Best Chapter Book for 5-8-year-olds 2024 Results

The exciting moment has now arrived when we can announce the top 10 entries and crown an overall champion in our Best Chapter Book for 5-8-year-olds competition 2024. Our longlistees are all worthy winners, so it was extremely difficult for our literary agent judge Katie Blagden to select the best of the best.

Thank you to everyone who entered. Keep being brave and sending your fantastic stories out into the world. You are on the brink of success! Thanks also to our amazing readers and judge.

Here are the results


Gracie, Dave and the God of Dogs by Sophie Clarke

Shortlisted Entries

Grandma Shiz and the Fortune-Telling False Teeth by Jennifer Hodgson

Hattie Houdini and the Disappearing Trombone by Helen Addyman

Pocket Monsters by Ellie Salkeld (2nd place)

Speed Chasers by Alex Hamill

The Book Crook by Libby Hartwell

The Granny Snatchers by Sue Meikle

The Weaver’s Wish by Louisa MacDougall

Uncle Ulric’s Home for Unusual Animals by Jason Lang

Woofy Secret Agent-in-Training by Helen Addyman

Well done to our final 10, your stories are exceptional.

Katie Blagden said this about Sophie Clarke’s winning entry: I’m thrilled to pick Gracie, Dave and the God of Dogs as the winner of the Searchlight Best Chapter Book award. All the entries I read showed great talent and were of a wonderfully high quality. That said, this opening really stood out as being very bold. The narrative voice was instantly clear, funny, and gripping, with a really interesting (and somewhat sacrilegious!) idea that I’ve not seen before in this age range. The author was very assured and confident in their premise, creating an engaging rapport with the reader straight out of the gate. I could hear the voice in my head while reading, and could easily imagine reading this aloud with children, something that’s super important for chapter books. It also made me anticipate what’s next to come, and made me want to read more. Finally, I could see very clearly how the text would work with illustrations, and would love to see how an illustrator tackled this idea. Huge congratulations to the author!

Congratulations as well to all our entrants.

We have two further competitions in 2024: Best Children’s Picture Book Text and Best Novel Opening for Children or Young Adults. Best of luck!

Published in
31 May 2024
Last Updated
28 May 2024