The Diverse Book Awards 2023 Winners

Congrats to the robust list of winners!

A couple of weeks ago, the 2023 winners of The Diverse Book Awards were announced. There were so many great books that made the longlist and shortlist, but alas all of them could not take home the prize. But the winners and runners-up that made the cut are books that really highlight the necessity and importance of diverse books.

Created by award-winning author Abiola Bello and award-winning publicist Helen Lewis and co-founders of The Author School, this award aims to highlight the best of the diverse voices published in the UK & Ireland, this year focusing on those published during 2022, both traditionally and self-published.

And now without further ado, here are the winners:

Best Picture Book

Dadaji’s Paintbrush by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane

Once, in a tiny village in India, there was a young boy who loved to paint. He lived with his grandfather, who taught him to paint with his fingers, to make paints from marigolds and brushes made from jasmine flowers. Sometimes, the village children would watch them painting together, and the boy’s grandfather would invite them to join in. They didn’t have much, but they had each other.

After his grandfather dies, the boy notices a little box wrapped in string with a note that read: “From Dadaji, with love,” with his grandfather’s best paintbrush tucked away inside. But he feels he will never want to paint again.

Will the boy overcome his grief and find joy in painting and his dadaji’s memory again? (Credit: Levine Querido)

2nd Place

Nour’s Secret Library  by Wafa Tarnowska, illustrated by Vali Mintzi

3rd Place

Our Tower by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Richard Johnson

Best Children’s Book

The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger by J.T. Williams  and illustrated by Simone Douglas

Twelve-year-olds Lizzie Sancho and Dido Belle are from different worlds – Lizzie lives in Westminster in her dad’s tea shop, while Belle is an heiress being brought up by her aunt and uncle at grand Kenwood House – but they both share a love of solving mysteries. And when their eyes meet in the audience of the Drury Lane theatre one night, both girls are sure they’ve seen something suspicious on stage.

Lizzie and Belle soon find themselves on the trail of a mystery – and becoming best friends. But can they work out what’s going on in time to prevent a murder? (Credit: Farshore)

2nd Place

The Twig Man by Sana Rasoul

3rd Place

A Flash of Fireflies by Aisha Bushby

Best Young Adult Book

When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando

When fourteen-year-old Shaq is stabbed outside of a busy shopping centre in Manchester, three teenagers from very different walks of life are unexpectedly brought together. What follows flips their worlds upside down and makes Chantelle, Jackson, and Marc question the deep-rooted prejudice and racism that exists within the police, the media, and the rest of society. (Credit: Simon and Schuster UK)

2nd Place

Love In Winter Wonderland by Abiola Bello

3rd Place

If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So

Best Adult Book

One For Sorrow, Two For Joy by Marie-Claire Amuah

It’s hard to plan your future when the ghosts of the past won’t leave you alone…

Stella tries very hard to be good. She tries not to be sassy, to answer back, to be noticed. Because when Stella’s father is angry, it’s like lightning and thunder and hailstones.

Years later, Stella has left her troubled childhood behind and appears to have it all: a degree, a demanding job as a barrister and a group of friends who always have her back. But underneath the surface, she is haunted by her past. It will take all her grace, courage and love to heal her wounds and break free.

Set against a backdrop of London and Ghana, Marie-Claire Amuah’s remarkable debut is an unforgettable exploration of intergenerational trauma. Brimming with compassion, One for Sorrow, Two for Joy offers both a sensitive portrayal of the ripple effects of domestic violence, and a defiant story of friendship, resilience and hope. (Credit: Oneworld Publications)

2nd Place

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

3rd Place

The Attic Child by Lola Jaye

The Readers’ Choice Awards 2023 Winners

This was the first year The Readers’ Choice Awards was given out. This award was created in response of requests from schools to have more of a say in the awards. In the end, the committee decided to have a poll with all the longlisted books and encouraged readers to vote for their personal favorites across each category. 

So without further ado, here are the 2023 winners of the inaugural The Readers’ Choice Awards

Readers’ Choice Award 2023 – Picture Books

Readers’ Choice Award 2023 – Children

Readers’ Choice Award 2023 – YA

Readers’ Choice Award 2023 – Adult

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Published by karma2015

I was born and raised in New York. I still live in New York but kind of sick of the city and one day I wish to move to the UK.I have a Masters degree in Library Science and I currently work in a special collections library. I loved books ever since I was a little girl. Through the hard times in my life, my love for books has always gotten me through. Just entering another world different from my own intrigues me. As long as I am entering in another universe, I like to create my own as well. I love to write and hopefully I will be able to complete a novel.

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