Previous Finalists






Below is a list of the 2020 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. Every book that was awarded over 30/40 is a finalist.


The WINNERS will be announced on April 1st, 2021


Category 1 Pre-School Picture Books

Angus the Robin, Molly Arbuthnott, ill. by Maude Smith

Archie Wood-Knot’s Wonder Web, Sonia Tuffee, ill. by L S Rowe

Be Proud to be Blue, Diane Hull, ill. by Jan Dolby

Coaster, Paula Kluth, ill. by Vinsensiana Aprilia

Compare Bear's Double Dare, Kim Linette, ill. by James Loram

Dave Explores the Outdoors... Minibeasts, Nicky Gould, ill. by Glen Holman

Do You See the Giant? Srividhya Lakshmanan

Home Alone Harry, Jerry Rhodes, Rachael Messiter, ill. by Nicky Hill

I Dreamed of You, Justine Avery, ill. by Ema Tepic

I Wish You Happiness, Michael Wong, Ill. by Ann Baratashvili

If: Ball, Then: Catch, Katherine Schoepp, ill. by John R. Evans

Lily and Sam, Andy Stonehouse, Victoria Stonehouse

Nikki Durant and the Terrible Can't, David YayGrr, ill. by Nikki Yeager

Oh No! Reindeer Flu! Valerie L. Egar, ill. by Tamara Campeau

Sally and her Super Snot, Salma Zaman, ill. by Ursula Hurst

The Bellybutton Question, Aaron Damon Porter

The Big Adventures Of A Little Tree: Tree Finds Friendship, Nadja Springer, ill. by Tilia Rand-Bell

The Fairy who Sings, Cheryl Davies, ill. by Eduardo Paj

The Greedy Crocodile, Rachel Murphy, ill. by Anastasia Kurtulus

The Snark, Justin Davies, ill. by Stephanie Jayne

This Book is Alive! Justine Avery, ill. by Daria Yudina

This Book Wants To Make You Laugh, Justine Avery, ill. by Daria Yudina

Tom’s Zombie Fright, J C Perry

Wendy’s Winter Walk, Cass Kim, ill. by Kawena VK



Category 2 Books for 6 – 8 Year Olds

Amazing Hands, Elizabeth Cummings, Melissa Salvarani

Ballistic Kids, Thom Craigen, ill. by Matt Riste

Carrie's Flight (Grandma's Closet Book 1), Lois Wickstrom, ill. by Francie Mion

Chuckles and Smiles, Children’s Poems, Raven Howell, ill. by Jordan Wray

Gus finds His Way Home, Karen Nicksich

Idia of the Benin Kingdom, Ekiuwa Aire

Little Pink Kitty Christmas, Pete Marksteiner, ill. by Gayatri Ray

Loving Granna Rose, Dorie Deats, ill. by Joanna Pasek

Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting, Robin Bennett, ill. by Tom Tinn-Disbury

Seed Balls, Melissa Salvarani, Elizabeth Cummings

Shiloh and Dande the Lion, Ciara L Hill, ill. by Christian Krabbe

Sky Up! Patrice Augustus-Brown

Sven and the Purse of Silver, Michael E Wills

The Noisy Classroom, Angela Shanté, ill. by Alison Hawkins

The Shape Story Book 1, The Shapes and their Names, Miss Anna

The Super Awesome Secret Adventures of Billy the Brave: Jungle Mayhem, Christian Canning, ill. by Edison Goncalves, Len Simon

The Tap-Dancing Pigeon Of Covent Garden, Serena Hassan

Together, Living Life During COVID-19, Kevin Poplawski, ill. by Michael Rausch

Where Dragons Fly, Hannah Sparks

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



Category 3 Books for 9 – 12 Year Olds

All Fish Faces, Photos and Fun Facts about Tropical Reef Fish, Tam Warner Minton

AlphaPoetical Soup, Dorie Deats, ill. by Joanna Pasek

Culinary Charades, Anna Tso, ill. by Joanne Lo

Dragon Brothers, L B Lillibridge

Extraordinary Travellers: The Little Museum, Karren Beddow, Lyndsay Macaulay

Fab Club 3, The Big Match, Alex Hallatt

Frankie and the Gift of Fantasy, Ruthy Ballard

Gobbledy, Lis Anna-Langston

Grace From Space, Barbara Glazier-Robinson

Kindled Embers, K. C. Simos

Legend of the Storm Sneezer, Kristiana Sfirlea

Leo Gray and the Lunar Eclipse, K J Kruk

Maya and the Turtle (audiobook), John Stickler

Mr. Figgletoes' Toy Emporium, M J Evans

Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, Sherrill Joseph

Operation Sabre: A Paul Fox Spy Adventure, Glenn Carter

Rise Up, Rise Up! Dawn Treacher

Tell, or the Adventures in Themiddle, L N Mayer

'The Adventurers and the City of Secrets, Jemma Hatt

The Mostly Invisible Boy, A J Vanderhorst

The Steam Chasers: We Made That, Dr. Doresa A. Jennings

The Super Twins, Andy Slinger. Ill. by Kate Mottershaw


Category 4 Books for Teenagers

Arrows Tipped with Honey, Jean Gill

Autumn (Guardians of Magic Book One), Melissa Nash

Ben Archer and the Alien Skill, Rae Knightly

Beyond the Red Forest, Alex Hayes

Chieftain’s Daughter: Violet Moon Series Book 2, Alisa Hope Wagner, ill. by Albert Morales

Emeline – A Journey, Kathy J. Perry

Even Goats Need Closure, Jane Donovan and Holly Trechter

Ever Alice, H J Ramsay

Everything All At Once, Ivy Cayden

Gravenwood, Marjory Kaptanoglu

Ice Queen, Felicia Farber

Inside Out, Natalie Hibberd

Interstellar Mercenary, Will Macmillan Jones

Matched in Magic, Alex C Vick

Perplexity, Joshua Edward Smith

Project Terra, S J Woods

Scarlet Reign, Malice of the Dark Witch, R D Crist

Second Earth, Cami Murdock Jensen

Stealing Embers, Julie Hall

The City Island Messenger, James Gregory Kingston

The Ninth Scripture: The Hunt, D. Wolfsbane

The Scarlet Queen, Mitch Reinhardt

The Stalker, Secrets of the Home Wood, Julie Whitley

The Thief and the Waste (The Wolf and the Rain Trilogy Book 2), Tanya Lee

The Truth That Lies Between, W D McComb

Thorfinn and the Witch's Curse, Jay Veloso Batista

Through the Gate, Kay Jordan

To the Top of Greenfield Street, Ryan Standley

What are You Willing to Risk? P L Camery

While You Walked By, Regina Felty


Category 5 Books for Adults (fiction)

A Deal On Ice, Simon Fairfax

A String of Silver Beads, Melissa Addey

A Tale of Two Wise Fools, Arin Keshishian

Accusing Mr. Darcy, Kelly Miller

An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody, C.J. Heigelmann

Arnold Falls, Charlie Suisman

Athena’s Child, Hannah Lynn

Bedlam, B A Morton

Between Witches & Angels, T N Traynor

Breathe, Elena Kravchenko

Bronte, Thomas M. Barron

Bush Sick Land, Julian Barrett

Challenges of the Gods, C. Hofsetz

Colony, Benjamin Cross

Cruel and Unusual, Erik Dean

Damage in an Undead Age, A M Geever

Devoted Friends, Sahar Abdulaziz

Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road, Anthony Lee Head

Eve of Awakening, Alisa Hope Wagner

Farewell Everything, Véva Perala

Finding My Night, Halo Roberts

Fries and Alibis, Trixie Silvertale

Give Them Unquiet Dreams, James Mulhern

Haunting in Hartley, Janice Tremayne

Hermit Girl, E M Collyer

Hush, Hush: A Ronnie Lake Mystery, Niki Danforth

Incandescent Visions, Lee Hudspeth

Inside Voices, Sarah Davis

It Happened in Silence, Karla M. Jay

Liberty Bound, Nathaniel M Wrey

Life in the Chastity Zone, Holly Brandon

Love Among the Recipes, Carol M. Cram

Lucky, R H Webster

Masters Of The Broken Watches, Razi Imam

Mind in the Clouds, Bruce M. Perrin

Molly Bonamici, James Mulhern

Myth Agent, L.A. MacFadden

Nik Coppin’s Comedy World, Nik Coppin

On Tráigh Lar Beach, Dianne Ebertt Beeaff

Out of the Shadow, Rochelle Garfield

Outbreak (The Dark Days Series Book 1), Christopher Cole

Patience Can Cook a Stone, M B Gibson

Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story, E A Luetkemeyer

Preons: Alpha, Frederik T. Stevens

Rise of One (Book 1 of Blood Brute), Dixon Reuel

Saving Grace, D M Barr

Seed: Judgement, Joshua David

Shooting Messengers, Kevin Berry

Something Found: A Coin, Troy Aaron Ratliff

Stone of Water, B L Barkey

Submit Horror, Steven Deighan

Taking Time: A Tale of Physics, Lust and Greed, Mike Murphey

The Albatross: Contact, Connor Mackay

The Basilwade Chronicles, Dawn Knox

The Bend of the River, Edward Rickford

The Call of Eternity, E A Carter

The Castilians, A Novel, A story of the siege of St Andrews Castle, V E H Masters

The Copper Road, Beyond the Promise, Richard Buxton

The Curist, Julie Donofrio and Vincent Calfapietra

The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale, Neal Cassidy

The Gatekeeper’s Notebook, Sahar Abdulaziz

The Ninety-Two - Core Town True, M.B. Swerdlow

The Opium Lord's Daughter, Robert Wang

The Other Magic, Derrick Smythe

The Other, Matthew Buscemi

The Pearl of Arcadia, Susan Sowerby

The Peril, Virginia Fox

The Rabbit Skinners, John Eidswick

The Secret of Rosalita Flats, Tim W. Jackson

The Seven Experiments, Stephen Kanicki

The Stars That Govern Us, J.R. Alcyone

The Swan, Dark Secrets, Tania Park

The Voice of Reason, Kat Clark

The Weight of a Thousand Oceans, Jillian Webster

This Day is Ours, Gretchen Jeannette

This Is All He Asks of You, Anne Egseth

To Target the Heart, Aldrea Alien

Tokyo Traffic, Michael Pronko

Too Many Wolves in the Local Woods, Marina Osipova

Transference, B T Keaton

Unethical, Marla L. Anderson

Unfettered Journey, Gary F. Bengier

When Moths Burn, John Eidswick

White Elephant, V.E. Ulett

Wildchilds, Eugenia Melian


Category 6 Books for Adults (non-fiction)

A Gay Man's Guide to Life: Get Real, Stand Tall, and Take Your Place, Britt East

A Short History of (Nearly) Everything Paranormal, Terje G Simonsen

Anchorless, Jolie P. Hoang

Another Place Called Home, Susan DuMond

Anti-Sell, Marketing, Lead Generation & Networking Tips for Freelancers Who Hate Sales, Steve Morgan

Arthur, The Amazing Mantis | A Story of Unexpected Connection, Elsa Kendall

Ascending Davos, A career journey from the emergency room to the boardroom, Megan Fitzgerald

Bad Bitches and Power Pitches: For Women Entrepreneurs and Speakers Only,Precious L. Williams

Boss Branding, Sudhana Singh

Brothers in Arms, Kevin M. Callahan

Butchered by “Healthcare”, Robert Yoho

Celiac Mom: One family's gluten-free journey after a daughter's diagnosis, Ann Campanella

Child of the Earth, Susan Crow

Compassion Mandala: The Odyssey of an American Charity in Contemporary Tibet, Pamela Logan

Crimson Arrows: A Bowhunting Odyssey, Eyad H. Yehyawi

Dancing With Death, J-Philippe Soulé

Daughter of Neptune, Theresa Wisner

Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island, Melanie Choukas-Bradley

FoodWISE: A Whole Systems Guide to Sustainable and Delicious Food Choices, Gigi Berardi

Ghosts of the NHS, Glynis Allen

Gray is the New Black, Dorothy Rice

HomoAmerican, the Secret Society, Michael Dane

How Much Big Is the Sky: A Memoir of a Mother's Love and Unfathomable Loss, Sherry Chapman

It's A Jungle Out There, Powerful Parenting Lessons Inspired by The Lion King, Nathaniel A. Turner

Make Fitness A Priority: 30 tips to elevate your life through fitness, Chad Austin, Jesse Kepka

No More Cakes and Ale? Dietary Intelligence for gluten-free adults and their food dudes, Sophie Newton

On with the Butter! Spread More Living onto Everyday Life, Heidi Herman

Only Fools & White Horses, Colin Skeath

Passionate Travellers: Around the World on 21 Incredible Journeys in History, Trish Nicholson

Playing Dead, Monique Faison Ross

Promotional Strategies for Books: How to Market & Promote Your Book, Dale L. Roberts

Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat The Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness, and Love, Justin and Alexis Black

Sprinkles, Poems and Musings on Life, Tamara Branch

Success Tools: Upgrade Yourself into a High Performer for Lifelong Career Success, Leopoldo Fu

Surfing the Waves of Alzheimer's: Principles of Caregiving That Kept Me Upright, Renée Brown Harmon, MD

The Absent Prince: In search of missing men, Una Suseli O’Connell

The Athena Principles, Simple Wellness Practices for Overworked Professionals, Kathy Robinson

The Cosmic Playbook for Writers: 30 Vital Mini Meditations to Boost Your Creativity, Resilience & Passion, P.K. Davies

The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide: From Landing a Job, to Surviving, Thriving and Moving on Up, Jane Finkle

The Write to Happiness, Samantha Shad

Volcanic Momentum: Get Things Done by Setting Destiny Goals, Mastering the Energy Code, and Never Losing Steam, Jordan Ring

West Jersey Lamb’s War, Marian Gold

Where are the grown-ups? Ruth Badley

Where Have We Come, Book Two - A story of love, loss and family, Saz Vora

Young Offender, Michael Maisey




Amazing December Offer

Listen up! This is possible the best deal we have organised for entrants/past entrants in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Don't let it pass you by!

Hi everybody,

In December, we have organised 6 reviewers to do Editorial Reviews at a 25% discount. It's only for December so contact me ASAP if you wish us to organise a review for you. By the way, this service is TOTALLY SEPARATE FROM THE AWARDS, so don't confuse the two.
Below is a little info about Editorial Reviews which I lifted off our website. As you will see, the cost is usually £79 ($99), but we'll reduce that by 25%. In the case of this offer, every penny (cent) will go directly to the reviewer.
Have a read of the info below and let me know if you are interested.

Need an Editorial Review? We are 83% cheaper than Kirkus!

It is so important to have a catchy review on the front and back cover of your 'soon to be published' or 'recently published' or even 'published a long time ago' book. And, of course, on your Amazon Book Page under Editorial Reviews. You know the sort of thing: 'Superb! A laugh-out-loud gem.' Or 'This is a very, VERY funny book. John Smith is a top-notch children's writer.' But how do you get them? The book's not out yet.

You can, of course, pay Kirkus to do a review but they charge a whopping $425 - $575!

So why not let 'Wishing Shelf Reviews' do it for you. We not only do it faster than Kirkus (2 – 3 weeks) but we only charge $99 (£79) minus a further 25%. We guarantee the reviewer (mostly editors, authors, teachers, PhDs in business and medicine) will read the book cover to cover and the review will be honest and in depth. If it's a children's book, you can even request that I do it. If you didn't know, I'm a winner of the UK People's Book Prize and, last year, my books sold over 100,000 direct to UK schools.


Send a digital copy of your book (preferably a PDF) to Write 'REVIEW' in the subject box.

Pay our Paypal account ( £79 or $99 (reduce this by a further 25% for this December offer)

Two to three weeks later, we will send you a catchy, single line review for the front/back of your book plus a further 200-300 word review which you can then distribute as you see fit to market your book. If you wish, we will even put the review on Goodreads for you.


3 x Award Entry + 3 x Editorial Review 1/2 Price

Hi everybody,

Every year, we offer a wonderful deal for entrants in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Basically, if you plan to write/publish a number of books over the next few years, this is for you.

As you probably know, we offer an Editorial Review service which is separate to the Awards. For info on what an Editorial Review is, go to

So, what's the wonderful deal? Well, if you would like to enter 3 books in the Awards and also organise 3 Editorial Reviews, we can offer to do this at HALF PRICE! And there's no time limit as to when you can do it. So, if you wish, you could enter a book in 2020, a book in 2021 and a book in, say, 2028. And have 3 separate Editorial Review on completely different books (or the same books) whenever you wish. The cost of entering three books in the Awards and having three Editorial Reviews would normally be $564 (£444). But we would only charge you $282 (£222).

Interested? Contact me and let me know. I will then send you a Paypal inv. Then, whenever you wish - this year, next year, ten years from now - you can enter three books in the Awards plus we will organise three separate Editorial Reviews.

Considering Kirkus presently charge $575 for ONE Editorial Review, this must be the best offer ever!!!

Let me know,



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