Imagination station

Round & About

Kate Schutte, head of English at Cranleigh Prep School, tells us about the second annual Awesome Book Awards, won this year by Peter Bunzl.

The Awesome Book Awards is not only a great titled competition, it’s an annual event organised by Cranleigh Schools to celebrate the best new fiction for young readers aged between seven and 10 years.

Peter Bunzl won the top prize this year for his first children’s novel Cogheart, a whodunnit thriller about three best friends and a mechanical fox.

Kate Schutte, head of English at Cranleigh Prep School, acknowledges that the life of a first time novelist is a struggle, and these awards serve to recognise the sacrifices the writer has made. However, she adds: “The Awesome Book Awards is also about celebrating young readers. The wonder of watching a child absorbed in a book is a very special thing. 

“Children who develop an early love of reading will have the opportunity to travel to imaginary lands, share imaginary adventures and a whole host of imaginary friends.

“As educators, while it is wonderful to see pupils curled up in a corner with a book, we also know the importance reading plays in children’s development. Research suggests that those who read for pleasure demonstrate an intrinsic desire to engage with stories, texts and learning. We therefore need to provide children with access to the sort of books that not only chime with their interests, but also hook our children because they interest them. Our short-listed Awesome books are selected to resonate with today’s generation of young readers.”

Entries are being taken for 2019, visit