Tower Hamlets Book Award 2021

About the Book Award

The annual Tower Hamlets Book Award is just one of the exciting events made possible through subscriptions to the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services.

The Book Award is for pupils aged 10 to 13 (Year 5 and up). The aim is to encourage children to read, to bring children together to enable debate and discussion about books and to encourage children to share the pleasure of reading.

You can shadow the Book Award in small or not-so-small groups. Have a look at the award timeline below for some ideas of activities.

Congratulations to Joseph Coelho!

Joseph became the 15th author to win the coveted Tower Hamlets Book Award for Zombierella

Brilliantly illustrated by Freya Hartas, this alternative fairytale which proved a hit with both primary and secondary school pupils shadowing and voting in the award.




The finale!

Canary Wharf group – as well as buying sets of the shortlisted books for our subscribing schools –  kindly hosted the Book Award grand finale at the fantastic East Wintergarden venue on 2nd December.

Pupils from over 20 schools were present to meet authors Jasbinder, Ben and Jennifer and enjoy the performances put on by Blue Gate Fields Juniors, Cyril Jackson Primary, Thomas Buxton Primary, Marner Primary, Morpeth School, Stepney All Saints School and Hermitage School.

Blue Gate Fields took the prize for best presentation with their performance of scenes from ‘The Soup Movement’.

Jennifer, Ben and Jasbinder award the prize for best performance

The shortlist


Art Competition

Every year we run an art competition based on the shortlist books.

Pupils are challenged to create an artistic response of their choice to any of the 6 Book Award books.

Previous competition entries have included…

  • Drawings/ paintings of scenes from the books
  • Poems inspired by the stories
  • Alternative endings/ scenes
  • Comic strips based on the books
  • Character portraits
  • Book cover designs
  • Bookmark designs
  • Models of scenes from the books

Winners will be awarded a prize at the finale where shortlisted work will be on display (guest authors have been known to request competition entries to put on their websites!).

Competition deadline

ALL entries must arrive at the Schools Library Services (PDC, 229 Bethnal Green Road) by the morning of Friday 26th November for judging. Any entries submitted after this date will not be judged!


Registration for the finale will open in September. If you’re shadowing the award in your school, email to be added to the THBA mailing list (and to let us know who to send the books and posters to!).


Opening Times

Opening times

Term time Monday – Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Fridays and holidays: 9am to 4:30pm

Christmas holiday

23rd December to 1st January : CLOSED