The International Schools Book Awards
Cranleigh - Abu Dhabi

The International Schools Book Awards


The Internation Schools Book Awards: Inspiring Authors for Young Readers. In Partnership with The Awesome Book Awards


The International Schools Book Awards in partnership with The Awesome Book Awards returns for a third year. 


The Aim of ISBA

To bring the community of young readers in schools across the UAE and beyond together through the joy of reading. To open the door to exceptional authors telling remarkable stories and to empower children to independently read for pleasure and creativity. 

How Does it Work?

The International Schools Book Awards is open to all pupils aged 9-13. It is based on the concept of The Awesome Book Awards, which is hosted by Cranleigh School UK. 

Four books are selected by a panel of readers from Cranleigh Abu Dhabi and Cranleigh School UK. These novels are suitable for readers in the listed age group and appeal to both boys and girls. 

2022 Selected Stories 

This year's four books are:

No, that’s not the start of a joke. For Charlie Bass, it is a serious question. If her horse, Noble Warrior, won’t gallop, he can’t race. If he doesn’t race, he won’t win the Derby. And, if he doesn’t win the Derby, Charlie’s family could lose everything.  

My name is Oluwalase Babatunde Benson. But everyone calls me No.1. That’s because I’m the No.1 car spotter in the village, maybe in the world! Everybody in the village is excited about the new factory- especially No.1. But then things start to go wrong. Can No.1 put them right.

There are no longer polar bears left on Bear Island- that’s what April’s father tells her when his research takes them to an Arctic outpost for six months. But one night April catches a glimpse of something distinctly bear-shaped loping across the horizon. A polar bear who shouldn’t be here- who is hungry, lonely and a long way from home. A bear who is missing something-just like April.  As their unlikely bond grows, April is determined to save her new friend, and so begins the most important journey of her life.                

 Every dog abandoned at Happy Paws Rescue Centre dreams of being rehomed with a loving family, but for Ralph, Fred, Mitch and Bessie, the dream sees impossible. They’ve been at the centre for so long they’re considered the No-Hopers- the dogs that nobody wants! Ralph is determined to make one last attempt to find them all new owners, but time is running out. Will Ralph and his friends ever be going home?

* Please note some cover artwork may vary from designs shown here 


Children are invited to read and review the books and vote for their favourite book online with the help of parents/carers and children have the unique opportunity to ask the authors questions.

Selected questions are answered by the Authors via recorded video messages across social media feeds and here on the Cranleigh Abu Dhabi website. 

“Imagination is...the foundation of all invention and innovation” 

J.K Rowling

How Can You Find the Books?

We recommend obtaining physical copies of the books. These are available from Magrudy’s in Shams Boutik and will be available onsite in the Sports Hall at school between 22nd - 28th August. Electronic copies can also be found in ebook format from Amazon Kindle, which can be read on either a Kindle device or using an app available either Android or IOS or alternatively they can be accessed via audiobook format from or


2022 ISBA Timeline

Monday 5th September 2022  - Launch of International Schools Book Award.  

Register here 

Monday, 19th September to Friday, 30th September -   Call for Questions! As soon as you have finished a book, you are invited to submit your questions to your favourite Author in the form of a video. Please include your first name, school, author, and of course your question! 

Submit Your Author Questions! 

Monday 26th September  - Book Review Competition. Book reviews are optional and can be uploaded below any time between 26th September and 3rd November. 

Submit your Book Review 

Friday 14th October Voting Opens!  

Vote for your favourite book here 

3rd November - Voting closes. Book Review Competition closes. 

11th November - Winner of The International Schools Book Awards announced! 

Last Year's Winner:  Shoe Wars by Liz Pichon!

2021 Selected Stories

Runaway Robot
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Small Change for Stuart
by Lissa Evans 
Shoe Wars 
by Liz Pichon (Winner 2021)


2020 Selected Stories

Kensuke's Kingdom
by Michael Morpurgo
The Explorer
by Katherine Rundell (Winner 2020)
The Highland Falcon Thief
by M.G Leonard & Sam Sedgman




"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." 

Dr Seuss


Alfie is a bit bionic. He has a robotic hand and when he loses it at the airport, he trots off to Lost Property. But instead of his hand, he finds Eric.

Eric is 6 ft six, made of metal and loves to sing. He can answer any question (except the ones he doesn’t know the answer to) and will spit fire if something upsets him. And, like Alfie, Eric is missing a limb.

Unfortunately, he also has a tendency to squash police cars and anything else that gets in his way. Oh, and he’s also illegal, so unless Alfie can keep him hidden, he will be crushed at the R-U-Recycling scrapyard. Can Alfie save Eric from destruction? And should he even try if the news reports about a dangerous, rogue robot are true?

Although Alfie’s world is full of robots, his story is essentially about what it means to be human and all the mistakes, mess and vulnerability that go along with it. As with Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s other books, a comical façade drives a crazy plot but just below the surface is a poignant and touching human story. Hilarious, complex and hugely satisfying.

When Stuart and his parents move to his father’s hometown of Beeton, he is intrigued to learn that there was a magician in the family – Great-Uncle Tony – who mysteriously disappeared nearly fifty years earlier. Following a series of clues left by his ancestor, Stuart attempts to uncover the mystery of his great-uncle’s disappearance and discover the whereabouts of the magician’s lost workshop. When he realises that devious Beeton resident Jeannie wants the workshop for herself, he enlists the help of his new neighbour, April and together they embark on a magical mystery tour of the town.

This humorous adventure is accompanied by atmospheric ink drawings, making this an attractive and compelling book for confident boy and girl readers.



Wicked Wendy Wedge would score at least 9¾ out of 10 on the despicability scale. Her great ambition is to take over the whole of Shoe Town (and then the world!) and she’ll do absolutely anything to achieve it.

So far she has closed down the independent shoe shops, coerced every shoe designer in town to come and work at her massive shoe factory and forced almost everyone to wear her nasty, clumpy, uncomfortable wedges. Oh, and she has made slippers illegal.

All Wendy needs now is to win the prestigious Golden Shoe Award, by stealing the designs for the world’s first flying shoes, and she will be absolutely unstoppable. Can Ruby and Bear Foot, and their inventor dad, keep their designs safe from Wendy and her slimy sidekick, Mr Creeper? Or will Wendy triumph and take her next step towards world domination?

An original and outrageous storyline gives plenty of scope for absurd inventions, loathsome baddies and heroic deeds from underequipped underdogs. This is a tale oozing creativity and packed with pen and ink illustrations, exciting and expressive typography and visual jokes.

Discover the answers at

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

Cranleigh - Abu Dhabi