The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Indie Book Awards 2024 Winners Announced

20/06/2024
The Indie Book Awards 2024, the annual awards curated by independent bookshops and running as part of Independent Bookshop Week (IBW, 15 – 22 June) have announced their winners today, unveiling the best paperbacks to read this summer.

The 2024 Indie Book Awards Winners include:Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang; The Golden Mole by Katherine Rundell, with illustrations by Talya Baldwin; Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan; The Dress in the Window by Robert Tregoning, with illustrations by Pippa Curnick
 
Celebrating the best paperbacks of the summer across Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction and Picture Book categories – expert independent booksellers have selected and curated the Indie Book Awards are part of Independent Bookshop Week, the annual campaign celebrating indie bookshops in the UK and Ireland, organised by the Booksellers Association.
 
The Fiction category winner is Yellowface (The Borough Press) by Rebecca F. Kuang, the number-one global sensation and most recently winner of Foyle’s Fiction Book of the Year and the Fiction Book of the Year 2024 at the British Book Awards. Meanwhile, Katherine Rundell wins the Non-Fiction prize with The Golden Mole: and Other Vanishing Treasure (Faber & Faber) which takes the reader on a globe-spanning tour of the world’s strangest and most awe-inspiring animals.
 
Winner of the Children’s Fiction category is Safiyyah’s War (Anderson Press) by award winner of the winner the Jhalak Prizes, Hiba Noor Khan, an extraordinary novel set in occupied Paris which finds a girl engaged in dangerous Resistance work after her father is arrested by the Nazis. And finally, The Dress in the Window (Oxford University Press) by West End star Robert Tregoning, illustrated by Pippa Curnick, is the Picture Book winner; the book is an uplifting, elegant story of self-love, acceptance and embracing your true self, told in elegant rhyme.
 
Robert Tregoning said:My heart is certainly disco dancing and I'm filled with pride! The Dress in the Window is a story based on childhood memories of my husband’s and of my own and it means the absolute world that this joyous tale of boy meets dress is resonating with readers. It’s no coincidence that The Dress in the Window’s love at-first-sight moment happens outside an independent shop, which sits on a high street, beautifully brought to life by Pippa Curnick and lined with other independent shops. I hope that The Dress in the Window captures some of the magic that indie shops bring to communities. I also hope that, like many of the stories I write, it helps people to feel seen, to feel understood and to feel celebrated! I can’t thank the Indie Book Awards enough for bringing even more sparkle to the celebration!”
 
Pippa Curnick, illustrator of The Dress in the Window, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that The Dress in the Window has won this fabulous award. It fills me with joy to know that it is being received with such love, and to have the support of independent bookshops means so so much.”

Katherine Rundell said: ”This is such an enormous delight – thank you so much! I owe so much of my career to the championing of independent bookshops: to the generosity, imagination and passion of indie booksellers.  Indie bookshops are, by far, my favourite kind of shop: a place where you can go in looking for an idea, or a solution, or even a mood, and be met with the knowledge and nuance of booksellers, and the perfect book. This is a real honour: thank you.”
 
Talya Baldwin, illustrator of The Golden Mole, said: “I’m delighted that The Golden Mole has won this brilliant award. Katherine is an enormously talented writer and it was a real privilege to be part of the project. I have loved working on it and learning about each of the animal, and will never look at a swift in quite the same way again.

Rebecca F. Kuang said: “What an honor to have won this award! Indie booksellers are the backbones of this industry, the ones getting books into readers’ hands, and I am eternally grateful for your support. It means a lot to me that Yellowface, which is so critical about the way we select and talk about books, has received such a warm welcome. I take this to indicate that we are all frustrated with a publishing ecosystem that commodifies identity, that limits representation to one or two exhausting examples, that tells marginalized authors the only thing interesting about them is their pain. So, let’s cheers to the readers and booksellers and book lovers who are chasing stories not to confirm our own presumptions, but because we care about what someone not like us has to say.”

Hiba Noor Khan said: "Winning the Indie Book Award still has not sunk in at all for me... and I'm not sure that it ever will! This is such a special award, independent bookshops are like treasures, both for authors as well as for the wider communities they nourish. To have been voted as the winner by indie booksellers is just the most immense honour, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am so grateful to each and every one of you who recognised Safiyyah along with all that she represents. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. For all your support and encouragement, and for pressing this book of hope into the hands of readers. I am awed, astonished, overjoyed, and forever grateful!"
 
 
The judging panel of the awards’ Adult categories consisted of booksellers Tim Batcup (Cover-to-Cover), Yasmine Srouji (Bookbag), Claire Grint (Cogito Books), Nadia Jones (South London Gallery Bookshop) and Rebecca Roberts (Night Owl Books).
 
The Children’s categories were judged by Jenny Eagles (Owl and Pyramid Bookshop), Helen Tamblyn-Saville (Wonderland Bookshop), Gordon Stewart (The Wedale Bookshop), Denise Evans-Barr (Custom House Bookshop) and Keira Andrews (Reading Roots).

Rebecca Roberts, from Night Owl Books, Chair of the Adult Judges said: “The Indie Book Awards Fiction shortlist offers plenty of inspiration for anyone looking for their holiday reading this year, from gripping historical narratives and exquisitely crafted literary fiction to side-splittingly funny novels. Ultimately, however, the judges were unanimous in selecting Yellowface, by Rebecca F. Kuang as the Indie Book Awards’ Fiction book of the year. Yellowface is a sharp, compelling, and thought-provoking novel that will linger with readers long after they’ve eagerly turned its final pages. The inclusion of two novels by Rebecca F. Kuang on this year’s shortlist is indicative of the powerful impact her work has had on readers.
 
The Indie Book Awards 2024 Non-Fiction shortlist offers fresh perspectives on some of the most pressing questions of our times, including climate change, mental health, the Windrush scandal, the role of women in society, and the future of international relations. The judges were again united in selecting The Golden Mole by Katherine Rundell as Non-Fiction book of the year, a title that independent booksellers would be proud to recommend to their customers. The Golden Mole will fill readers with awe and wonder at the marvels of the natural world, whilst also serving as a rallying cry to take action to protect the species that Rundell so enchantingly describes.”x
 
Helen Tamblyn-Saville, from Wonderland Bookshop, Chair of Children’s judges said: "It was a joy and a privilege to chair the children's categories of the 2024 Indie Book Award and the entire judging panel agreed that both shortlists were exceptionally strong - an argument could be made for every single shortlisted book to win. However, after deliberation, we agreed that The Dress in the Window by Robert Tregoning and Pippa Curnick was a joyous picture book for children of a wide age range to enjoy. The celebratory nature of the book, with themes of self-love and acceptance is perfectly complemented by Pippa's stunning artwork.
 
In the children's fiction category, we were overjoyed to agree that Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan was a standout. This book has everything - an exciting page turner for young readers, this beautifully written book is based on real-life and the role that the Grand Mosque of Paris played in providing refuge and an escape route for their Jewish neighbours in the backdrop of World War II. Every member of the panel felt as if they had learned something; a true story of shared humanity."
 
The winners of the Indie Book Awards have been or will be presented with their awards in indie bookshops during Independent Bookshop Week:
 
  • Robert Tregoning has already been presented with his award at The Book Nook (Hove) today
  • Katherine Rundell will be awarded her prize at Primrose Hill Books (London) this afternoon
  • Hiba Noor Khan will receive her award at Read Bookshop (Holmfirst) on Sunday 23 June
 
Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns, Booksellers Association, said: “We’re thrilled to announce the Indie Book Awards – the summer book awards curated by independent booksellers. It’s fantastic to see such wonderful authors being recognised, and this year’s winners couldn’t be more varied: from a novel that has become a global best-selling sensation to an exploration of the world's most awe-inspiring creatures, to a rhyming picture book with an important message. Picked by independent booksellers, these are seriously good recommendations for your summer reading, so we encourage everyone to visit their local indie and grab a copy of one (or more!) of the winning titles. We hope you all have a wonderful end of Independent Bookshop Week and many congratulations once again to all the winners.”
 
Find out more about the Indie Book Awards and previous winners.
 
Follow the latest developments via social media:
#IndieBookshopWeek | #IndieBookAwards | @BooksAreMyBag
 
Browse the Adult and Children Category shortlist on Bookshop.org, the online bookstore that supports local, independent bookshops in the UK.