Cranleigh School hosts Awesome Book Awards

Posted on 3rd May 2019 in School News, Literature, Events

Hundreds of young readers from across the South East gathered together at Cranleigh School for a celebration of children’s fiction at the Awesome Book Awards 2019 prize-giving. Tamsin Winter won the top prize this year for her first children’s novel Being Miss Nobody.

‘Reading is the best thing you can do for your brain but also your heart. It increases your empathy and caring and getting young people reading will really make a difference to their lives,’ said Tamsin. She was presented with her prize and trophy by the winner of last year’s Awesome Book Award, Peter Bunzl.

The Awesome Book Awards is a prize that celebrates the best new fiction authors for young readers aged between 7 and 10. To be eligible for the 2019 award, titles had to be a UK-based author’s debut novel, suitable for able readers in the listed age group, appealing to both boys and girls and available in paperback from May 2018.

Being Miss Nobody deals with bullying, grief, peer pressure and social media. It's the story of Rosalind Banks, an 11-year-old girl who doesn't speak and who starts an anonymous blog to expose her school's bullies. But as the blog starts trending things spiral out of control and Rosalind must find her true voice.

‘I wanted to write a story that included all the pressures that children are growing up with. Social media can be a way to create and connect but also can bring real pressure and difficulty,’ said Tamsin.

Cranleigh Pupil Amelie Lewis, who voted for the winner and introduced her on stage, said: ‘Being Miss Nobody is a brave and topical book for our generation. It’s book we can all learn from and one that stays with you after you have finished reading it. I loved it!’

The other titles shortlisted for the 2019 Awards were: Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth; The Starman and Me by Sharon Cohen; Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy; and The Ice Garden by Guy Jones. Thousands of pupils from schools across London and the South East read the whole shortlist and then voted for their favourite overall.

During the ceremony, introduced by Neil Brooks, Cranleigh Prep School’s Headmaster, all of the shortlisted authors read extracts from their work and the overall winner was announced at the end of the evening.

Cranleigh Prep School’s Headmaster, Neil Brooks, said: ‘It’s my first Awesome Awards as Head of Cranleigh Prep School, and I am genuinely delighted to see so many young readers coming together to celebrate stories and the love of reading. It's a really special award because it's the only one where pupils vote for the books themselves, so it means a great deal to the authors.’

Previous Awesome Book Award winners are Ross Welford, who won the 2017 competition for Time-Travelling with a Hamster and Peter Bunzl who won last year with Cogheart.

The Awesome Book Awards is an annual event run by Cranleigh School and Cranleigh Prep School. Their panel of readers is already hard at work compiling the shortlist for the 2020 awards.

To read more about the Awesome Book Awards, visit: