OH MY GODS and Toad Attack have been longlisted for The 2020 Diverse Book Awards!


​We are unbelievably proud of Alexandra Sheppard and Becka Moor as they have been longlisted for The Diverse Book Awards 2020! The nominations include Alex’s amazing YA novel, Oh My Gods (published with Scholastic) and Becka Moor’s brilliant middle grade text that she illustrated for patrice Lawrence (published by Barrington Stoke). This fantastic competition was created by The Author School as they wanted to highlight the best of the diverse voices published in the UK, both traditionally and self-published. They believe there’s a need to showcase the talent of marginalised voices, so they came up with The DBAwards to open a space where the spotlight is on them.

About Oh My Gods:

Life as a half-mortal teenager should be epic.

But, for Helen Thomas, it’s tragic.
She’s just moved in with her dorky dad and self-absorbed older siblings - who happen to be the ancient Greek gods, living incognito in London!

Between keeping her family’s true identities secret, trying to impress her new friends, and meeting an actually cute boy, Helen’s stress levels are higher than Mount Olympus.

She needs to rein in her chaotic family before they blow their cover AND her chances at a half-normal social life.

Or is Helen fated for an embarrassment of mythical proportions?

About Toad Attack:

After a toad lands on his head as he leaves his house one morning, Leo is determined to find out where it has come from and why. Together with his friend Rosa, he needs to come up with some answers before the angry residents of Upper Dab take matters into their own hands and the toads become toast! A brilliantly quirky comedy caper with a diverse and inclusive cast of characters. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+

Shortlists will be revealed at the end of September, and the winners in each category announced in October.

Abiola Bello, author and co-founder of The Author School, said: “Through the Diverse Book Awards I have discovered new diverse books and authors that I hadn’t previously been aware of. I hope that the longlist inspires others to discover new talent too. The conversation around diversity in publishing has stepped up a level over recent months, at a time when we were shouting out for submissions to the Diverse Book Awards. The longlist represents the work that has been done already within publishing, and showcases that it is truly is possible for diverse and inclusive books to be the ‘norm’ rather than ‘exception’. We hope that encouraging publishers and authors to write more diverse and inclusive books—and enter them into next year’s awards—will be a positive step forward for the publishing industry in this country.”

The children’s and YA prizes will be judged by a panel including 14-year-old Rebekah Banda from south-east London and 15-year-old Alicia Cruz from north-west London. Other judges include Hashtag BLAK commissioning editor Luisa María Negret, This is Book Love founder Samantha Williams, Pen & Inc editor Rob Green and chair of the CILIP Youth Libraries Group London committee Caroline Fielding.

Green said: “The Diverse Book Awards are such a great thing for us to be involved with. We know that there is a wealth of great talent out there, but many [writers] face real barriers to getting their work seen and published. The Diverse Book Awards will remove some of those barriers, and I’m really excited by the prospect of discovering some fantastic stories and characters.”

Winners from each category will receive a bundle of prizes including a trophy, a six-month PR and marketing membership of Literally PR’s “100 Club’”, a This Is Book Love bookshop listing, editorial in Pen & Inc, the opportunity to be part of an author panel event to be hosted by The Author School, and to be part of the Margate Bookie online festival programme in November.

​The 2020 Longlist:

Children’ s

Son of the Circus by E. L. Norry (Scholastic)

My Hair by Hannah Lee, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan

(Faber & Faber)

Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik (Hodder)

The Mysterious Melody by SP K-Mushambi, illustrated by Kudzai Gumbo (Naniso Media Ltd & Conscious Dreams Publishing)

The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q. Rauf

(Orion Children’s Books)

Tin Boy by Steve Cole, illustrated by Oriol Vidal (Barrington Stoke)

Toad Attack by Patrice Lawrence, illustrated by Becka Moor (Barrington Stoke)

Young Adult

All The Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman (Hot Key Books)

Becoming Dinah by Kit De Waal (Orion Children’s Books)

Chinglish: An Almost Entirely True Story by Sue Cheung

(Andersen Press)

Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard (Scholastic)

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (Hodder)

The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla (Hodder)

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Hachette)

The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer (Pushkin Children’s)


A Book of Secrets by Kate Morrison (Jacaranda)

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Simon & Schuster)

Everything You Ever Wanted by Luiza Sauma (Penguin/Viking)

Golden Child by Claire Adam (Faber & Faber)

Living The Dream by Isabelle Dupuy (Jacaranda)

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (Trapeze)

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (Penguin/Viking)

This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik (Zaffre/Bonnier)