlist and shortlist are carefully selected by young readers from schools across the region.

This year's shortlist featured: In the Shadow of the Wolf Queen by Kiran Milwood Hargrave, My Name is Sunshine Simpson by G.M. Linton, Spellstone by Ross Montgomery, Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell, and Greenwild by Pari Thomson.

The audience was thrilled to be joined by G.M. Linton, who proudly describes herself as a 'Black Country girl'. G.M. Linton captivated the crowd by sharing her inspiring journey to becoming an author and rediscovering her love for reading and writing. She encouraged the young readers to “go for your dreams” and “keep doing what you love”, revealing that it took many years from deciding she wanted to be a writer at the age of 11 to becoming a published author.

Set in the West Midlands, G.M. Linton's novel published by Usborne Books delves into themes of family, friendship, identity, heritage, and the Windrush generation. She spoke passionately about her inspiration for the book, rooted in her experience as the daughter of Jamaican parents who arrived in England in the 1950s as part of the Windrush generation.

G.M. Linton’s accolade comes just days after Windrush Day, which marks 76 years since Afro-Caribbeans arrived in the UK on the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948.

The Wolverhampton Children's Book Award is so special because it is owned by children from across the city. Each year, they amaze us by selecting such an incredible shortlist. When G.M. Linton was announced as the winner, the children at the ceremony were thrilled to see that their vote had made this possible. A lovely part of this year's ceremony was also our plant pot decorating workshop, where children designed a Sunshine Simpson inspired plant pot for a sunflower seed. We hope that children will enjoy seeing their sunflowers grow along with their love of reading.

Mrs Rowley, Head Librarian at WGS.

A huge congratulations to G.M. Linton and a massive well done to all the shortlisted authors.

Since its creation in 2019, the Award has seen the following winners chosen:
  • 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
  • 2022: Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman
Proud to be one of the oldest schools in the country but forward-looking in our approach.