Harrow Junior Book Award



The Harrow Junior Book award was launched in 2015 by the school library service. It takes place on an annual basis. It is a chance for schools to introduce year 5 and 6 pupils to some of the best new children's fiction and to vote for a winner at the end of the process.


Taking part in the award is not only an excellent way to promote reading for pleasure, but also encourages young readers to broaden their reading experience by exploring different writing styles and fiction genres. Six exciting and demanding reads have been selected from the most talented and exciting authors currently writing for children, whose books draw inspiration from true events and real-world settings, myths, legends, and fantasy across time and space.




Shortlisted titles for the Harrow Junior Book Award 2024

Image showing book jackets for the titles shortlisted below


We are delighted to announce the shortlist of this year’s Harrow Junior Book Award, an annual prize for the best children’s fiction book decided by children in years 5 and 6.



Included in this year’s selection are


  • The Storm Swimmer by Clare Weze: a page-turning adventure set on the storm swept coast of Scotland
  • My Friend the Octopus by Lindsay Galvin an enthralling mystery set in 1877
  • Children of the Stone City by Beverley Naidoo is an allegorical adventure resulting in a tense fast-paced story
  • Tyger by S.F. Said: set in an alternative 21st century London
  • The Monkey who fell from the Future by Ross Welford: is an action packed time travelling adventure
  • Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker: a hilarious but thought provoking story about a young girl who is as intelligent and resourceful as her neglectful parents are materialistic and ignorant.


The judging of the award takes place from November to May each year culminating in an award ceremony attended by all the participating schools with a guest of honour.  We are delighted to announce that last year’s winning author, Chrisopher Edge will be joining us for this special celebration on Friday 14th June 2024.


The award timetable:


  • 8th November 2023: Announcement of the Harrow Junior Award Shortlist
  • 13th November 2023 - Friday 24th May 2024: Judging of the shortlist
  • 14th June 2024: Award ceremony at Pinner Wood Primary School


How to participate


Participation is free for subscribing schools and other primary schools are encouraged to join in by subscribing to our Enrichment Activities package which includes the Harrow Junior Book Award.


Please contact Harrow School Library Service if your school would like to take part in this year’s award: 0203 714 7739  [email protected]


Image showing some children sitting with books




Harrow Picture Book Award



The Harrow Picture Book Award was launched in Spring 2023 and is aimed at KS1. The award aims to introduce younger children to some of the wonderful picture books currently being published, and to encourage reading for pleasure through the sharing and enjoyment of six outstanding books on a chosen theme.



Harrow Picture Book Award 2024 Shortlist


Image showing book jackets for the titles shortlisted below



We are delighted to announce the Harrow Picture Book Award shortlist for 2024. This year all six books share the theme of transport, taking our young readers around the world, out into space and even back in time through engaging stories and exceptional illustrations.


Included in this year’s selection are


  • Zoom by Sam Usher is an exciting story which begins on a swelteringly hot summer night
  • There's Nothing Faster than a Cheetah by Tom Nicholl and Ross Collins: this story is a delight to read aloud, with hilarious illustrations bouncing across the page.
  • Special Delivery: A Book's Journey Around the World by Polly Faber and Klas Fahlen. This is a fascinating non-fiction picture book of the amazing journey that a book and many other everyday things make
  • Supertato: Mean Green Time Machine by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet is an exciting adventure featuring the veggie hero and his arch-nemesis the Evil Pea
  • The Flying Scotsman and the Best Birthday Ever by Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman is a tribute by one of the best loved partnerships in children's literature to one of the most famous trains in the world
  • Bunnies in the Boat by Philip Ardagh and Ben Mantle is a brilliant new adventure featuring the mischievous band of bunnies who love things that 'go'.


The judging process for this award is intended to be very flexible and inclusive, and capable of being adapted to suit the children involved. The aim is for teachers and librarians to read all six books with the children who then vote to decide on their top three. A teachers’ resource pack is provided containing activities to help the children to explore the stories and illustrations in more depth.


At the end of six weeks of reading and voting, all the children participating are invited to an online celebration with a guest of honour, an author, illustrator or storyteller for the children to meet, after which the winning picture book is announced.


If your school would be interested in taking part, please contact Harrow School Library Service on [email protected]