‘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!

Secrets and Lies – Trinity School Book Awards 2019!

The TSBA 2019 shortlist has been chosen by the Award’s committee of school librarians, following nominations from the schools which took part last year, and what a great list it is! All chosen around the theme of Secrets and Lies, the books range from historical fiction (Ausländer, The Lie Tree and Witchborn), to the modern day (The Boy Who Lied, Am Thunder) and fantasy (Ink). In all of these books you will find someone who is forced to live a lie, and has to confront it before they can live fully.

We also have a great mix of authors this year, from debut novelists Muhammad Khan and Alice Broadway to the award-winning Paul Dowswell and Frances Hardinge. As always, all of these authors will be invited to the final Ceremony next March, and it will be exciting to see how many of them we will get to meet!

The Trinity Plus list, which are the books we recommend on the same theme for extension and/or for older readers, is also very diverse. Featured authors include Will Hill, whose After the Fire was shortlisted for a Carnegie Medal and won the YA Book Prize 2018 and Tom Pollock who has appeared on Trinity Plus before, as well as six thrilling titles by other accomplished authors.

We hope you enjoy reading this selection of books as much as we did!



Sense-ational new year!

Welcome to the third year of the Trinity Schools Book Award. This year, our theme is Sense-sational – exploring the five senses in fiction.  A slight change to the format, based on feedback is that this year we shall have only one main list of books, with a supplementary further reading list called Trinity Plus. Creative responses can be made on any book on any list, and reviews can also be written on all books. Please do respond to the books on the website as well. The only restriction is the the winner will be chosen from the main list, although all of the books will enhance your experience of all of the senses. Enjoy reading the books!