And the winners were…..

JRR tolkeinI hope you enjoyed the Ceremony – it was a very busy, and fun time.  There was so much to do -including uploading to the new Flikr feed – that announcing the winners on this website was a little delayed. So without further ado – the winner of the Junior Award was JRR Tolkien for The Hobbit, and for the Senior Award it was Douglas Adams for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

TolkienObviously, with both of our authors being deceased, nobody was present at the ceremony to get the prizes.  However, Julie Crisp, former editor at Pan MacMillan who worked on the rerelease of his books, sent us this moving tribute to Douglas Adams, which was read out, and which emphasized how his books have remained current today:


‘It’s thrilling to hear that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has won the TSBA Senior Award and even more so that it was voted on by the students themselves. Considering the first book was published in the late 70s it’s a testament to the wit and wisdom of Douglas that these books are just as relevant, warm, funny and original to generations of readers today as they were when they were first published.  I, unfortunately, never got to work with Douglas but did get to look after the books and work on the new editions which were released in 2009. I’ve been a huge fan of the books since I was a child and discovered during my management of them that for readers like Russell T Davies, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Fry and even Elon Musk (one of the most influential tech people today and the inspiration for Marvel’s Tony Stark) the books and characters played a huge part in their teen years and hold a special place in their hearts.

Douglas was a visionary. He would have blown a gasket at modern technology today. And Adamswould, no doubt, have had a huge amount of fun on social media. He was not a natural writer – he really had to work at it. One of his most famous quotes is: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound as they make as they go by.”  He did not find writing easy. His creativeness was almost too much to be constrained on the page by words alone.  But he persevered. I love this quote from the man himself: “He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.”  It’s because of this self-deprecating humour, his energy, his dedication and his very clear and never-ending wonder at humanity and the universe that he left us the legacy of an enduring and engaging timeless series that will, hopefully, continue to delight new generations of readers well into the future.



Idea – teacher champions for each short-listed book

At KGS, one of our English teachers came up with the idea of recruiting ‘teacher champions’ for each of the short-listed titles. Given that most of the books aren’t new, there’s no reading required, just a willingness to promote a book they love. We’re featuring a teacher & pupil TSBA book review a month in the school newsletter and hoping the teacher champion will support activities around ‘their’ title. I’m hoping to interest some of the new teachers as it will help to raise their profile etc.

Book Thief Diorama by Eloise from Latymer Upper

Eloise from Latymer Upper won one of the prizes for this beautiful piece of artwork about the Book Thief.  It was quite remarkable, and certainly set the standard for the submissions next year.  It was a pity that Markus Zusak didn’t get to see this in person, Eloise would have been so thrilled, but we all loved seeing it on the night.  Well done Eloise!


And the winners are…


Private PeacefulFeed_the_Minds_photo

The winner of the inaugural TSBA 2015 Junior Award was Michael Morpurgo for Private Peaceful.

the book thiefmarkus-zusak

The winner of the Senior Award was Markus Zusak for The Book Thief.

A separate account of the ceremony with photos will follow, but just to say that we were honoured to have Michael Morpurgo at the Awards in person to pick up his prize.  Markus Zusak sent a message via his Publisher, Annie Eaton.