Book Award

The North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards 2019 Longlist

North Somserset Teachers Book Award - Home Page Image 2019.jpg

Announcing the 2019 North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award long list.

We’ve read so many wonderful books over the last few months and have chosen a selection that we can’t wait to share with you. Each one of these books has been carefully chosen for its potential use in the classroom. Whether it’s poetry, information, read aloud, quality fiction, moving on or a picture book. there is something here for everyone- the perfect books for developing reading for pleasure and creating life long readers. Use the button below to view the 2019 long list.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s list; to each of our Just About Books members, who collectively read hundreds of books and especially to publishers, who sent so many books for us to consider this year.

We hope you enjoy reading through our long list of books over the summer. Happy reading!

Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Women


History is full of incredible stories about amazing people, many of whom have been women. However, many of these incredible life stories have been forgotten, along with the heroic deeds that were ground breaking in their day. The best way to unearth these histories is to speak to the individuals themselves, but this seems impossible as these people died hundreds of years ago. Corpse talk is the comic book chat show that brings the dead interesting and dead famous to life, quite literally. In order to get the real scoop on the lives of the most brilliant individuals in history, host Adam Murphy picks up his shovel and digs up the remains of these individuals and conducts fascinating and hilarious interviews. ‘Corpse Talk: Ground Breaking Women’ is the female edition to the comic book series. It’s a truly horrible take on history, with a female twist.


This book features queens and con-artists, saints and suffragettes, philosophers and pirates, a historical timeline from Hatshepsut, the female pharaoh who traded her way into the Egyptian record books through to Josephine Baker, entertainer, sophisticated high society lady and spy for the French Resistance. There are interviews with Empress Irene, the first women to rule the Roman Empire, Khutulun, the Mongolian warrior princess, Pocahontas, the native American who encouraged peace between her people and English settlers and Harriet Tubman, guide through the underground railroad. If that’s not enough ‘girl power’, there are also interviews with Granny Nanny, the plantation slavery resistance fighter, Joan of Arc, the valiant visionary who helped the French armies defeat the invading English and Emily Wilding Davison, the English suffragette who died for her cause.


Adam Murphy’s interviews with each brilliant woman from history uncover highlights from incredible life stories, showcasing great accomplishments and bring to light little known personal historical facts. If the life stories aren’t enough, Corpse Talk also explains a whole host of details surrounding the lives of these famous women. Hatshepsut reveals the plans for her temple and Josephine Baker explains how to dance the Charleston; Empress Irene explains how Byzantine Silk was created; Khutulan showcases her best Bokh Wresting Moves and Harriet Tubman walks you through the underground railroad. This is a book jam-packed with incredible historical facts and even more amazing life stories.


This is fourth book in the ‘Corpse Talk’ series, which unearths dead amazing details from historically famous people throughout history. Some of the interviews from this book have been previously featured in the weekly story comic, ‘The Phoenix’ but his book brings them all together and adds so much more. Due to the humorous nature and engaging comic book style, this book is hard to put down. Perfect for reluctant readers, history buffs and lovers of stories that empower attitudes of independence, confidence, and brilliance among young women- and men!


This is a great text for any KS2 library shelf. It’s perfect as a research resource and as a starting point for further investigation. Take a more detailed look into some of these incredible lives, the geography and history surrounding them. Readers could find their own incredible characters to make their own ‘Ground-Breaking’ history book, writing their own reports or interviews. They could also write narratives imagining what it would be like to step into the shoes of their favourite characters.

The Phoenix Presents…Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Women

Adam and Lisa Murphy

David Fickling Books ISBN: 978-1910989609

The North Somerset Teachers' Book Award 2016

What an amazing day! The second North Somerset Teachers' Book Award ceremony was held at Bournville Primary School in Weston and it was made so special by all the lovely people who attended.

The day started with the JAB team setting up. The rain had stopped and everyone was in excellent spirits as we unloaded cake, cake and more cake from our cars. Having learned from last year, all the balloons ended up on the tables instead of some floating against the very high hall ceiling!

The awards were ready and the golden envelopes were sealed and in place on the table.

Special 'cake' thanks must go to Torie (ably supported by her parents!) for her wonderful cupcakes. Our little owl looked amazing and was much admired.

Even the books were in party mood!

The celebrations started with ...cake! Everyone had a lovely time, chatting and getting to know each other. Books were bought and signed. Messages from classes were passed to our visitors and some amazing pictures were drawn!

And then the awards were announced!

Michelle Robinson was delighted to win the Picture Book Category for 'A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting'. She commented on how wonderful it was to have won an award voted for by teachers and how amazing it was to have won against such tough competition. Michelle said she was working on the next book in the series- 'A Beginner's Guide to Dinosaurs'. At this point, there was a spoiler from the audience- her son told us that the book after was 'A Beginner's Guide to Aliens'!

Martin Impey accepted the award for the Poetry Category which he won with Hilary Robinson. He illustrated the gorgeous, 'Flo of the Somme' which was written by Hilary, who was not able to attend. Martin spoke very movingly about those who gave their lives in conflicts and the two great uncles who had inspired the series. Martin thanked Kibo, a dog from the local garden centre, who modelled as Flo and who is now famous- but doesn't know he is famous for being a girl!

The Read Aloud Category was won by Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey. No one was more excited than Phoenix, Swapna's number one fan- and son! They were delighted to have won and said how pleased they were that 'Dave' is being enjoyed in schools. They were also thrilled to have broken their short list curse and to be taking home an award.

'Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure' won the Information Category and Ben Newman accepted the award for himself and co-author, Dominic Walliman. Ben commented on how exhasted he is after spending a couple of hours in school when on a visit and recognised the commitment of teachers who work with classes day in and day out. He was delighted that Professor Astro Cat is being read and used by teachers.

Nicky Singer was very touched tohave won the 'Moving On' category with her novel, Island. She said how grateful she was that, after all the negative comments about her book from publishers, teachers and librarians recognised the fact that today's children are not too stupid to understand the complex issues tackled in her story. She also thanked and praised her illustrator, Chris Riddell, who has generously asked that any procceds from the book due to him, be donated to Greenpeace.

The Quality Fiction Category was won by 'Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot' by Horatio Clare who, unfortunately, was unable to attend. He is thrilled to have won, however, and Penny, from Firefly Press, on hearing Aubrey had won, rang us after the ceremony to express her delight .

Everyone who attended was amazing! The quality of books on the short list is incredible and we urge everyone to read as many as possible and share them!

Thank you to Bournville Primary for letting us host the awards in your school.

Thank you to Waterstones for providing books for our bookshop.

Thank you to the wonderful children who presented the awards: William and Jessica, Guy, Erin, Henry, Lily and Nathaniel.

Thanks to JAB!

But most of all, thank you so much to all our amazing authors and illustrators for attending; it was a real joy to meet you and share the afternoon with you. Thank you for your wonderful books.

We're now on the look out for next year's award! What will we discover?