This year’s theme was ‘Secrets and Lies’

2018 Award Ceremony

On 27th March 2018 the annual SESTBA Celebration Evening was held at Kent College.

The culmination of six months reading on the theme of “Secrets and Lies”. It was a fantastic event full of bookish enthusiasm, celebrating the joys of reading with competitions, dressing up, book browsing & buying and two fabulous Guest Authors, Patrice Lawrence and Juno Dawson. The winning books, announced with our traditional thunderous SESTBA drum roll at the end of the evening, were Wolf Wilder in the Teen category and The Art of Being Normal in the Young Adult category.

2018 Guest Authors

This year we were absolutely delighted to welcome two prominent shortlisted authors to our SESTBA Celebration Evening. Juno Dawson (author of Margot and Me) spoke about the challenges of writing her first historical novel while Patrice Lawrence (author of Orangeboy) entertained us with tales of how her book got it’s name and the experience of having her debut novel published to such critical acclaim. Both authors then held an absolutely fascinating Q&A answering with admirable frankness some searching and wide-ranging questions from the audience. Thanks for being amazing, Juno and Patrice!

“Secrets and Lies kill relationships. No matter how careful you are, you will get caught.”
Or, will you………..?

If you are a student from one of the participating schools and want to post a review yourself just click here to send it to us.

The shortlist and winners

Young Adult Books 2018

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he's gay. The school bully thinks he's a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth - David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal - to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long ...
Exposure by Helen Dunmore
The Cold War is at its height, and a spy may be a friend or neighbour, colleague or lover.
At the end of a suburban garden, in the pouring rain, a woman buries a briefcase deep in the earth.
She believes that she is protecting her family.
What she will learn is that no one is immune from betrayal or the devastating consequences of exposure.
By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt
Holly is fifteen years old, but she’s only been “Holly” for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. All, that is, except her sister Katie, who is autistic. Starting at a new school mid-term is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is any more. Lonely and angry, she reaches out to friends – new and old. But one wrong move will put all their lives in danger.
A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master
An extraordinarily rich debut novel, set in India in 1947 at the time of Partition. Although the backdrop is this key event in Indian history, the novel is even more far-reaching, touching on the importance of tolerance, love and family.
The main character is Bilal, a boy determined to protect his dying father from the news of Partition - news that he knows will break his father's heart. With great spirit and determination, and with the help of his good friends, Bilal persuades others to collude with him in this deception, even printing false pages of the local newspaper to hide the ravages of unrest from his father. All that Bilal wants is for his father to die in peace. But that means Bilal has a very complicated relationship with the truth...
Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar was published in 1959, and captures brilliantly the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town. It tells the story of Billy Fisher, a Yorkshire teenager unable to stop lying - especially to his three girlfriends. Trapped by his boring job and working-class parents, Billy finds that his only happiness lies in grand plans for his future and fantastical day-dreams of the fictional country Ambrosia.

Teen books 2018

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.
When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
Margot & Me by Juno Dawson
Fliss's mum needs peace and quiet to recuperate from a long illness, so they both move to the countryside to live with Margot, Fliss's stern and bullying grandmother. Life on the farm is tough and life at school is even tougher, so when Fliss unearths Margot's wartime diary, she sees an opportunity to get her own back. But Fliss soon discovers Margot's life during the evacuation was full of adventure, mystery . . . and even passion. What's more, she learns a terrible secret that could tear her whole family apart . . .
Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence
Not cool enough, not clever enough, not street enough for anyone to notice me. I was the kid people looked straight through.NOT ANY MORE. NOT SINCE MR ORANGE.
Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise - he'll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it's been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They're after the mysterious Mr Orange, and they're going to use Marlon to get to him. Marlon's out of choices - can he become the person he never wanted to be, to protect everyone he loves?
The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
Charlie's found his secret talent: skateboarding. It's his one-way ticket to popularity. All he's got to do is practice, and nothing's going to stop him - not his clumsiness, not his overprotective mum, nothing. Except Charlie isn't the only one in his family hiding a massive secret, and his next discovery will change everything.
How do you stay on the board when your world is turned upside down?
See How They Lie by Sue Wallman
Mae feels lucky to have grown up at Hummingbird Creek, an elite wellness retreat where rich teens with psychological problems can get the help they need from her father, a prominent psychiatrist. The Creek has world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments. Every aspect of daily life is monitored for optimal health, and there are strict rules for everyone. When Mae is caught breaking the rules, the response is severe. She starts to question everything about her highly controlled life. And at the Creek, asking questions can be dangerous

Why don’t you join in the fun too?

We would love to welcome other South East secondary schools to our book award!
Pooling our ideas, experience, resources and enthusiasm is a great way to introduce reading for pleasure activities into your school
or take them to the next level.
Contact us via the link below if you would like to find out more about how to join in the fun.