Previous Finalists




Below is a list of the 2021 FINALISTS in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. The children’s books were read and judged by children from 10 UK primary and secondary schools, the adult books by 2 Reading Groups, 1 in London and 1 in Stockholm. Over 150 readers! The books were marked according to EDITING, THEME, STYLE, COVER and, in the case of many of the children’s books, ILLUSTRATIONS. The audio books in Category 7 and Category 8 were also marked according to NARRATOR PERFORMANCE, SOUND QUALITY, MUSIC and SOUND EFFECTS. Every book in Category 1 - 6 which was awarded over 25/35 is a finalist. Every book in Category 7 and 8 which was awarded over 30/40 is a finalist.


The WINNERS will be announced on April 1st, 2022


Category 1 Pre-School Picture Books

Alastair McAllister Goes to School, Valerie Ramer, ill. by Kat Harrington

Caleb's Adventures with Granddad, Christian Kueng, ill. by Nana Melkadze

Cookie Helps The Bumblebees, Lynda Stuart

Eve's Ducklings, Maria Monte, ill. by Emelie Wiklund

Good Night (Not Really), Nan Evenson, Karina Matkevych

Hettie: The Talking Yeti (Mythical Land), Joanne Hutchinson, ill. by Kris Lillyman

Honeycake: Special Magical Powers, Medea Kalantar

It Must Be Winter, Michelle Wang, ill. by Uliana Barabash

I've Got No Stripes, Atticus Ryder

Kita and the Magic Paint, Laura Schaumer, ill. by Pardeep Mehra

Mary and Me, Kate Woodard, ill. by Sara Sanchez

Mosley The Feelings Monster, Dayna Mason, ill. by Delane Hollstein

Noah, No! Kristen Cornell, ill. by Rebeca J. Pintos

Nurse Bear Does First Aid: Picture Book to Learn First Aid Skills for Toddlers and Kids, Marta Almansa Esteva

Olive the Worrying Wiener: A Short Tale about a Particularly Long Dog, Ally Arena, ill. by Rafaela Sukiyama

The Best Nest: A Tale of Roosting Rivalry, J C Perry

The Boy with the Funny Name, MeChelle Paterek, ill. by Emma Smith

The Hippocrocodogapig, Samantha L Hill

The Vehicles of the Town, Jolas Wittler, ill. by Kama Towcik

Then We'll Say Goodnight, Marianne Hesse, ill. by Angela Paul

Too Cute to Spook, Diana Aleksandrova, ill. by Alicia Young

When Moggie Met Froggie, Julia Stebbing, ill. by Stephen Stone

When The Sky Roars, Katie Weaver

Where's My Joey? Wendy Monica Winter, ill. by Roxana Antochi,


Category 2 Books for 6 – 8 Year Olds

Be Mindful of Monsters, Lauren Stockly, ill. by Ellen Surrey

Because You Are Here, Dr. Yasmin Salleh, ill. by Amanda Merrifield

Blimey There's a Bunyip! Veronica Ferguson Perez, ill. by Natasha Kostovska

Get Back in the Book! Larry Issa, ill. by Emma Chadwick

Girls Love to Fart, Alice Clover, ill. by Cheryl Lucas

Have You Ever Wondered What You Will Be? Junia Wonders, ill. by Chiara Nasi

Layla & Luella, Nicole B. Cameron, ill. by Henrique Rampazzo

Let's Learn about Chemistry, Stephanie Ryan, ill. by Christine Cagara

Lily's Loud Mouth, Laura Lawrence, ill. by Nejla Shojaie

Maria wants a dog Maria veut un chien, Brenda Akwar, ill. by Mohd Daud

Mighty Mila: An Inclusive Children's Book about an Unstoppable Deaf Girl, Katie Petruzziello, ill. by Nadja Sarell

Millie’s Magic, Hilary Hawkes, ill. by Andrea Petrlik

Monster in the Water: Fighting Back Against Harmful Algal Blooms, Dylan Dagate, ill. by Maria Decerce

My First Animal Moves, Darryl Edwards

OG (Mythical Land), Joanne Hutchinson, ill. by Kris Lillyman

Siggy Loves Sausages, Brian Frederick

Spike, Sarah Cullen, Carmen Ellis, ill. by Zuzana Svobodova

Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear, Alysia Ssentamu, Michael Ssentamu, ill. by Noor Alshalabi

The Boy Who Illustrated Happiness, Victor Dias de Oliveira Santos, ill. by Eszter Miklós

The Great Inventor of the Stars, Avery Davis, ill. by Luo Xi

The Power of Positivity The ABC's of a Pandemic, Ruth Maille, ill. by Harry Aveira

The Stalking Seagulls, Michelle Vattula, ill. by T L Derby

The Toad from Outer Space, Faiz Kermani, ill. by Korey Scott

The Whisker Twitchers, Kathy Tallentire, ill by Becky Stout

Treasure Isle, Catherine Corcoran, ill. by Natalie Lundeen

We All Have Sacred Spaces, Rev. Dr. Vicki Michela Garlock

What's Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur? Tony Philips


Category 3 Books for 9 – 12 Year Olds

A Tree in Time, Pam C. Golden

Because You Are Here, Dr. Yasmin Salleh, ill. by Amanda Merrifield

Believing In Horses Out West, Valerie Ormond

Beyond the Doors, Clay Kelly

Broken Twigs: Farewell to Faerie Forest, Charlotte L. Taylor

Dwarf Story, W. W. Marplot

Eco Worrier, Ian Slatter

Limerick Comics, Robert Hoyman, ill. by Steve Feldman

Little Wade and Watchtower: Abigail and the Great Gang Trap, Sean March

Mishka, Mike Moroney

Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key, Estelle Grace Tudor

Osasu and The Great Wall of The Benin Empire, Tamkara Olayinka Adun

Secrets of the Shallows, Gloria Barnett

Snoodles, Kidoodles, Poodles, Steven Joseph, ill. by Andy Case

Star Man's Son, C. C. Archambeault

Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill, Grimly Darkwood

Strength of the Mountains.Gregory O. Smith

The Children of Horseshoe Hideout, Rebecca Matthews Vorkapich

The Chocolate Clouds, Marc Remus

The Fall of a Sparrow, Griselda Heppel

The Graceful Ghost, Eleanor Dixon

The Kringleset Chronicles: The Return of the Queen, Dawn Treacher

The Miracle Prince: The Power of the Pearl, William Edmonds

The Rise of a Golden Lion, Michael Feng

The Shadow of the Pyramid, Wendy Leighton-Porter

The Unfocused Man, Tom Hoffman

The Way to Storey, L. B. Anne

Toby and the Silver Blood Witches

Twlight Robbery, J M Forster


Category 4 Books for Teenagers

An Audience for Einstein, Mark Wakely

Behind the White City, Alex Hayes

Blood of a Fallen God, Joshua C. Cook

Blue Rain, Julia C. Johnston

Carrie Anne's World: An Odyssey through Space and Time, Mark Whiteway

Code of Rainbow: Legends of Azure and the Masked Planet (Book 3), Weiqi Wang

Cruel Summer, Bernard Jan

Eden, C J Singh

Guardian Angel Academy, Year 1: Renegade, Tamara Hart Heiner

HUNTED: Maegics Heir, Book 2, Guy Cramb

Knights of the Alliance, Stefanie Chu

Life of a Firefly, Sandra Brown Lindstedt

Malcolm and Me, Robin Farmer

Monologues for Kids and Tweens II, Mike Kimmel

Munching on the Sun, Mark Paul Oleksiw

Never-DEAD, Ann Greyson

Nile Cat, Angela Cecil Reid

Notebook Mysteries: Emma, Kimberly Mullins

Purple Moons and Coffee Spoons, Julie Hodgson

Ripley of Valor, Thoren Syndergaard

Rise of the Sons, J D Mitchell

Starvation, Molly Fennig

Super, Grant Smits

TARO: Legendary Boy Hero of Japan, Blue Spruell

The Eye of Souls (The Sargassian Saga), William S. Parish

The Knowledge Seeker, Rae Knightly

The Sand Pounder, M J Evans

The Sigil Masters, Rick Duffy

The Vault, L. Wood

The Wolf's Tooth, J. Steven Lamperti

The World Beyond the Walls, Jean Gill

Tree Singer, Jacci Turner

Vasilisa, Julie Mathison

Wild Heart: An Equestrian Romance, Carolyn Haley


Category 5 Books for Adults (fiction)

A Caterer's Guide to Love and Murder, Jessica Thompson

A Queen's Pride, N.D. Jones

A Quiet Dissonance, Poornima Manco

Absaroka War Chief, Bryan Ney

Animal Lab, Bob Zeidman

Atonement Camp for Unrepentant Homophobes, Evan J. Corbin

Babouc's Vision, Glenn Searfoss

Backstory, A Novel, William Michael Ried

Bad Dogs: A Black Cadet in Dixie, Ken Gordon

Barefoot Alice, Jan Porter

Blood Mark, JP McLean

Blood Orphan (The Tom Grant Series, Book 1),Samantha Adair

Bollywood P. I. California Dreaming, Priya Khajuria

Calling Mr. Nelson Pugh, Christopher Opyr

Callisto 2.0, Susan English

Chokecherry Girl, Barbara Meyer Link

Citrus, Tabitha Kumwembe

Clean: the (mis)adventures of an alcoholic drug addict, Michael Rebellino

Deficiency, S.C. Eston

Fatal Shadow, Noel Coughlan

First Magyc, Nicole Dragonbeck

Floating Underwater, Tracy Shawn

Grace and Serenity, Annalisa Crawford

Grocery Girl, Virginia'dele Smith

Head Hunted, John Poulton

Hell Holes 4: A Slave's Revenge, Donald Firesmith

Hey Jude, Kathleen Stone

Hot Air, Charlie Suisman

How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness, Jessica Bell

Intersection Thirteen, Matthew Buscemi

Into the Macrocosm, Konn Lavery

Kill Crime, Mike Slavin

Landscape of a Marriage, Gail Ward Olmsted

Last Star Standing, Spaulding Taylor

Life is Your Imaginations' Reality, Tricia Renée

Monsters at Dusk, Kyle A. Massa

Oh Daddy Chronicles, Barry Robbins

Pulse, B.A. Bellec

Quiet City, Philip Davison

Running Behind Time, Jan Turk Petrie

Scepter of Flint, N L Holmes

Sentinals Awaken, Helen Garraway

SIDELINED: The Contract, Bianca Williams

Sin Eater, Amanda Denham

Skiathos, Boris L. Slocum

Song of the Nile, Hannah Fielding

Soul Seeker, Kaylin McFarren

Spirits of the Ice Forest, Max Davine

Story of My Life, Valerie Baeza

The Algorithm, William Knight

The Algorithm, William Knight

The Archer’s Thread, Noel Zamot

The Beauty of Fragile Things, Emma Hartley

The Broda Salt Cabin, A H Nedani

The Chair Man, Alex Pearl

The Clovis Dig, Teri Fink

The Coldness of Objects, Panayotis Cacoyannis

The Crocodile Makes No Sound, N L Holmes

The Good Pharmacist’s Deadly Secrets, Belinda M Gordon

The Great Migration, Steve Ramirez

The Highland Thistle, K J Fay

The House on the Lake, Holly Hill Mangin

The Judgement of Troot, Adam E Bradbury

The Palace of the Stars, Karina McRoberts

The Poison Keeper, Deborah Swift

The Refusal, Eve M Riley

The Society (Elizabeth Grant Thrillers Book 1), C.G. Abbot

The Strange Woman, Stephanie Shields

The Swiss Mishap, Amey Zeigler

The Weight of Salt, Sandra Montanino

The Zoo, Andrew Phelps

There's Something about Scarlett, Hannah Ellis

To Kill A Conman, Kevin Berry

To Poison a Prince, Aldrea Alien

Traffic: A Ronnie Lake Mystery, Niki Danforth

Valentine to Faith, Victoria Foyt

Vile, Keith Crawford

Welcome to the Swamp: An Illustrated Journey into the Deplorable World of Donald J. Trump, Swampy Don, ill. by Tim Doyle

Wergild: A Heartwarming Tale of Coldblooded Vengeance, Boris L. Slocum

What Death Taught Terrence, Derek McFadden

White Heron (Run and Hide Thrillers Book 1), JJ Marsh

Windfall: A Henry Lysyk Mystery, Byron TD Smith

Yes, And, Cindy Gunderson


Category 6 Books for Adults (non-fiction)

Audacious Goals, Remarkable Results: How an Explorer, an Engineer and a Statesman shaped our Modern World, Brad Borkan and David Hirzel

Autism Lite: Leading Our Child Off the Spectrum, Kathryn Tucker

Black, White, And Gray All Over; A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement, Frederick Reynolds

Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book, Scott Lorenz

Breakdown: A Therapist's Journey of Losing It and Finding It, Ali Psiuk

Breaking Into The Media - A Journalist's Guide to Publicity, Sandra Coffey

Butterfly Awakens, A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief, Meg Nocero

Consequences: An Intelligence Officer's War, David Grantham

DISPLACED: a memoir, Esther Wiebe

Don’t Go Broke, Go For Book Growth, T N Traynor

Down the Rabbit Hole: A Memoir of Abuse, Addiction and Recovery, Kate Russell

Face: A Memoir, Marcia Meier

Go: A Memoir about Binge-drinking, Self-hatred, and Finding Happiness, Jessica Bell

HYPHENED-NATION: Don’t Check the Box, Nicole Draffen

Innovation Starts With I: Increase Your Influence. Ignite Your Impact. Saleema Vellani

Just Say "$%#&! NO!” Book Dedicated to the Well-Intended Overextended! Heather Tobin, ill. by Karen Tobin

Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation, Joseph N Abraham MD

Moment, Robert Abad

Never Took: A Memoir, Terrah Hancock

No Match For Her, Travis Lee Hicks

Playing Soldier, F. Scott Service

PopUpPurge™ Release Midlife Clutter & Reclaim Inner Clarity, Mary Vraa

Raising Taylor, Finding Superwoman, Sharon Taylor-Harris

Recovery is Possible: An addict's story, Matt Penn

Rethink Creativity: How to INNOVATE, INSPIRE, and THRIVE at WORK, Monica H Kang

Surrender: A Memoir of Nature, Nurture, and Love, Marylee MacDonald

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, Ellen Notbohm

The Bee Gees in the 1960s: Decades, Andrew Mon Hughes, Grant Walters, Mark Crohan

The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, Laura Davis

The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People, Deborah Stone

The Get Productive Grid: A Simple and proven work-life balance system to help you thrive, Magdalena Bak-Maier

The Gift of Knowing You: Discovering the Power of Your Story, Joselyn Smith-Greene

The Kid Code: 30 Second Parenting Strategies, Brenda Miller

The Kingdom I Came to Love, Fernando G. Ting

The Mother of All Dilemmas: Dreams of Motherhood and the Internship That Changed Everything, Kathleen Guthrie Woods

The Other Side of Fear: A Backpacker's Memoir, Jenni Reavis

Those Darn Stripes, Tyrel Nelson

Thriving After Sexual Abuse, Denise Bossarte

Travels With Geoffrey: If It CAN Go Wrong, It Will, Sharon Hayhurst

White Knuckle Steven Bruce

Why Baseball Is a Sport and Golf Is Not: Separating the Players from the Poseurs, Aaron S Bayley, Luigi Di Serio

WOO! Strange Happenings at the Windmill and Other Tangential Rants, Dave Thomson

Your Next Big Idea: Improve Your Creativity and Problem-Solving, Samuel Sanders

You've Got Some Nerve: The Battle Back from an Invisible Injury, Derryen Plante


Category 7 AUDIO Books for Children/Young Adults

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy, Paula Berinstein, performed by Allan Corduner

Can Dreams Come True? The Cecily Taylor Series, Book 1, Krysten Lindsay Hager, presented by Nicole Blessing

Enemy of the Gods, C. Hofsetz, performed by Alfred Tam

Grandpa Jock and the Incredible Iron-Bru-Man Incident: Gorgeous George, Stuart Reid, performed by Stuart Reid

Runaway Rescue, Niki Danforth, performed by Erin Parker

Sister's Surprise (Slog the Winged Frog Book 1), Javelin Jaaziel, performed by Francesca Ling

The Girl Who Looked Beyond the Stars: Sheena Meyer, L. B. Anne, performed by Alaura Howery

The Pumpkin Master, Mark Milbrath, performed by Livia Zita


Category 8 AUDIO Books for Adults

All You Need Is Love (and a big handbag), Julie Hodgson, performed by Erica Hazelton

Crimson Arrows: A Bowhunting Odyssey, Eyad Yehyawi, performed by Richard Fish

Fries & Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery: Mitzy Moon Mysteries Series, Book 1, Trixie Silvertale, performed by Coleen Marlo

Judgment: Seed, Book 1, Joshua David, performed by Kathleen David and Joshua David

My Memory Told Me a Secret, Jeremy C. Bradley-Silverio Donato, performed by Matthew Lyon

Susan: A Jane Austen Prequel, Alice McVeigh, performed by Heather Tracy

Systemology: Create Time, Reduce Errors and Scale Your Profits with Proven Business Systems, David Jenyns

The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People, Deborah Stone, performed by Maggie Ollerenshaw

The Hostage of Glenorchy: A Highland Romance of Tudor Scotland (The Highland Ballad Series, Book 1) Kristin Gleeson, performed by Linda McDade

The Other Side of Friendship, David Grant, performed by Adam Gold

Unethical: A Psychological Thriller, Marla L. Anderson, performed by Tara Langella

Utterly Explosive: Utterly Series, Book 1, Pauline Manders, performed by Andy Deane

What Death Taught Terrence, Derek McFadden, performed by B.J. Harrison

When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision Making Lessons from the Antarctic, Brad Borkan, David Hirzel, performed by Dennis Kleinman



2021 STATS

Many off you will know I LOVE stats. So here are a few for you. Below is a list of HOW MANY BOOKS WERE ENTERED IN EACH CATEGORY for the 2021 awards - including the NEW Audio Book Category.

Most book awards keep this secret. We don't!

Category 1 Pre-School Picture Books 50 (with feedback) 12 (without)

Category 2 Books for 6 – 8 Year Olds 74 (with feedback) 19 (without)

Category 3 Books for 9 – 12 Year Olds 62 (with feedback) 6 (without)

Category 4 Books for Teenagers 71 (with feedback) 9 (without)

Category 5 Books for Adults (fiction)196 (with feedback) 17 (without)

Category 6 Books for Adults (non-fiction) 97 (with feedback ) 23 (without)

Category 7 (AUDIO BOOKS): Children/Young Adult Category 46 (with feedback)

Category 8 (Audio Books): Adult Category 58 (with feedback)

Cheers,Edward and The Wishing Shelf Gang



Info For Entrants in the 2021 Awards

I do enjoy this time of year! It's true. I know the weather is horrible (in England anyway) and summer is a long, LONG way off, but it is also when the Reading Groups (children and adult) start to work out who will be the FINALISTS in the Awards.

A week ago, I visited a school in London which is helping us to decide the finalists and winners in Category 1, 2 and 3. The children (yrs 1 - 5) were very much enjoying the books and, I'm happy to say, seemed very decisive when deciding which books they liked the most. Just like the Adult Books, they look at the story, editing, style of writing and the cover. That's one of the best things about this Award. Not only do we help authors, we also help the children in the schools we work with to understand the importance of analysing and being critical of a text; a skill they will need as they move further up the educational ladder.

I also visited the London Adult Reading Group. The best way I can describe it is a 'nuclear bunker'. They met in a cafe in North London; 26 of them, and every one of them seemed to think differently about every one of the books! But, although they argued a lot (A LOT!), they all seemed to be enjoying it. Oh, and there was a lot of coffee and a lot of chocolate cake on offer, so that seemed to help.

On March 1st, we will be announcing the finalists of the 2021 Awards. Now, this is important. I understand how important your book is to you. I should! I have written 19 books myself. But, if your book is not a finalist, there's nothing I can do to change that. I will not even have read your book; it's up to the Reading Groups (not me) to decide the finalist and winners. So please, please, PLEASE don't scream at me. I know a few will, no matter what I say, but, hey, I can but try!

Regarding feedback, we will start sending that out after March 1st, but only to non-finalists. Then, after we announce the winners on April 1st, we will be sending feedback out to everybody. The feedback will go out pretty much all the way through to the end of the year - there's a lot of it! When we send you your feedback, you will then be able to decide if you wish us to publish it on ,, and It will be up to you. But, remember, we won't change the individual feedback in any way. We will post it exactly as it is.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful to you. Remember, if you don't know what's happening and when, just visit the website: Pretty much everything you need to know is on there.

All the best,



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