Awesome Book Awards 2021

Congratulations to children’s author, Thomas Taylor, who has won the Awesome Book Awards 2021 for his novel, Malamander. His Award was announced…

Congratulations to children’s author, Thomas Taylor, who has won the Awesome Book Awards 2021 for his novel, Malamander. His Award was announced via a special online event yesterday.

“I am delighted that Malamander has won the Awesome Book Awards! And while it’s sad we couldn’t all get together for the ceremony itself, the virtual event was beautifully put together. I wasn’t expecting much against such a mighty shortlist, so it was a great surprise to see my book drawn out of the envelope.

“I can only thank everyone involved in the award, and especially all those committed and energetic readers who voted for Malamander, and all the wonderful books. What a fabulous journey through fictional worlds they have been on! I send them all my best wishes as they set off again on their next reading adventures, and hope to welcome them back to Eerie-on-Sea sometime soon, for more malamanderous mysteries with Herbert Lemon and Violet Parma,” said Thomas. 

The Awesome Book Awards has been organised by a team of school staff for five years, with a longlist selected by our librarian Mrs Alison Fenton. It recognises the very best works of fiction for young readers aged between 7 and 10. What makes these awards extra special is that the winner is chosen by young readers who, over recent months, have been reading the shortlist and voting for their favourite. 

To be eligible, books have to be a debut novel and appeal to everyone in the listed age group. Along with Malamander, on the shortlist for 2021 were: The Girl who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook; The Garden of Lost Secrets by A.M. Howell; The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski; and The Switching Hour by Damaris Young.


In previous years, the winner has been announced at a Gala Event attended by hundreds of pupils. Although this year’s event was restricted by social distancing guidelines, the virtual event featured author readings, special animations for each shortlisted book, and of course the announcement of the 2021 winner by Adam Baron — winner of the Awesome Book Awards 2020 for his debut children’s novel, Boy Underwater.

“This is a fantastic result because Malamander is a book that’s full of the most wonderful things. It has a great voice, a spooky hotel, an even spookier old lady and the ever popular missing parents. Congratulations on the well deserved win,” said Adam.

The Awesome Book Awards team from Cranleigh Schools is already hard at work reading and selecting the shortlist for the 2022 Awards. 

For more information on the Awesome Book Awards, and to watch the full event, click the image above or go to

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