Peters BOTY Award 2016

Our Norfolk SLS winner is…

With both of our Peters party events having taken place, we can now announce that our winner in Norfolk is: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell!


Thanks again to everyone who voted and be sure to keep watch tomorrow when the official Peters Book of the Year award announcements are made!

Results from Party #2

Our second Peters party took part on Friday 11th, with the rest of our shadowing groups- voting results are below!

  • Not as We Know it by Tom Avery, illust by Kate Grove: 15 votes
  • How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell: 19 votes
  • Demolition Dad by Phil Earle, illus by Sara Ogilvie: 3 votes
  • How to Fly with Broken Wings by Jane Elson: 7 votes
  • The Pirates of Pangaea by Daniel Hartwell, illus by Neill Cameron: 5 vote
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick: 7 votes
  • The Cake, the Wolf and the Witch by Maudie Smith, illus by Tony Ross: 11 votes
  • My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons, illus by Laura Ellen Anderson: 7 votes
  • Hamish and the Worldstoppers by Danny Wallace, illus by Jamie Littler: 10 votes
  • Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb: 4 votes

So, our winner at our second party was How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell! We’ll be adding the together the totals from both parties and announcing our final winner before the actual awards announcement on Tuesday 15th March. Thanks again to all of the schools who took part- we hope you enjoyed your day at the museum!

Results from Party #1

We’ve just returned from our FIRST Peters party, celebrating all of the books with some of our shadowing groups and the results from our voting session were as follows:

  • Not as We Know it by Tom Avery, illust by Kate Grove: 2 votes
  • How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell: 2 votes
  • Demolition Dad by Phil Earle, illus by Sara Ogilvie: 2 votes
  • How to Fly with Broken Wings by Jane Elson: 4 votes
  • The Pirates of Pangaea by Daniel Hartwell, illus by Neill Cameron: 1 vote
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick: 3 votes
  • The Cake, the Wolf and the Witch by Maudie Smith, illus by Tony Ross: 0 votes
  • My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons, illus by Laura Ellen Anderson: 3 votes
  • Hamish and the Worldstoppers by Danny Wallace, illus by Jamie Littler: 9 votes
  • Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb: 3 votes

So, our 4th March party winner was Hamish and the Worldstoppers! We look forward to seeing how the voting goes next week, and we’d like to thank those schools who attended today; we had SO MUCH FUN! You can read here an excellent write-up of the event by one of the attending schools, Moorland Primary’s Deer Class on their wonderful blog.

The Parties are coming up very soon!

We are really looking forward to going to the Castle Museum, first on March 4th and then on March 11th, to meet you and have a fun day firstly exploring the Cressida Cowell dragon exhibition, and in the afternoon thinking about the other books which are on the Peters Junior Book Award shortlist. We have some activities planned and we will have a vote to find out what your ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE title is- we have NO idea what will come top, have you? Remember, you can still vote on our special voting page.

However, if you can’t be there on the day- DO NOT DESPAIR! For example, we know Newton Flotman Reading Group is really sad to not be able to make it, but we’re very impressed to hear that you’ve all read the books and hope you’ll let us know what your favourites are- either by using the above voting page or by leaving us a review in the comments below. We’re sure there are others out there who have strong opinions- we would love to hear them!

If you do hold a mini party or special event to celebrate the award, why not send us some pictures and write-ups as we’d love to see what you get up to!

We’ll let you know the results as soon as possible after 15th March, which is the National Announcement day at Peters and remember; you can visit the Castle Museum to see the Viking’s Guide to Deadly Dragons exhibition between now and 30th May.


Exciting Announcement!  From today we can reveal the titles on the shortlist for the

Peters Book of the Year Award 2016

Junior Fiction Category!

Peters 2016

  • Not as We Know it by Tom Avery, illustrated by Kate Grove
  • How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell
  • Demolition Dad by Phil Earle, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
  • How to Fly with Broken Wings by Jane Elson
  • The Pirates of Pangaea by Daniel Hartwell, illustrated by Neill Cameron
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  • The Cake, the Wolf and the Witch by Maudie Smith, illustrated by Tony Ross
  • My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
  • Hamish and the Worldstoppers by Danny Wallace, illustrated by Jamie Littler
  • Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb

This is the dedicated page which we will keep open until after the award is announced on 15th March.  This is for YOU and your pupils to contribute to and give us your opinions as you read the books.

Share, discuss, argue, agree, question, enthuse, debate!

As the list is long, we will send each participating school HALF the titles with the courier next week, and ask you all to have read them by the courier’s visit on January 11th/12th 2016. Then we will swap, and send the other half out to you. (If you haven’t finished, we hope you will wish to buy copies for your school to keep and carry on sharing. Remember: you can get a good discount if you buy from Peters!). This is a TALL ORDER, we know, so GOOD LUCK!

Pupils (only – no grown-ups allowed!) choose their favourite titles, and schools can bring their votes along to the fun event we are planning in early March.  Watch this space for more exciting details!

We’ve also set up a special voting page for our Fiction Discussion Groups to use, which you can find here. To access the page, you need a special password…get in touch if you haven’t been told what it is!

The public announcement of the Award will be made on 15th March 2016, and all our Norfolk participating schools will receive a certificate.

Happy reading and sharing!

ps. Fun Fact Number One: Anyone who manages all the books in time will have read 3100 pages! (well, some of them are illustrations…)

(The rest of the award shortlists can be found on the Peters website here)

Phil Earle, new Online Writer in Residence at BookTrust

Award-winning novelist for children and young adults, Phil Earle has been appointed the new online Writer in Residence for children’s reading charity, BookTrust

Phil kicked off his six month residency with a vlog talking about his belief that everyone is a reader and that there is a story out there for everybody.

During his residency, Phil plans to interview authors, editors, poets and illustrators on his vlog in the hope of encouraging young people to find the right story, graphic novel, picture book for them. Phil will be hosting a Writer in Residence twitter chat on 12th February at 2.30pm. His focus will be on favourite fictional families in children’s books and the chat will use the hashtag #philbookchat . You can follow him on twitter: @PhilEarle



41 thoughts on “Peters BOTY Award 2016

  1. The Marvels. As The Invention of Hugo Cabret is one of my favourite books EVER, I was very excited about reading this latest gorgeous looking tome by Brian Selznick. The illustrations are indeed very beautiful, and I love the Spitalfields setting (a favourite bit of London, but now going the way Covent Garden went I fear), but it feels very much an adult author’s pet project, and I’m not convinced children will engage with it. It will be interesting to see if they find the plot and characters believable and interesting enough. Harriet SLS

  2. Maudie Smith The Cake, the Wolf and the Witch 9781444015607

    Spot the traditional tale! This is a story of two children reluctantly thrown together in a new family, hidden in a massive cardboard wedding cake and thrown into a fantastic adventure. Hmm. But really it’s a quest story incorporating almost all the trad stories you’ve ever heard- and maybe a few you haven’t. With great characters and a romping plot this deserves a prize or two – and more importantly to be read by many , many children.

  3. I too enjoyed the Cake, the Wolf and the Witch, and like the (not too subtle!) links with the children’s relationships to each other and the reluctant hero’s grief over his mother’s death. Pupils who like Cressida Cowell’s hero Hiccup the Viking will enjoy this. The Peters award is great for introducing us all to new and different authors, which is so important for breadth of reading and experience – and encourages authors too! Harriet SLS

  4. Lament from an Old Reader: writers like Holly Webb and Kate Saunders (Five Children on the Western Front) conjure up such an authentic and realistic world, following on from famous Edwardian classics like The Secret Garden and Five Children and It: they are making my favourite characters from the originals grow up, go to war – get horribly injured or die, oh no! I’m sure they’re quite right and that is what would have happened, but I am a Romantic who likes Happy Endings, and I’m sad now! Poor, poor Dickon…Return to the Secret Garden is a sweet story though. Harriet

  5. The Marvels looks absolutely wonderful. I can’t wait to read it once our Book Judges have finished with it. I think we may need to treat ourselves to a copy for the classroom as it’s very popular.

      1. This one has been hugely popular with us. We’ve had a couple of children in tears by the end of it. It’s definitely going to get at least three votes. My class want to know if there are other books written in a similar style? Mr Biddle, Deer Class

    1. Glad it’s proving popular – how about a trip to Spitalfields to soak up the atmosphere?! As to similar books, that’s really hard because Mr Selznick is UNIQUE! So make sure you’ve read his other two, then maybe (Apryl suggests) A Monster Calls has similarly fabulous illustrations (Jim Kay, text Dowd and Ness); Shaun Tan is also a unique and challenging talent; try The Arrival for example. Have you all seen Jim Kay’s new illustrations to the first Harry Potter novel – they’re very evocative and there’s something wonderful on pretty much every page. Harriet

  6. I’ve just read the Pirates of Pangaea – with some difficulty, as I’m not good at reading graphic novels. It was quite fun, and I like the idea of a beautiful undiscovered island, but I’m unsure why it’s good enough to be on the shortlist? Is it a specially good graphic novel, does anybody think? I know I’m being far too literal and serious, but the girl’s costume (she doesn’t look only 12, by the way?) is a century too late, and I think it’s too early for the interest in natural sciences and dinosaurs? Oh well, just ignore the date 1717 on the back cover blurb, and enjoy the dinosaurs…Harriet, SLS

    1. I really enjoyed it but I can think of other graphic novels I’ve read in the last year that I’ve enjoyed more. However, it’s EXTREMELY popular with my Year 5 class so we had to buy a second copy. Mr Biddle, Deer Class

  7. I’ve now just finished Hamish and the Worldstoppers (on a very very slow train from London, when at 2.15am the Terribles can seem quite SCARY!!) and found it a fun read (though I am very squeamish and tried to skip over descriptions of ugh-y things…Are you looking forward to the next instalment? It did have its frightening moments (the monster at the bedroom window, oooh!); it had humour and lots and lots of illustrations to help the story along, and pathos as well, so we really root for Hamish and like him as a character. Oh and have you seen the fab trailer – take a look at

  8. My favourite book is Not As We Know It by Tom Avery because it’s a great mixture of sadness, suspense and all sorts of other things. However I also really enjoyed The Marvels as the pictures were amazing. Actually I’ve loved them all.

    1. Hi Gracie!

      Thanks for your comment; we saw your review of Not As We Know it by Tom Avery on your class blog- we liked how you recommended it to readers who had enjoyed A Monster Calls. We also saw that Tom Avery replied to your class on twitter- how cool is that?

      Really pleased to hear that you’ve been enjoying all the books so far- The Marvels is full of such lovely pictures, isn’t it? Have you read Brian Selznick’s other book, Hugo Cabret?

      Apryl @ SLS

      1. Yes, we like talking to people on Twitter. Does Tom Avery have other books because I would love to read them? I am reading Stitch Head at the moment because Guy Bass is coming on Friday. From Gracie

      2. Hi Gracie!

        Tom does have some other books- there’s one called My Brother’s Shadow (the cover looks very similar the one you’ve just read!) and another called Too Much Trouble.

        Hope you’re looking forward to seeing Guy Bass on Friday- let us know how the visit goes!

        Apryl @ SLS

  9. Hello Gracie and everyone, I have this moment read in the paper that a mysterious sea creature has been washed up on a north Norfolk beach, and I have just finished Not As We Know It, which is indeed very sad, but uplifting too – and it felt wondrous and as if a legend was coming to life…It may turn out to be a squid, which in itself is amazing, and it brings home how easy it must have been to believe legends and tales of the oceans: it is a mysterious world down there. If you haven’t read the book yet, do, but make sure you have tissues by you.
    And then try Charles Causley’s The Merrymaid of Zennor, illustrated by Michael Foreman for a beautiful version of that legend. Jane Ray has compiled and illustrated an anthology of sea stories,The Little Mermaid and Other Fishy Tales, which is just as lovely. Harriet

    1. We saw that as well this morning but it turned out to be a minke whale, not a merman! Thank you for your book recommendations, we are ordering lots of books for our new library so we will make sure we include those. We’ve all read most of the books on the Peter’s list now so will be having our second vote soon.

      1. Oh well even a minke whale is unusual – very sad all these whales are dying though…You’re beating me if you’ve nearly all read them, that’s fantastic! I am about to read Cressida Cowell’s book – and at the same time I’m going up to the Castle Museum in Norwich to get a sneak preview of the Dragon Exhibition – very exciting! It will be fascinating to hear what your favourites are: I don’t have one yet. Do you think it’s an easy task to choose? Harriet

  10. I’ve now read the Cressida Cowell, and what an emotional roller-coaster it is – or should I say an emotional dragon-ride? I loved the first book in the series, but I confess this is only the second I’ve read in the series. Has everybody else read all of them?? I think it makes it easier to understand the ENORMITY of the DANGER the Vikings are in if you have read them all, and why Hiccup is the Only One who can get them through. It’s very sad when the Dragon Furious dies, isn’t it. And lovely to think the dragons may still be up in the cold cold north, deep deep down below the oceans…

  11. We’ve just had another round of voting. Everyone who’s a judge really seems to have enjoyed the Tom Avery book (Not As We Know It). A lot of tears were shed by all the people who read it. We tweeted Tom Avery and told him we loved his books, and he was really friendly. Ethan and Romy have only got one more book each left to read in our class Reading Bingo challenge, so we should have a winner next week (although Gracie has only got two to go!!).

  12. Reading Bingo – that sounds exciting! And it is really nice to think that one of the gentler books is proving popular. It must be very encouraging for Tom Avery to know you are enjoying his books. We love getting authors along to talk with their readers, and I’m thinking that Deerclass are great writers too, and maybe when you’re famous you’ll be invited back to your old school to talk about your fantastic books?

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