Library Services for Schools - Cumbria's secondary schools Spellbinding Book Award 2021

Spellbinding winner 2021!

Image of Wranglestone book cover

Our Spellbinding winning title, as voted for by Cumbrian Schools, is Wranglestone by Darren Charlton.

'Winter was the only season every Lake-Lander feared...'

In a post-apocalyptic America, a community survives in a national park, surrounded by water that keeps the Dead at bay. But when winter comes, there's nothing to stop them from crossing the ice. Then homebody Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore and he's forced to leave the community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he's always watched from afar, herd the Dead from their shores before the lake freezes over. But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary's secret past. One that forces the pair to question everything they've ever known.

Feedback about Wranglestone from our Spellbinding groups included:

"A real page turner"

"An amazing and intriguing thriller"

"This was my all time favourite book"

Image of Darren Charlton author of Wranglestone


On receiving the news that Wranglestone had been voted the winner, Darren responded:

"Oh Wow. I am so delighted about this. As wonderful as other award shortlisting's are, they aren't voted for by teenagers. Because of Covid, this is the first indication I've had that Wranglestone might have meant anything to the age group for whom it was ultimately written. I only wish normal circumstances meant I could've visited you all but please thank all the participating schools for me. You can't pull the wool over teenager's eyes - ever - so I'm truly chuffed and honoured."

Congratulations Darren!

Spellbinding website


A number of our shortlisted authors have sent us videos explaining a little more about their book, the power of reading and what being shortlisted for Spellbinding means to them.

"It encourages established keen readers to read outside their comfort zone and keeps the reading profile well represented."

"Spellbinding has always been held in high regard in our school and this year has been no exception."

"The Award Day is always a really good reward and treat for those students who do well with the Spellbinding challenge."

"It's a great reading award for schools. We hugely appreciate the knowledge it gives us and the support we receive, thank you!"

View the the video links on the right to find out why our schools love Spellbinding so much.

Any questions please contact Jane at jane.mcfie@cumbria.gov.uk

Spellbinding - the award for students chosen by students!