UPDATE: The winning book has now been announced! Read about the results in our latest post.


We’re excited to be launching this year’s Laurus Trust Book Awards (LTBAs). Five books are shortlisted, but which book will win…?

At the Laurus Trust, reading is at the heart of the curriculum.

A child who reads independently for pleasure is one who is likely to experience academic success as well as a huge host of benefits to their health, well-being and personal development.

Our Trust Librarians all share the same goal: to immerse students in a reading culture that creates and develops impassioned young readers.

We believe books have the power to open up new worlds, broaden perspectives, and transform lives.

As such, the Laurus Trust Librarians are thrilled to announce the return of the Laurus Trust Book Awards (LTBAs), and to welcome Priestnall School to the scheme!

The scheme aims to introduce students to some of the best new writing on offer, with the prestigious ‘LTBA’ awarded annually to the author of an outstanding book written for young people within the last two years.

Students have many opportunities to get involved, whether that’s through lessons, Electives, author talks, competitions, or through LTBA events happening in the library!

The five fantastic books on the shortlist have been nominated by Trust Librarians in consultation with students and cater to a wide range of interests and reading abilities.


The Shortlisted Books

The five books in the running this year are:

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

Nominated by Hazel Grove High School (Miss Hughes)

A fact card about a book nominated for the Laurus Trust Libraries Book Award 2023-2024: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree Blurb Reads: After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream - opening the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old rivals and new stand in the way of success - not to mention no one knows what coffee actually is! But the true rewards of an uncharted path are the travellers you meet along the way. Whether bound by ancient magic, delicious pastries or a freshly brewed cup, they may become something deeper than Viv ever could have imagined… Genre: Fantasy Themes: Friendship, Relationships, Identity, Ambitions. Why this book? High fantasy, low stakes. Legends and Lattes is just what you need after a stressful day. The world is rich and consuming, and the characters are so lovable It feels like being part of a family. A great book to read with a coffee and a cake. - Miss Hughes (HGHS)


Speak Up! by Rebecca Burgess

Nominated by Laurus Ryecroft (Miss Hampson)

A fact card about a book nominated for the Laurus Trust Libraries Book Award 2023-2024: Speak Up! by Rebecca Burgess Blurb Reads: Twelve-year-old Mia is struggling to navigate a world that doesn't always understand her true autistic self. Alongside her best friend Charlie, Mia expresses herself through singing and songwriting. Together they've taken the internet by storm - little do Mia's classmates know that she's the viral singer Elle-Q! But while the chance to perform live for a local talent show has Charlie excited, Mia isn't so sure. Will Mia let her worries about what other people think get in the way of not only her friendship with Charlie, but showing everyone who she is and what she has to say? Genre: Graphic, Realistic Themes: Neurodiversity, Bullying, Identity, Music, Friendship. Why this book? A cutesy, fun graphic novel which explores neurodiversity & identity. Written by an autistic creator, this book is deeply heart-warming. Mia finds it hard to make friends and be herself in a world that tells her being herself isn't the right way to be. When Mia enters a talent competition with her best friend Charlie, will she be brave enough to face the people who don't believe in her and prove them all wrong? - Miss Hampson (LR)


This Book Kills by Ravena Guron

Nominated by Didsbury High School (Miss McMillan)

 A fact card about a book nominated for the Laurus Trust Libraries Book Award 2023-2024: This Book Kills by Ravena Guron Blurb reads: When Hugh Henry Van Boren, one of the most popular kids in school, is found dead, the student body is left to wonder who the murderer could be. Jess, a scholarship student under strict instructions to keep her record clean, finds herself at the centre of the investigation when it's revealed that Hugh died in the exact same way as a character in a short story she wrote. When Jess receives an anonymous text thanking her for the inspiration, she knows that if she doesn't solve this mystery she'll finally have something in common with Hugh Henry. She'll be dead too. Genre: Thriller Themes: Revenge, Murder, Racism, Classism, Wealth Why this book? Imagine writing a gruesome murder mystery... only for it to come true! When Jess receives a text from a copy-cat killer thanking her for inspiration, she finds herself at the centre of a horrible crime. This book will keep you guessing (and gasping!) with every page, as secrets, scandals, romances and revenge are all brought into the light. Can you figure out the killer before Jess? - Miss McMillan (DHS)


Let’s Play Murder by Kesia Lupo

Nominated by Cheadle Hulme High School (Mrs Bond)

 A fact card about a book nominated for the Laurus Trust Libraries Book Award 2023-2024: Let's Play Murder by Kesia Lupo Blurb reads: Veronica wakes up trapped with four strangers in a manor house in a snowstorm with a dead body, a mystery right out of an Agatha Christie novel. It feels so real - but it isn't. This is VR and this is THE Game; an Easter Egg hidden in other VR games that draws you into a competition for a prize beyond your wildest dreams. But something is not right in the VR world. There are blackouts, glitches, and a mysterious figure haunting their footsteps. When a player suddenly dies, and also dies in real life, all hell breaks loose. This may not be a game Veronica wanted to play, but it's one that she has to win - or die trying. Genre: Thriller Themes: Technology, Murder, Trust, Betrayal Why this book? Welcome to 'The Game', a dark web virtual reality competition unlike any other. The prize is to have your deepest and darkest wishes come true but, for that to happen, you must first solve a murder and compete against the other players before everyone's time runs out. Imagine an Escape Room with a 'One of Us is Lying' twist and you're half-way there. - Mrs Bond (CHHS)


Ravencave by Marcus Sedgwick

Nominated by Laurus Cheadle Hulme (Mrs Pope) and Priestnall School (Mrs Hipkins)

 A fact card about a book nominated for the Laurus Trust Libraries Book Award 2023-2024: Ravencave by Marcus Sedgwick Blurb reads: On holiday in Yorkshire, James is bored out of his mind being dragged around various old ruins as his dad tries to trace his family's roots. Then one day as his parents bicker and his moody teenage brother ignores him, James hears strange laughter echoing around the halls. The ghost of a young girl appears to him and urges James to follow her, but at first he's too afraid. When she appears again, this time James follows. But will he be able to face the terrible truth she reveals? Genre: Horror Themes: Family, Technology, Death, Ancestry Why this book? Ravencave is a gripping and atmospheric ghost story. The tension builds as the Yorkshire countryside gradually reveals its mysteries and secrets. This may be a short story, but it packs a huge punch! - Mrs Pope (LCH) & Mrs Hipkins (PRS)


Through the LTBAs, we aim to excite and inspire students, create conversations around reading, and instil a life-long love of literature.

The winner of the Laurus Trust Libraries Book Award will be revealed at the beginning of Term 3.

Until then, we extend a warm invitation to the entire Trust community to borrow, read and discuss our five brilliant shortlisted titles.

Here’s to another year embracing the magic of books!


Interested in the LTBA Elective?

The LTBA Elective will begin in January and is open to all KS3.

You’ll have the chance to read, rate and discuss all the shortlisted books in much more depth.

LTBA Elective students will also have the chance to get involved in organising a celebratory end of year event where the winning title will be crowned!


Keep up to date with the LTBAs and all things reading by following the Laurus Ryecroft Library Instagram and Twitter accounts!