Authors and Illustrators

Winner of Queen of Teen 2014 – James Dawson

Now the dust has settled, the pink champagne drunk, the pink nibbles eaten, the Book People are delighted to be able to join the legions of fans, publishing professionals and young adult authors in celebrating the reign of newly crowned Queen of Teen 2014James Dawson, the award’s first male winner (or #BoyQueen on Twitter).

James Dawson - Queen of Teen 2014 | The Book People

Part of a hugely talented group of very high profile YA authors (and slightly intimidating competition, I’m sure you’d agree!), in James Dawson Queen of Teen certainly has a worthy award winner and reputable advocate for teenage readers, teen writing and UK-based children’s authors.

With stiff competition for the award including S. C. Ransom, Beth Reekles, Holly Smale, John Green, Cathy Cassidy, Tonya Hurley, Cassandra Clare, Natasha Farrant and Veronica Roth standing in his way, teen fiction fans voted in their thousands to ensure the Hollow Pike, Cruel Summer and Say Her Name author could take his rightful place on the Queen of Teen throne. With the huge success of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska in recent years – we’ll be honest – we thought this year’s award was John Green’s for the taking. The fact that the 2014 award has gone to James Dawson is not only testament to James’s talent as an author of teen thrillers, but the loyalty and hard work of his dedicated fans!

In recent years teen books have had a resurgence, with a number adapted (or currently being adapted) into very successful YA films including Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, The Giver by Lois Lowry and Queen of Teen nominee Veronica Roth’s Divergent. The success of these films has paved the way for an insurgence of interest in the gifted writing talent represented at this year’s Queen of Teen award. Teens, now more than ever, are engrossed and engaged by the magic of books: the stories they tell, the immersive worlds they create, the characters they introduce and the teen issues these characters confront and address.

And long may it continue!

If you weren’t fortunate enough to attend the Queen of Teen coronation ceremony this year, take a look at the glamorous photos on the Book People Facebook page or watch the video highlights of the event on the Book People YouTube channel.

Hail to the Queen!

The Catteshall Stroll 2014 raises money for Shooting Star Chase

The publishing world came together in the beautiful surroundings of the Book People Manor and the Surrey Hills on Saturday 5 July for the fifth annual Peter Bowron Catteshall Stroll, in aid of the children’s hospice charity Shooting Star Chase. With a walk of either 11 miles or a family stroll of 3 miles, fundraisers had the chance to get some exercise, enjoy some gorgeous views and raise money for a brilliant and important cause.

Catteshall Stroll

After the walk, teams from many different publishers and the Book People were encouraged to take part in the Catteshall Games, with canoeing (won by the Book People for the third year running…), zorbing, inflatable Gladiator-style games and a quiz all taking place. While the Games were in full swing, there was plenty of delicious food to indulge in including pizza, paella and a hog roast, while the cake tent was also busy, with hand-made treats raising plenty of money for the hospice. The Great British Bake Off’s Frances Quinn even delivered an icing master class!

A raffle took place with many one-of-a-kind prizes up for grabs and there was also fun to be had with arts, crafts and LEGO, meaning the entire family were kept entertained. There were also some very special surprise guests in the form of Peppa Pig and the Gruffalo, both of whom were happy to pose for photos with happy children (and parents) throughout the day…

Peppa Pig Catteshall Stroll

A fun day in aid of a worthy cause, the Catteshall Stroll 2014 once again raised thousands of pounds for Shooting Star Chase. To make a donation, please visit

Voting closes 8 July – Queen of Teen 2014

Hear ye, hear ye! You, the loyal subjects of the 2014 Queen of Teen nominees, haven’t long left to cast your vote to help your favourite young adult author take the throne and be crowned Queen of Teen 2014. Voting closes midnight 8 July 2014!


This year’s shortlist is a very talented and diverse one, but who deserves your vote? Will it be Beth Reekles, Cassandra Clare or does Holly Smale sound like a better choice of queen to you? Or perhaps you want to see the first male Queen of Teen in James Dawson or John Green? And we certainly shouldn’t forget Natasha Farrant, S. C. Ransom, Tonya Hurley and Veronica Roth – all very worthy prospective royals!


The most-regal children’s book award ceremony in the kingdom, Queen of Teen 2014 (hosted by the Book People) is a celebration of the incredible authors that YOU love. Place your vote here and have your say! Remember, voting closes midnight 8 July – so act fast to ensure you’re favourite teen author is proudly crowned Queen of Teen.

Book benches!

Launched by the National Literacy Trust in a celebration of reading, classic scenes and iconic characters from books will be seen on benches throughout London in the coming months. The striking benches will then be auctioned at London’s Southbank Centre in October to raise funds to tackle illiteracy in deprived communities across the UK.


Designed to look like open books, the campaign will celebrate everything from Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels to Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, alongside the likes of classic authors Jules Verne, Oscar Wilde and Lewis Carroll. Favourites like Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean are also featured as well as Paddington Bear and War Horse.


With the film adaptation of How to Train Your Dragon 2 due in cinemas soon, Cressida Cowell’s bestselling series is also given the bench makeover treatment. Sure to delight fans of Hiccup, Toothless and co, this is a great way to mark what is sure to be one of the hit films of the summer – and encourage children to read the further adventures in this exciting series.

The benches are brilliantly designed in association with the authors and world class illustrators, offer eye-catching photo opportunities and provide a great way for readers of all ages to rejoice in their favourite novels and perhaps pick up one of those books that have been on their ‘to-read’ lists for a while.

See some of the book benches on the Telegraph here.

Read more about the book benches on the BBC here.

Guest blog: Firm favourites from young adult fiction

Abby, currently on work experience with us here at the Book People, talks about some of her favourite young adult stories, from classics to  contemporary books she believes will soon be considered so,  in this guest blog:

‘While I will read practically any book put in front of me from the trashiest chick lit to ‘On The Origin Of Species’, there are a few firm favourites that I come back to time and time again. These well-thumbed volumes are kept in pride of place on my book shelf and are perfect for those evenings when I just want to return to something I know and love. These are also the books that I recommend to any friend who shows a passing interest in books and reading- and just so will I recommend them to you!


To Kill A Mockingbird’ was the contemporary novel I studied during the second year of my English Literature GCSE and it was then that I fell in love with Scout, Atticus and Jem’s story. A true modern classic, To Kill A Mockingbird discusses the topics of prejudice and justice in 1930s American society and was awarded a Pulitzer prize a year after publication for its mature discussion of contemporary issues. This book is brilliant in so many ways and is an obligatory growing-up novel.


Although every Young Adult bookshelf is teeming with Science Fiction, ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ by Madeleine L’Engle should be a staple. Telling the story of Meg Murry’s extraordinary adventure to find her father, the book is never predictable, always exciting and definitely worth a read.


Amid the huge media storm that surrounded the film release, I decided to read ‘Life Of Pi’ and find out whether it was worth the hype or the million dollar-animated tiger. Well- the short answer is yes. Pi, an Indian boy, during his family’s voyage to a new life in Canada, is marooned as the lone survivor of a ship wreck… apart from a tiger, an orangutan, a zebra and a hyena. While the book is engaging in itself, it also promotes a thought-provoking discussion on religion at its conclusion. Anyone who fancies something a little different this summer should give this inspiring book a go.


Teenage life means something different for everyone but for Adrian Mole, it means unrequited love, pimples and bad (but extremely pretentious) poetry. ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾’ is one of the funniest books I’ve read, and may have inspired a couple of bad diaries and awful verses!


Everyone had heard of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ after John Green landed an incredible movie deal starring Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley; but in my opinion, many are missing out on John Green’s finest work, his debut novel: ‘Looking For Alaska. Many of my friends have heard me wax lyrical on the story of Miles Halter, a boy with a thirst for biographies, last words and something new. He finds all of these things and more when he joins Culver Creek, in pursuit of ‘the Great Perhaps’ which is embodied by his new friend, Alaska Green. As a book that manages to be well written and poignant, inspiring and funny: it should also be on your book list.#


Before I Die’ is as much of a tear jerker as it sounds, telling the story of a leukaemia sufferer with just a few months left to live. However, it is also delivered with energy and wit which carries the story through the final difficult months of Tessa’s illness. A poignant and moving novel, I would definitely recommend it to fans of Jodi Picoult and The Fault In Our Stars.

The world of Young Adult fiction is constantly growing and evolving with new titles being released every day. But if you’re looking for a starting point among that mound of fiction, here it is.’

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