Winner of the 2024 Brilliant Book Award

Chosen by children across a range of Surrey schools, this year's winner was Wild Oak by C.C. Harrington.

The award ceremony was held at Guildford High School on Wednesday 26th June. Read more about the day

Wild Oak

C.C. Harrington

Published by: Chicken House

The Big Freeze 1963

Maggie’s stutter makes going to school hard. She will do almost anything to avoid speaking in class – even if that leads to trouble.

Sent to stay in the depths of Cornwall with a grandfather she barely knows, Maggie discovers an abandoned snow leopard hiding in the nearby Wildoak Forest.

Sheltered by the ancient trees, the two of them build an understanding in secret. But when the cub is spotted by local villagers, danger follows - threatening everything she has come to believe in.

Can Maggie find an answer before time runs out - not just for the cub, but for herself and the forest as well?

The Rest of the 2024 Short List

Zo And The Forest of Secrets 

Alake Pilgrim

Published by: Knights of Media

When Zo decides to run away from home, she isn't scared; after all, she knows the island like the back of her hand. But, as she journeys through the once-familiar forest, terrifying creatures and warped visions begin to emerge. With a beast on her heels and a lost boy thrown into her path, could a mysterious abandoned facility hold answers?

Zo must unravel the secrets of the forest before she is lost in them forever...


Wider Than The Sea

Serena Molloy 

Published by: Hodder Childrens Books

Ró finds school impossible. She knows people think she's shy - and stupid. But when she goes to the bay each afternoon to watch the dolphin leap through the water, she finds the strength to keep going. Then the dolphin disappears, and everything starts falling apart.

Safiyyah's War

Hiba Noor Khan

Published by: Andersen Press

War comes to the streets of Paris and Safiyyah's life changes for ever.

Her best friend's family have fled and the bombing makes her afraid to leave the mosque where she lives. But when her father is arrested by the Nazis for his Resistance work, it falls to Safiyyah to run the dangerous errands around the city.

It's not long before hundreds of persecuted Jews seek sanctuary at the mosque. Can Safiyyah find the courage to enter the treacherous catacombs under Paris and lead the Jews to safety?

This is a a story of hope and togetherness in the face of great dangers.



The Nowhere Thief

Alice Ross

Published by: Nosy Crow

Twelve-year-old Elsbeth has discovered an extraordinary power: she can travel to parallel worlds and bring objects back with her. But at what cost?

As freak weather events become more frequent and a strange boy, Idris, start to turn up everywhere she travels, the world she knows begins to close and collapse around her.

Enjoy this mind-bending multiverse adventure about theft, family, and finding your home, from the FT's Alice Ross.

Fans of Christopher Edge, Ross Welford and Jessica Townsend will love this fast-paced story and mind-blowing plot!