Awesome Book Awards 2018

Cranleigh Schools’ are delighted to announce that Peter Bunzl’s debut novel Cogheart is the winner of the Awesome Book Awards 2018.

Peter was delighted to receive the award that is voted by pupils. His advice to aspiring young writers was:

Read as much as you can, and write as much as you can – anything and everything. Poetry, novels, short stories, non-fiction – whatever interests you.

Read it all and write it all, and don’t fear failure – you learn by trial and error until you’ve found your voice and the story you want to tell.

Peter Bunzl, winner of The Awesome Book Awards 2018

On 3rd May 2018, hundreds of young readers from across the South East gathered together for a celebration of children’s fiction at the Awesome Book Awards 2018.  

The Awesome Book Awards is a prize that honours the best new fiction authors for young readers aged between 7 and 10. To be eligible for the 2018 award, titles had to be 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 2016.

During the ceremony, introduced by M.G. Leonard, Cranleigh Prep School’s Patron of Reading, all of the shortlisted authors read extracts from their work and the overall winner was announced at the end of the evening.

M.G. Leonard, a former Awesome Awards nominee and author of the popular Beetle Boy trilogy, also presented the prizes to the pupils who had written the best review of a shortlisted book.

The Awesome Book Awards are wonderful, particularly as the books are voted for by the children themselves, rather than a panel.

M.G. Leonard

Cranleigh Prep School’s Head of English, Kate Schutte, who came up with the idea for the Awards, said: “The Awards seem to have gained a life of their own. We estimate that this year around 2000 pupils will have been given the opportunity to experience new and exciting authors, befriend quirky characters and become embroiled in adventures in worlds that are different to our own.”

In addition, pupils were encouraged to write their own reviews of the 5 short-listed books: Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bishop; Radio Boy by Christian O’Connell; The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange; The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, and of course, Cogheart by Peter Bunzl.

Awesome Book Awards 2018 Shortlist


Erica’s Elephant

Radio Boy

The Goldfish Boy

The Secret of Nightingale Wood

In addition to the competition for the Awesome Book Awards, Cranleigh Prep also ran a competition for the best book review. Hundreds of pupils submitted book reviews of their favourite books and prizes were awarded to the pupils at the ceremony. The following pupils wrote the winning review for their favourite book: Marcus from Milbourne Lodge School, Jacob from Hazlewood School, Alice from Holy Cross Prep School, Thomas from Ardingly College and Jolyon from Dulwich Prep.

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 2019 awards, which will be published in October 2018.

Please check back for further details at the beginning of term in September 2018.