And the winner is…..
The winner of this year’s NE Book Award is Helena Duggan with her creepy and addictive mystery, A Place Called Perfect.  A special Highly Commended award was also made to Ross Welford for his moving, time-travelling adventure, The 1,000 Year Old Boy.

Shortlisted authors Mitch Johnson and Ross Welford were joined by popular local authors Dan Smith, Chris Callaghan and Chloe Daykin – putting the NE back into the NE Book Award – a suitable celebration of story for our 13th birthday!
In a NE exclusive, students were able to purchase advance copies of Chloe’s new book, The Boy Who Hit Play – not available in shops for another 3 weeks.  Needless to say, it was a sellout!

Huge thanks to all the schools who took part so enthusiastically this year, to the authors who gave up their time (and wrote some great books!), to the schools who hosted events and to the publishers who supported us.

Find out what our young people thought about the books on the shortlist, add your own comments under each book and check out our suggestions for more great books if you enjoyed these ones.

Lastly, if you read a great book which you think has got what it takes to make the NEBA shortlist next year then let us know!



This year’s shortlist, as always, offered something for everyone .  From history to mystery, from horror to adventure, with stories set at home and abroad, all of our shortlisted stories are guaranteed to keep y7/8 readers turning the pages.

We’ve got Vikings, polar bears, carniverous cabbages and creepy secrets, eyeball plants, frost fairies and football boots, hot air balloons and human rights…

Which one are you going to start with?
Don’t forget to post your book thoughts in the comments below each title on the shortlist page then check out our other great reading suggestions until the winner is announced on 18th June.


The NEBA was set up in 2005 due to popular demand; those schools who had taken part in the North East Teenage Book Award wanted a similar scheme to enthuse their younger readers in Year 7 and 8 about new books and exciting new authors too.

The aim of the younger and teenage awards remain the same; we want to make young people more aware of the quality and variety of exciting writing out there, to celebrate and support the authors to and create opportunities for the authors to meet their avid readers. We remain amazed at how many schools want to take part and now 25 schools sign up every year from across the whole Northeast region.

NEBA caters for the reading needs of OUR young people, allowing them to voice their opinions about the books and the reading which matters to them. Their vote decides the winner each year, their opinions are sought when drawing up the long and shortlists and they are critical, highly perceptive and insightful readers. Because NEBA is all about reading it’s also the only award in the world (that we know of) where the student judges, not the winning authors, get the prizes.