Coventry Inspiration Book Awards – The Winners!

What a fantastic selection of book in each category this year – I have loved reading and talking about the books with all of the children in school and taking votes every week since January. We had an amazing final three in each category, but the votes have all been counted and verified and we now have this year’s winners…

What’s The Story –  The Eyebrows Of Doom by Steve Smallman and Miguel Ordonez

As featured on CBeebies Bedtime Stories and read by Steve Carell, The Eyebrows of Doom is an outrageously funny and bonkers adventure story written by the rhyming genius, Steve Smallman, with bright, bold and brilliant artwork by award-winning illustrator, Miguel Ordóñez.

The Eyebrows of Doom are trying to take over the world! Join Dave and his friends as they try to stop them leaping from one unsuspecting animal to the next. And just when it looks as though the eyebrows’ antics have been thwarted . . . all is not as it seems!

This hilarious rhyming romp will have readers young and old laughing out loud.

If this was your favourite book, do try Inspector Penguin Investigates by Eoin McLaughlin and Ross Collins, an exciting, interactive detective story that will have readers hooked from the beginning.

Who could have broken into Baron von Buffetworth’s super-secure top-secret safe? And where have they taken his precious diamond?

There’s only one detective who can solve this mystery: Inspector Penguin! That is, if he can keep his mind off tuna long enough to find some clues…

Telling Tales – Lenny Lemon and The Invincible Rat by Ben Davis, illustrated by James Lancett 

Huge congratulations to Ben who wins his second Coventry Inspiration Book Award, but this time in a younger category, with a laugh out loud funny book that pupils and teachers can all relate to!

Lenny Lemmon is looking forward to Olden Days Day at school. It’s a chance to break the routine and try school as it was years ago. It explains the blackboard in the corner, his teacher’s bad temper and why his friend Sam looks like Oliver Twist. Lenny is pleased with his own contribution, too. It’s in a cardboard box at the back of the class at the moment because it’s not yet time to shine. Except it escapes and ends up in the bowl of sick, sorry, gruel, that Amelia Kelly has brought up, sorry, in.

Soon there are small, gruelly footprints all over the classroom and also a lot of screaming because the rat that Lenny found by the back of the chip shop is FREE. It takes the arrival of cool new girl, Jessica Conrad, to distract everyone. Jessica has a plan to catch the rat but it’ll cost them!

Can the three kids round up the rat before more damage is done? Or will they end up in the headmaster’s office – again. Maybe, but they’re going to need a bigger net… Make sure you don’t miss the next hilarious book in the series – Lenny Lemon And The Trail Of Crumbs.

If you loved Lenny Lemon, do try Cally & Jimmy: Twins Together by Zoe Antoniades and Katie Kear.

Join Cally and Jimmy in four hilarious stories, perfect for newly confident readers. They get into scrapes together, bake some poisonous cakes, almost ruin their school assembly and finally have a twintastic birthday party.

Hooked On Books – The Wall Between Us by Dan Smith.

This is Dan’s second win – the first being back in 2017 with Boy X – and the two books couldn’t be more different.


Anja and Monika live opposite each other. They play together every day, with Otto the cat. One night they wake up to bangs and shouts. Soldiers are building a huge barbed wire fence between them. A terrible forever wall that gets longer and higher until it divides the whole city. On the East side, Monika is scared – neighbours are becoming spies and there are secret police everywhere. It’s Anja who spots that Otto has found a way across. If he can visit Monika, then perhaps she can too. But Anja gets trapped and there’s no safe way back …

Anja and Monika’s story is set in what feels like a terrifying dystopian world, yet it is one that existed in living memory. Dan has brought the terror of Berlin in 1961 to life in a gripping, unsettling read that will stay with me for a very long time.

Told through files, letters and newspaper articles, they really rooted the story in the reality that families would have lived. Most disturbing were the extracts from the Stasi files – as the reader, we could see a disastrous conclusion to Anja’s trip across the wall was coming, which cranked up the tension with each creaking floorboard and turn of the page.

If you loved this, try The Week At World’s End by Emma Carroll

Britain, 1962

Nothing ever happens in World’s End Close. So when Stevie discovers a runaway girl in her coal shed, the first thing she does is fetch her best friend, Ray. Both are dying for a bit of adventure, and when the girl begs for help, they readily agree. Yet they soon realise they’ve taken on more than they bargained for. The girl, Anna, reveals she’s on the run from people who are trying to poison her. Meanwhile, on the news, the Americans and Russians are arguing over missiles in Cuba.

As the threat of war grows, Anna’s behaviour becomes more mysterious. And when Stevie unearths a dark family secret, she wonders if Anna has come to World’s End Close on purpose, with a special message just for her…

Friendship, family and fear for the future are woven together to create a gripping story. Tension grows steadily as we adventure with Stevie and Ray through the week that was the Cuban Missile Crisis. A week where the world was on the brink of a war that no one could win.

Emma brings the world as it was in Britain in 1962 to life – a world of Mods and Rockers, new household appliances and the dreaded cane. With news focused on America, we not only see the Cold War at work, but the American Civil Rights Movement and peaceful protest brought to the fore. And that is just the backdrop to their adventure!

Huge thanks to everyone at Coventry Schools Library Service for organising another amazing Coventry Inspiration Book Awards this year. We have loved reading, talking and voting

Happy reading!