Salford Children's Book Award 2018

2018 shortlisted books

Reading CloudSalford Children's Book Award 2018

The Salford Children's Book Award is back and better than ever!

Belle Design & PrintThe shortlist for the 2018 Salford Children's Book Award has been announced. The six authors on the shortlist will all be attending the award ceremony at the Lowry in March 2018.

Salford high schools can now sign up to take part, and book their places at the ceremony, where pupils can meet the authors and the winner will be announced.

Participating schools will receive copies of the shortlisted books, so that pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9 can read and discuss them. Then in February 2018, we will need pupils' votes to decide the winner.

Carbon CreativeThe Salford Children’s Book Award is supported by MLS, Carbon Creative and Belle Design & Print.

This year's award-worthy shortlist is:

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Lily's life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows.

With her friends - Robert, the clockmaker's son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox - Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. 

Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure.

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
River of Ink: Genesis by Helen Dennis

River of Ink: Genesis by Helen Dennis

A teenage boy washes up on the banks of the Thames. He remembers nothing. Not who is he. Not where he's from. Or why he was in the river.

The only clue to his identity is the sketch he makes of a strange, twisted symbol.

Who is River Boy?

The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster

Eleven-year-old Joe can't remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of London's rooftops.

His condition means he's not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his 'bubble'.

But then someone new enters his world and changes it forever...

The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster
Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock

Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock

When Maya takes a photo from the top of a bus, she has no idea of the trouble it will bring.

The couple arguing in front of the shop window look as if they want to kill each other.

Then a body turns up, and the police send Maya into hiding..

The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr

When pickpocket Danny buys an elephant at auction, he's swept up on an unforgettable adventure.

His new job is to ride Maharajah from Edinburgh to Manchester in one week.

Everyone is watching, even Queen Victoria, but the journey is filled with drama and danger, and soon it's clear that not everyone wants them to arrive in time ...

The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr
Beetle Boy by M G Leonard

Beetle Boy by M G Leonard

How can a boy be friends with a beetle?

Darkus Cuttle's search for his kidnapped father leads him to discover a mountain of extraordinary beetles, and pits him against Lucretia Cutter, the mad-scientist of the fashion world.

A darkly hilarious adventure full of exotic beetles, daring schemes, and true friendship.

Background to the Award

2018 will be the fifteenth year of the Salford Children's Book Award; the award is designed to introduce 11 to 14 year olds to a range of books and authors and to promote reading for the sheer fun of it.

Books eligible for 2018 award must:

  • Have been published in the United Kingdom between January 2016 and March 2017
  • Be excellent stand-alone reads
  • Have been written by authors written in the UK

The award is facilitated by Salford Schools' Library Service. School-based reading groups are run by high school librarians and/or members of the high school English department. Pupils read all of the shortlisted books and vote for their favourite title.

For further details, or if your school would like to sign up, please contact Salford Schools' Library Service on 0161 778 0936 or email