Hundreds of young readers from across the South East gathered together 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 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 Awards, Peter Bunzl.

The Awesome Book Awards is a prize that celebrates the best new fiction authors for young readers aged between 7 and 10. It’s an annual competition run by Cranleigh Schools. 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.

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.

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

To read more about the Awesome Book Awards, visit: www.awesomebookawards.com