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2015 Shortlist Announced

The 2015 shortlist has been announced.

View Shortlist

Forbidden FriendsWinner of the Southwark Book Award 2014

Forbidden Friends by Anne-Marie Conway

Here's what you had to say about this fantastic book:

"The book is very tearful, warming, sweet and mysterious"

"This book was touching, heart-warming and very enjoyable to read. I managed to finish it within a few hours - I literally couldn't put the book down!"

"It kept me in suspense wanting to read on and when I eventually got to the end I was sad to leave these characters who were now like my friends."

Thank you to everyone who read the books, wrote reviews and voted. We hope you enjoyed it!

2014 Shortlist Announced

The 2014 shortlist has been announced.

View Shortlist

A Dog Called HomelessWinner of the Southwark Book Award 2013

A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

What the reviewers said: "Sad and full of emotion", "A book that shows how special friends can heal hearts", "It left a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart"

The One and Only IvanWinner of the Critics' Choice Award (judged by a panel of specially selected young readers)

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

What the reviewers said: "Very sad and funny, and also fascinating", "This book made me realise that everyone is similar in some way even if you are not the same species", "I really enjoyed this book and was reading it every night after school"

Thank you to all the children, young people, schools, librarians and teachers who took part in this year’s award. And of course thank you to all the shortlisted authors for writing such wonderful books.


The shortlist for the 2013 Southwark Book Award has been announced:

  • Katherine Applegate, The One and only Ivan
  • A F Harrold, Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away From the Circus (and Joined the Library)
  • F R Hitchcock, Shrunk
  • Sarah Lean, A Dog Called Homeless
  • J D Sharpe, Oliver Twisted


The winner of both the Critics' Choice Award and the overall vote 2012 is The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon. Southwark readers found they could relate well to Tom's life, thought the story was really funny and loved Tom's doodles on the pages. Well done to everyone who participated in this year's award.


The shortlist for the 2012 Southwark Book Award has been announced:

  • Rob Childs and John Williams, Zero to Hero
  • Kevin Crossley-Holland, Short Too!
  • Catherine Johnson, Brave New Girl
  • Anthony McGowan, Donut Diaries
  • Michael Morpurgo, Shadow
  • Liz Pichon, The Brilliant World of Tom Gates


Lincoln Peirce's Big Nate: The Boy With the Biggest Head in the World has won the 2011 Southwark Book Award in a landslide victory. Big Nate, which was hugely popular with Southwark students, gained more than twice as many votes as its nearest rival, Morris Gleitzman's Now.

Pupils who had read all the books, written the best reviews and worked hardest on this year's Award generally were awarded with invitations to a special prizewinners' event at John Harvard public library. Two of the shortlisted authors - Elen Caldecott and Joe Layburn - kindly agreed to talk about their books and their writing as well as award certificates to our winners. Each pupil selected a book as a prize. Both authors have just had new titles published so they were happy to sign copies of these new books: Operation Eiffel Tower by Elen Caldecott and Street Heroes: Runaways by Joe Layburn. Well done to everyone! View photos from the prizewinners' event

The enthusiastic comments submitted by students taking part in the award can be read on our Big Nate Reviews page.


The shortlist for the 2011 Southwark Book Award has been announced:

  • Elen Caldecott, How Ali Ferguson Saved Houdini
  • Morris Gleitzman, Now
  • Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, Help! I'm trapped in my best friend's nose
  • Joe Layburn, Street Heroes
  • Sophie McKenzie, Time Train to the Blitz
  • Lincoln Peirce, Big Nate: The boy with the biggest head in the world


Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore's Killer Clone has won the 2010 Southwark Book Award.

On hearing they had won the award, Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore (usually known as the Two Steves) said:

A BIG THANK YOU to all the students who voted for our book Killer Clone. We are REALLY pleased to win such an award – obviously all the students in Southwark who voted for us have great taste in books! Thank you, thank you, and thank you again, for choosing Killer Clone. We enjoyed writing the book and an award like this makes it all worthwhile, because we now know that the people who we wrote it for enjoyed it as well! Thanks again and all the very best to everyone who took part in the award.
Best wishes
Steve and Steve

Diary of a Wimpy Kid2009 WINNER ANNOUNCED

Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid has won the 2009 Southwark Book Award. Prize winners from each of the 25 participating schools won a visit to The Cartoon Museum for a cartooning workshop on 7th July. Publishers Puffin Books generously donated Puffin goody bags and copies of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: DIY Book for each winner.

On hearing he had won the award, Jeff Kinney said:

"I was very excited to hear that Diary of a Wimpy Kid was chosen to win the Southwark Book Award! I've always hoped that my books would be well received in Great Britain, and I'm thrilled that kids seem to be enjoying my humour. I want to say thank you to everyone who voted for my book!"

The Results In Full

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid - WINNER - 401 votes
  • Dog Lost - 119 votes
  • The Shade of Hettie Daynes - 85 votes
  • Cosmic - 82 votes
  • Alligator - 56 vote
  • The Amazing Mind of Alice Makin - 42 votes


The shortlist for the 2009 Southwark Book Award has been announced:

  • Frank Cottrell Boyce, Cosmic
  • Theresa Breslin, Alligator
  • Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Ingrid Lee, Dog Lost
  • Alan Shea, The Amazing Mind of Alice Makin
  • Robert Swindells, The Shade of Hettie Daynes

The books will be available in schools from March. Pupils will read them and vote between then and 26th June. The final events will take place in each secondary in the week 29th June - 3rd July.

For older news stories please see our archive.

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