The shortlists for the Spark! School Book Awards 2023-24 have been announced. Launched in 2020, the Spark! School Book Awards were set up by a group of teachers and literacy leads as a way to encourage young readers to read more widely and help primary schools create a buzz around reading. This year sees the addition of a new 11+ category to broaden the reach of the awards to secondary schools.
The shortlists for each of the five award categories are chosen by panels of teachers and educationalists. They are looking for well-crafted texts that reflect the diversity of school communities and that will ‘spark’ a response in young readers. The ultimate winners are chosen by pupils in participating schools around the country. Find out more about the awards, the resources provided to support them and how to get involved here.
Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators!
Early Readers Shortlist
Dick the Delightful Duck by Kaye Umansky, illustrated by Ben Mantle (Alison Green Books)
Can You See the Stars Tonight? by Anna Terreros-Martin (David Fickling Books)
Out of the Blue by Robert Tregoning, illustrated by Stef Murphy (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Mr Mornington’s Favourite Things by Karen George (Welbeck Flame)
Fiction for 7+ Shortlist
The Wishkeeper’s Apprentice by Rachel Chivers Khoo, illustrated by Rachel Sanson (Walker Books)
Wildsmith: Into the Dark Forest by Liz Flanagan, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton (UCLan Publishing)
Bob vs the Selfie Zombies by Andy Jones, illustrated by Robin Boyden (Piccadilly Press)
Meet the Maliks, Twin Detectives: The Cookie Culprit by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Kyan Cheng (Hodder Children’s Books)
Fiction for 9+ Shortlist
Dogs of the Deadlands by Anthony McGowan, illustrated by Keith Robinson (Rock the Boat)
Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean (David Fickling Books)
One Chance Dance by Efua Traoré (Chicken House)
The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton (Otter-Barry Books Ltd)
Fiction for 11+ Shortlist
Away with Words by Sophie Cameron (Little Tiger)
HappyHead by Josh Silver (Rock the Boat)
This Book Kills by Ravena Guron (Usborne Publishing Ltd)
Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore (Hot Key Books)
Graphic Novels for Primary Schools Shortlist (Guest Category)
Luna and the Treasure of Tlaloc by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye Books)
Drawn to Change the World: Graphic Novel Collection by Emma Reynolds, illustrated by Ann Maulina, Natasha Donovan, Teo DuVall, Devon Holzwarth, Erin Hunting, Margarita Kukhtina, Victoria Maderna & Federico Piatti, Shivana Sookdeo, Anoosha Syed, Jade Zhang, Derick Brooks, Gloria Félix, Natasha Nayo, Bill Masuku (HarperAlley)
InvestiGators: Heist and Seek by John Patrick Green (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Peanut, Butter & Crackers: Puppy Problems by Paige Braddock (Nosy Crow)
The winning books will be announced at an online award ceremony in July 2024 – watch out for our winner announcement!