This is an archive of the 2008 award. Go to this year's award

925 reviews received
Write a review

Books - The 2008 Shortlist

The London Eye Mystery

  • Dowd, Siobhan. The London Eye Mystery. David Fickling, 2007. ISBN 9780385612661

The London Eye Mystery

  • Siobhan Dowd
  • When I started reading it I couldn't stop — Olutola from La Retraite

    At first I thought it would be the typical mystery book... but this book was completely different... I like the fact that none of the characters are perfect and they all have something about their personalities that is quite annoying but very likeable — Rachael from St Martin-in-the-Fields

  • Write your own review of The London Eye Mystery and give it a star rating!
  • The London Eye Mystery won the Bisto Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Award!
  • When Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye, he turned and waved before getting on. But after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off - but no Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air?

    So Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery.

    This is an unputdownable spine-tingling thriller - a race against time.

Dino Egg

  • James, Charlie. Dino Egg. Bloomsbury, 2008. ISBN 9780747592266

Dino Egg

  • Charlie James
  • I like the jokes and the tongue-twisters — Joana from La Retraite

    It can really relate to children by using slang and descriptive words and using brackets to explain the words — Simmone from La Retraite

    This is a book that I would take anywhere boring because it's an entertaining book which would spice up my boring day — Onyeka from La Retraite

  • Write your own review of Dino Egg and give it a star rating!
  • Charlie James' first novel Fish won the 2007 Phoenix Book Award!
  • OK. Here's a question: if an egg hatched into a dinosaur on your kitchen table, would you: Lock it up in a secure room, and then run for the hills as fast as you could? Or hide it from Mum and try to keep it as a pet?

    It is Ned's bad luck that his brother Bill decides to go for option 'b'. So when a seemingly innocent boiled egg on the breakfast table starts to shake, change colour and say 'cheep' and then hatch out a dinosaur, it is up to Ned to try to shake some sense into his totally irresponsible brother, all the while keeping his eagle-eyed mum in the dark...

A Nest of Vipers

  • Johnson, Catherine. A Nest of Vipers. Corgi Children's, 2008. ISBN 9780552557627

A Nest of Vipers

  • Catherine Johnson
  • I like the way Catherine Johnson started the beginning when Cato is in prison and we start to think about how he got in there and why. We start to find out about his past. — Cassandra from St Martin-in-the-Fields

    The characters are interesting and well developed — Xizi from St Martin-in-the-Fields

  • Write your own review of A Nest of Vipers and give it a star rating!
  • A Nest of Vipers was chosen as the Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week!
  • Cato Hopkins is the youngest member of Mother Hopkins's 'family' - a group of skilled fraudsters and pickpockets. There's Addy, who can become a very convincing boy when she needs to; the beautiful Bella, who can charm any rich young man out of his fortune; Sam, an escaped slave and Cato himself, a young boy, who Mother Hopkins has taught everything she knows.

    But old age is slowing Mother Hopkins down, and she wants to carry out one last con, a con to outdo all the cons that have gone before. And so the gang set about bringing ruin upon Captain Walker, a proud and cruel slave captain, who deserves to be taught a lesson or two...
RSS Feed


Dan Smith wins 2017 Phoenix Book Award for Boy X

Huge congratulations to Dan Smith who won the Phoenix Book Award 2017 for Boy X!

On 4th May 2017 students from Elmgreen, Dunraven, Lilian Baylis, La Retraite, Streatham & Clapham High School and Platenos gathered at The Norwood School for the much anticipated finale celebration.

It was a fantastic morning filled with student presentations, film and drama. We were very lucky to have two of the shortlisted authors, Dan Smith and Katherine Woodfine, in attendance. Both gave fantastic presentations on their love of reading, their books and inspirations.

We were also very honoured to host Mayor Marcia Cameron who delivered an inspiring speech on her love for reading before handing out prizes and certificates to the students.

All 4 of the shortlisted books had been thoroughly enjoyed by the book groups - but the winner, as voted for by the students, is the gripping thriller Boy X by Dan Smith!

Message from Dan:

"These kinds of awards always mean so much because the readers choose their favourite books, write reviews, and vote for the winner. In the case of the Phoenix Book Award, the students even choose the shortlist. On the day, the students were amazing - different schools championed different books, giving presentations, showing films, and there was even a short piece of drama written especially for the occasion! And when it was time to announce the winner, it was so exciting to hear Boy X being called out! The students were fantastic, the organisation was perfect, and it was a huge honour to win. Thank you to everyone who voted for Boy X - the trophy is now proudly displayed on my bookshelf."

Photos from the event can be found in our Photo Gallery.

Dan Smith's response to 2017 shortlist place

DAN SMITH SAYS: "I am honoured and thrilled that Boy X has been shortlisted for the Phoenix Book Award! I wrote the book in the hope that younger readers would enjoy the adventure, so it's especially exciting to be shortlisted for an award like this - where the younger readers are in charge and they get to choose and vote for their favourites!"

G R Gemin's response to 2017 shortlist place

G R GEMIN SAYS: "When you write a book you are communicating, but you never know how your writing will be received by readers. So when Sweet Pizza was shortlisted for the Lambeth Phoenix Award it made all the hard work worthwhile.

I believe the book has an important message for its readers, which is we all have a story, and that history does not necessarily begin in the country in which we are born. We all have histories: our parents, grandparents and carers all have their stories which are important to know and remember. In the story of Sweet Pizza Joe finds out about the history of his grandfather and great grandfather. You too can do the same - you can ask your parents and grandparents or carers about their stories, their histories. It is called oral history. It is just as vital as the many history books and stories that you will come to know through your school work and research.

So I invite you to find out about your family histories and record them in a document, on paper or on computer, because I guarantee that as you grow older you will be glad you did it, as it will be a record that is unique to you and your family for years to come.

Thank you for shortlisting Sweet Pizza, I'm really sorry I can't be at the award event but I wish you enjoyment in reading and discovering all there is to know about your families and where you come from."

Robert Beatty's response to 2017 shortlist place

ROBERT BEATTY SAYS: "Thank you so much for nominating Serafina and the Black Cloak for the 2017 Lambeth Phoenix Book Award. I am so pleased and honored that the first book in the Serafina Series is one of your favorite books this year. I wrote Serafina and the Black Cloak with my daughters when they were 10 and 12 years old. They helped me to create the Serafina character and the story. They were very excited to hear about being nominated for this award. So, thank you for that.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please be sure to watch the book trailers for the first two books in the series. My family and I made these trailers near our home where the books are set. My wife made the beautiful costumes, my younger daughter plays the Serafina role, and my older daughter plays the role of Lady Rowena (book 2). We even used our dog in the trailer! :)

Good luck in the final phase of Book Award process. We look forward to learning the results. And best of luck with your studies and the remainder of the school year.

2017 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2017 Phoenix Book Award has been announced. Please visit our Books page for full details.

Lambeth pupils vote for 2015 Winner on Election Day!


2015 Winner

Lambeth pupils voted on election day!

They shortlisted the books, read and reviewed the shortlisted titles and on election day 7th May 2015 these Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils came together to vote for their favourite and select the winner:

Wild Boy and the Black Terror by Rob Lloyd Jones

Congratulations to Rob who has now won the Phoenix Award 2 years in a row!

This exciting and unique South London based Book Prize targets Year 5, 6, 7 and 8 pupils in Lambeth, encouraging them to read through the transition years.

Taking part this year were Public Library Chatterbooks groups, 3 primary schools and 9 secondary schools (Streatham Wells, Durand Primary, Streatham and Clapham High School Primary, La Retraite, Norwood, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Archbishop Tenison, London Nautical, Bishop Thomas Grant, City Heights, Lilian Baylis, Dunraven).

Pupils from 6 of the schools attended the finale event to discuss the books, meet one of the authors – Paul Bryers – and vote for their favourite. The verdict:

“the event was a brilliant success, fantastically organised and paced and the students enjoyed it enormously!”
Lilian Baylis Technology School

“such a wonderful event yesterday. Our students had a brilliant time - it is such a fantastic initiative to take part in. They were all especially pleased with their prizes.”
Norwood School

Paul Bryers confirms attendance at 2015 Finale, responds to being shortlisted

Paul Bryers has confirmed that he will be attending our 2015 Finale event.

Here is his response on on being a shortlist nominee:

"Delighted and honoured that Spooked - the Haunting of Kit Connelly has been shortlisted for the Phoenix Award - most particularly welcome to me because I've been welcomed at so many schools and libraries in Lambeth over the years."

Paul's agent posted the following message on their website (The BIA):

"THRILLED to announce that Spooked, the Haunting of Kit Connelly by Paul Bryers has been shortlisted by the wonderful librarians of Lambeth for the prestigious Lambeth Phoenix Book Award."

A Big Thank You

We would like to thank publishers for their submissions (see list below). Special thanks to Lori Tait from Bounce Sales and Marketing for organising collections and contacting publishers.

Publishers: Barrington Stoke, Boxer Books, Catnip, Chicken House, Gecko Press, Hachette, Hodder, Jane Nissen Books, Nosy Crow, Phoenix Book Yard, Pushkin Press, Walker Books

Pea Green Boat Books to take part in 2015 Finale Event

Pea Green Boat BooksPea Green Boat Books is delighted to take part in the Phoenix Book Awards at St Martins in the Fields School on 7th May 2015! To celebrate we will be offering 10% off all books by the shortlisted authors and previous Phoenix Award winners. Check the Finale Event information to find out which authors will be joining us to sign and personally dedicate their books.

Order shortlisted books at special rates from Dulwich Books

We are grateful to Dulwich Books for supplying the shortlisted books to participating schools for £20 per set of 4 titles. Please e-mail or phone 020-8670-1920 and quote "Phoenix Award 2015".

2015 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2015 Phoenix Book Award has just been announced. Please visit our website for full details.

2014 Winner Announced

The 2014 Phoenix Book Award has been won by Rob Lloyd Jones, author of Wild Boy. Rob was present at our Finale event at Archbishop Tenison School on 1st May 2014. Many congratulations to Rob! A photo of Rob receiving his award can be found on our photos page.

Clementine Beauvais' response to 2014 shortlist place

I'm ecstatic to hear about my Sesame's first award nomination - and to see that she's up against such worthy rivals. I hope she inspires many Lambeth readers to become supersleuths on rollerskates, as it's a pretty exciting career path and hardly perilous at all. Happy reading!

Rob Lloyd Jones's response to 2014 shortlist place

Rob Lloyd Jones writes: “I'm absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for the 2014 Lambeth Phoenix Award for my mystery tale Wild Boy. Lambeth has been my home for the past decade, so it's a special delight for Wild Boy to be nominated for this award.”

Keith Gray's response to 2014 shortlist place

Keith Gray writes: “I’ve never killed anyone. I’ve never seen a ghost. But I have been hit on the head by a cricket bat. I was 12 and on the school playing field when Richard Morten threw it, and although he wasn’t aiming for me it smacked me good and proper on the back of the head - knocked me off my feet and raised a planet-sized lump. At the time I wanted to smack Richard Morten right back. It goes without saying that I wasn’t happy with him for a long time after that. I never invited him round my house to watch videos, never sat next to him in lessons, never joined in a game of football, rugby, cricket, whatever if I had to be on his team. Yet, now, maybe Richard did me a favour. If he hadn’t thrown that cricket bat, if it hadn’t hit me, maybe I would never have had the idea for You Killed Me!. Maybe I would never have written the book. Meaning it would definitely never have been lucky enough to be shortlisted for the brilliant Phoenix Book Award. And I’m hugely, massively enormously, chuffed my book is shortlisted. So, thanks, Richard. It’s weird how things turn out.”

Christopher Edge's response to 2014 shortlist place

Christopher Edge writes: “That's wonderful news about Shadows of the Silver Screen being shortlisted for the Lambeth Phoenix Award... I hope all the students taking part enjoy reading Shadows of the Silver Screen as well as the other shortlisted books.”

2014 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2014 Phoenix Book Award has just been announced. Please visit our website for full details.

2013 Winner Announced

The winner of the 2013 Lambeth Phoenix Book Award is Jonathan Meres for his book May Contain Nuts (The World of Norm). On receiving this news Jonathan said:

“It's an absolute honour and a genuine thrill to have won The 2013 Phoenix Book Award with my book, The World Of Norm May Contain Nuts. Thank you so much to all those who voted for me. In fact thank you so much to everyone who voted - whether it was for me or one of the other authors. The main thing is that you took the time to actually do it. Happy reading.” — Johnny Meres

The announcement was made on World Book Day 2013 at Clapham Library. Children’s author, journalist and theatre critic Lyn Gardner was interviewed by performance artist and literature consultant Sandra Agard. Certificates were awarded for Best Book Review and Special Effort. Some students produced video, performance and drama pieces based on the books read.

This truly was a magnificent day enjoyed by all.

Some photos from the event can be seen on our photos page.

2013 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2013 Phoenix Book Award has just been announced. Please visit our website for full details.

2012 Winner Announced

The winner of the 2012 Phoenix Book Award is Lincoln Peirce's Big Nate: The Boy with the Biggest Head in the World. Many thanks to Lambeth Public Libraries for hosting the event at Brixton Library, and to Sandra Davidson, Children's and Young Persons' Librarian, for all her hard work in the organisation of the event.

Please visit our photo gallery to view photos from the event.

Lincoln Peirce sent a special message to students who took part in the award and voted for his book.

2012 Shortlist Announced

The timetable for the Phoenix Book Award has changed, so there will be no award in 2011.

The 2012 shortlist has just been announced (Autumn 2011), and School Librarians and Teachers are busy preparing to take part.

In January and February 2012, Lambeth pupils from years 6 and 7 will be reading, reviewing and discussing the books.

In March 2012 we will be holding our Finale Event, with fun and goodies, and the VOTE for the winning book!

The shortlisted books are:

These were selected by pupils from St Martin-in-the-Fields School Readers' Club and other schools from the 2011 "Booked Up" reading list. Pupils were asked to think about which books would appeal to Year 6 and Year 7 pupils, some of whom might be reluctant readers; which books would get these pupils excited about reading; and what could be a potential WINNER.

Find out which of the shortlisted titles will win by attending the Finale Event to be hosted by Lambeth Libraries on World Book Day, 1 March 2012 - check back here for details or e-mail us via the contact page on our website.

David Walliams wins 2010 Award for MR STINK

The winner of the 2010 Phoenix Book Award is David Walliams for the book Mr Stink.

The winner was announced at the Finale Event at Lilian Baylis Technology School on 8th December 2010.

View gallery of photos from the Finale event

2010 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2010 Phoenix Book Award has been announced. The three books which made it to the shortlist are:

Frank Cottrell Boyce wins 2009 Award for COSMIC

The winner of the 2009 Phoenix Book Award is Frank Cottrell Boyce with the book Cosmic.

Pupils from 10 different Lambeth schools read the three books on the shortlist this year, with more than 100 reviews posted on the website. The finale event was held on 9th December at Lilian Baylis School: 250 voted for their favourite book and a number of prizes were awarded by the Mayor of Lambeth to the best book reviewers.

Thanks to Lambeth Public Libraries and Kids' Company, every student also received a free book.

Photos from the event can be found on our Photo Gallery page.

2009 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2009 Phoenix Book Award has been announced. The three books which made it to the shortlist are:

Charlie James wins 2008 Award for DINO EGG

The winner of the 2008 Phoenix Book Award is Charlie James for Dino Egg.

250 pupils read the three books on the shortlist and many of them posted reviews on the website and attended the finale event on 9th December, which included voting for their favourite book, getting prizes for the best reviews and hearing from two of the shortlisted authors.

Thank you to Barclays Bank for funding the 2008 Award and congratulations to this year's winner!

2008 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2008 Phoenix Book Award has been announced. The three books which made it to the shortlist are:

New Website Launched

A brand new website for the Phoenix Book Award has just been launched. Designed and built by Intexta Web Services, who have also been responsible for the Doncaster and Southwark Book Award websites, the new site enables pupils to find out more about the shortlisted books, submit their own reviews and give each book a star rating. It also provides information about the award for librarians, teachers and other education professionals.

Charlie James wins 2007 Award for FISH

Charlie James

Charlie James has won the 2007 Phoenix Book Award for her funny, pacy debut novel Fish. Charlie attended the Finale event at Charles Edward Brooke Lower School and said she was delighted to have won the award. Fish has also been awarded the Fantastic Book Award by Lancashire School Library Service. Charlie James's hilarious sequel to Fish, Dino Egg, is on the Phoenix Book Award 2008 shortlist.

RSS Feed Microformats


4 May 2017
2017 Finale

The The Phoenix Book Award 2017 finale will take place on 4th May 2017 at The Norwood School.

The Phoenix Book Award 2017 Finale

7 May 2015
2015 Finale Event

The 2015 Phoenix Book Award Finale event took place at St Martin-in-the-Fields School on Election Day, 7th May 2015. See our News section for the announcement of the winner, and our Photos page for a selection of photos from the event!

2015 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

1 May 2014
2014 Finale Event

The 2014 Awards ceremony will be kindly hosted at Archbishop Tenison School on Wednesday 1st May 2014 for participating students.

Authors Christopher Edge and Rob Lloyd Jones have confirmed that they will be attending the ceremony.

Further information TBC.

2014 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

28 Apr 2014
Voting Closes

Voting for the 2014 Phoenix Book Award closes at 5.00 p.m. on Friday 28th April 2014. You can vote for your favourite book via participating Lambeth secondary schools or your local Lambeth library, or e-mail your vote to

2014 Phoenix Book Award Voting Closes

7 Mar 2013
2013 Finale Event

The 2013 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event will take place at the new Clapham Library on World Book Day, Thursday 7th March 2013, from 1 pm until 3 pm.

2013 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

1 Mar 2012
2012 Finale Event

The 2012 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event was hosted by Lambeth Libraries on World Book Day, 1st March 2012.

2012 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

8 Dec 2010
2010 Finale Event

The 2010 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event will take place at Lilian Baylis Technology School on Wednesday 8th December, from 10 a.m. until 12 noon.

This year's finale event will see our students involved in a debate that will decide the winner of the Phoenix Book Award 2010 as well as involving them in a number of activities and challenges!

2010 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

9 Dec 2009
2009 Finale Event

The 2009 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event will be held at Lilian Baylis Technology School, 323 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5QY. Host Librarian: Barbara Ferramosca. Many thanks to Lilian Baylis School for organising and hosting the finale.

Confirmed special guests at the finale include shortlisted author Frank Cottrell Boyce, shortlisted author Tanya Landman, and poet Chris Preddie. Local dignitaries will be invited.

At the finale there will be prizes for the best reviews of the shortlisted books and a free book for every pupil taking part.

2009 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

9 Dec 2008
2008 Finale Event

The 2008 Finale Event was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields High School on 9th December 2008. The event included short-listed authors Catherine Johnson and Charlie James, who talked about their writing, and prizes for the best reviews from each school. The winner was announced as Charlie James's Dino Egg.

2008 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

20 - 24 Oct 2008
2008 Launch

The 2008 Phoenix Book Award was launched in schools in Lambeth during the week 20th-24th October 2008.

2008 Phoenix Book Award Launch

5 Dec 2007
2007 Finale Event

The 2007 Phoenix Book Award Finale event took place in December 2007 at Charles Edward Brooke Lower School and was hosted by the Librarian, Angela Suter. Pupils from Lambeth primary and secondary schools gathered to enjoy hearing two of the shortlisted authors, Charlie James and Hazel Marshall, talk about their books. The pupils voted for their favourite to win and also enjoyed some food and presentations about the books from each group of pupils. La Retraite School Librarian Alison Bugg had worked with pupils from St Bernadette's Primary School to produce some beautiful artwork which we all appreciated. The winning book was announced as Charlie James's Fish, to enthusiastic applause from the audience. Charlie said she was delighted to have won the award.

2007 Phoenix Book Award Finale Event

Cool Ideas

  • Write a review here on the website
  • Design a film poster/advert for the book
  • Write a diary entry for one of the characters
  • Interview one of the characters
  • Research the author on the internet and prepare a presentation for the class

About the Award

The Phoenix Book Award promotes reading for pleasure among Year 6 and Year 7 pupils in the London Borough of Lambeth. Inaugurated in 2007 by the Network of Educational Librarians in Lambeth, it is arranged this year by Lambeth Lead Practitioner Karen Hans and is open to all schools in the Lambeth area.

Barclays Logo

We are very grateful to Barclays for sponsoring the books, the London Borough of Lambeth for providing funding for the website, and the Kent Book Company who supplied the books.