‘Cli-Fi’ Novels win both Trinity School Book Awards 2023

The winners of the two 2023 Trinity Schools Book Awards have been announced in a ceremony hosted by Ibstock Place School in London on Wednesday 26th April. The novel Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman is the winner of the Trinity Plus Award aimed at older teens, and the TSBA 2023 is awarded to Green Rising by Lauren James. Both awards were determined by students from 15 participating schools in London and the South East. The annual award is organised by a committee of school librarians; this year’s theme was “Facing the Future”. 

The YA thriller Dry imagines what happens when a severe drought in California, called the tap-out, results in no water at all, quickly turning a quiet suburban area into a warzone of desperation and violence. It was co-written by the award-winning and best-selling authors Neal Shusterman and his son Jarrod Shusterman, who are currently adapting the book as a Hollywood film. Based in Florida and California respectively, they joined the ceremony via video link

Lauren James’ climate fantasy Green Rising tells the story of teenagers who have developed a strange new power – the ability to grow plants from their skin. With profit-hungry corporations eager to exploit them, these so-called “Greenfingers” must come together to outsmart the adults in the hope of rewilding the planet and bringing about their own green rising. A scientist by day, Lauren James founded the Climate Fiction Writers League. Although she has published many YA novels to great acclaim, this is Lauren’s first book award, and she was delighted to accept it in person. 

Both winning books reflect young people’s sincere interest in – and concern for – the environment and climate change. Other shortlisted books dealt with the technical and ethical implications of advances in AI, as well as more personal stories of navigating friendships and relationships, including bullying, racism and grief.

Students and authors alike were excited to return to an in-person ceremony for the first time since 2020, with seven authors from all over the UK in attendance (Naomi Gibson, Sarah Govett, Lauren James, Nadia Mikail, Louisa Reid, Anthea Simmons and William Sutcliffe) and six more joining virtually, including from the USA (Femi Fadugba, Aimee Lucido, Elle McNicoll, 2023 winners Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman, and 2022 winner, Dr Jewell Parker Rhodes). School groups, too, had the option of attending in person or watching via livestream. Alongside the book awards, student competition winners were also celebrated for their book reviews and creative responses to the shortlisted books. These ranged from cakes to poetry and songs, videos, drawings and sculptures! After the formal ceremony, guests had the opportunity to view a special exhibition of these creative responses, as well as to meet the authors in attendance and get their books signed.

The 2023 shortlists in full:

TSBA shortlist (Year 7+):

  • We Go On Forever – Sarah Govett (Marotte)
  • Green Rising – Lauren James (Walker) Winner
  • In the Key of Code – Aimee Lucido (Walker)
  • Show Us Who You Are – Elle McNicoll (Knights Of)
  • The Cats We Meet Along the Way – Nadia Mikail (Guppy)
  • Burning Sunlight – Anthea Simmons (Andersen Press)
  • Clean Getaway – Nic Stone (Knights Of)
  • The Summer We Turned Green – William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)

Trinity Plus shortlist (Year 9+):

  • Wranglestone – Darren Charlton (Little Tiger Press)
  • The Upper World – Femi Fadugba (Penguin Random House Children’s UK)
  • Every Line of You – Naomi Gibson (Chicken House)
  • The Outrage – William Hussey (Usborne)
  • Wrecked – Louisa Reid (Guppy)
  • Dry – Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman (Walker) Winner

Take Two 2022

Our new Award features our absolute favourites from previous years, which didn’t win the Award.  We thought we would like to give them a second go, so 2022 is all about these wonderful books.  If you have taken part in all of our Awards, you may enjoy reading old favourites; if you haven’t, you are in for a treat!  None of these books are second best – they are all top favourites of ours!

And the winner of the 2021 award is – Susin Nielsen!








We were delighted to award the 2021 Trinity Schools Book Award to Susin Nielsen for this wonderful story about homelessness.  Although Susin couldn’t join us live for the Ceremony at Ibstock Place School as she was on set filming, she recorded a wonderful and heartfelt message of thanks to all the students who had read and loved her book enough to vote it the winner in a very strong shortlist.

The online Ceremony, held at Ibstock Place School, was ably put together by their librarian, Helen Cleaves.  We had an excellent Q&A with all the authors who ‘attended’ the ceremony, with pupils submitting the questions beforehand.  We had some very tantalising glimpses into the writer’s dens and methods of working, and some hints about next books due to come out soon.

Always a highlight of the Trinity Schools Book Award is it’s unique focus on creative responses to books, and we saw some amazing examples of the work that students produced for this shortlist.  They will be up on the website shortly.

Everyone at the ceremony enjoyed themselves, and we look forward to next years Awards.  The new shortlist will be revealed shortly.

Authors attending the digital ceremony!

We are very excited to announce that we have a fabulous line of of authors for our students to ‘meet’ in the Ceremony later on today. We have Sharna Jackson, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Kenneth Oppel, Bali Rai and Victoria Williamson! The lucky attendees will be able to question the authors after the announcement of the winning author (can’t wait for that!), and then at the end of the Ceremony they will get a sneak preview of next year’s theme and books as well!

New Ceremony Date announced!

We have taken the decision to postpone the usual date of our Ceremony, which takes place in March every year.  This is to help everyone who has had to close over this period, and who are having trouble in getting books into the hands of their readers.  The Ceremony will be a digital only one this year, and will now take place on Wednesday May 26th at 4.15.  It will be streamed from Ibstock Place School.

The deadline for votes and for Creative submissions has also changed accordingly, and this new date will be Friday 19th March.

Enjoy the extra time you have for reading!