Tower Hamlets Book Award 2016

And the winner of the 10th Tower Hamlets Book Award is…


The finale was hosted by the fantastic staff of Canary Wharf Group at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf and we would like to thank Dale Pile, John Garwood, Helena Poland, Chris Handley and all of the staff who helped make the day such a success.

The winning book appeals to children’s sense of utter injustice as it begins with Luke just nipping out to the loo at the very moment an alien lands in their tree house and gives his brother Zack superpowers – a most unworthy recipient, in Luke’s opinion. Luke knows all there is to know about superheroes, and Zack could not be more uninterested, and so Luke must overcome his insane jealousy and help Zack do what he has been given the powers to do and save the world!

David, Joanna, Ross and Sally had the tricky job of choosing the best presentation
David, Joanna, Ross and Sally had the tricky job of choosing the best presentation

 Thirty-five schools attended the finale at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf on Friday 25th November 2016 when eight schools performed a presentation about their favourite book. Cyril Jackson Primary School took the prize for their interpretation of the winning book. David Solomons, Jo Nadin, Sally Nicholls and Ross Welford were the shortlisted authors kindly agreed to come along and judge this competition.

Pupils from Cyril Jackson school collect their prizes
Pupils from Cyril Jackson school collect their prizes – we love the capes!

Eight prizes were awarded in the art and writing competition, where children were invited to write or draw a response to one of the books. Winners were :

Madeena Ahmed (Marner); Aliyah Hussain (William Davis); Yusra Miah (Cayley); Khadijah (Lansbury Lawrence); Inaya Mehrin (Cyril Jackson); Harry Constantine & Zain Niemoller (St Mary and St Michael); Tanbeer Rahman (Marner) and Mahdi Adnan (Cayley)

David Solomons and the other short-listed authors are available to visit schools for writing workshops and talks.


“Children need to be enthused to read and if they are, this will become a springboard for their achievements throughout the curriculum.”

 (Report of the Inquiry into Overcoming the Barriers to Literacy, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education, 2011)

#THBA16 The Books!

The six books have been  chosen from the 80 books represented in the 2016 Teen Book list and the 2016 Must Read Book list.


The Green Bicycle by Haifaa Al Mansour
The Monkey's Secret by Gennifer Choldenko
My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons
An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls
Joe All Alone by Joanna Nadin
Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford

About the Book Award

The award is just one of the exciting events made possible by subscriptions to the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services, and is a free event for all subscribing schools.

The Book Award is for pupils aged 10 to 13. The aim is to encourage children to read, to bring children together to enable debate and discussion about books and to encourage children to share the pleasure of reading.

Sam, Giancarlo, Polly and Kim wait as the winner is announced
Authors Sam Gayton, Giancarlo Gemin, Polly Ho Yen and Kim Slater at the finale of the 2015 awards

 Why join in?

Because the award bridges primary and secondary schools, it encourages pupils from different phases to share in reading events and work together.

Schools who have taken part in the award have found it to be highly beneficial in encouraging children to broaden their reading range and develop their literacy – not just in reading but also in speaking and listening, as a core part of any book award is discussion and debate.

The award, and the primary and secondary booklists, encourage pupils to make their own choices about what they read, and to discover new and exciting authors and stories.

Schools have the opportunity to attend the grand finale, meet authors and generally have a great time. This year the finale will move to a new venue where we’ll be able to host even more guests than usual!

 Your FREE set of books!

All subscribing Tower Hamlets Schools received a free set of the short listed Book Award books in September 2016. Canary Wharf Group have made this possible this year.


How to join in

The next Tower Hamlets Book Award launches in July 2017 when the shortlist will be announced.

Eligible for the shortlist are new books published in paperback in 2016 for ages 8 to 13. These books will feature on our 2017 upper KS2 and secondary/ teen booklists.

For more information about the award, or to suggest books for 2017, email

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