In January 2011, the founders ran a city-wide book award project called The Stan Lee Excelsior Award. Initially intended as a graphic novel and manga award just for schools in Sheffield (to complement the long-running Sheffield Children's Book Award), word of this unique project quickly spread and several other schools from across the UK asked if they could take part too. 17 schools eventually participated and got hundreds of children involved in the 'Reading & Rating' process. 842 Rating Forms were completed and returned. In 2012, the popularity of this project exploded on a national level. 77 schools took part and returned a phenomenal 2307 Rating Forms. This equates to each shortlisted book being read at least 250 times by the UK's school children! Since then, these figures have more than doubled and today the Excelsior Award attracts over 200 schools from all over the UK and beyond!
The overall goal of this scheme is to encourage reading for pleasure amongst children and teenagers. However, its secondary target is to raise the profile of graphic novels and manga amongst school librarians and teachers. This storytelling medium has been a largely underused resource within education for many years. The Excelsior Award attempts to highlight some of the amazing books that are published every year, just crying out to be put in our school libraries!
A beautifully illustrated story about a girl who longs for magic in her life and learns that, on the inside, she already is what she wishes she could be.
Reminiscent of Studio Ghibli, this lushly-drawn story was voted one of the top 10 manga of the year in 2018 by the Japanese manga industry.
In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch.
But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with the gift for magic.
She's resigned to her un-magical life until a travelling magician passes through her village, and Coco learns what everybody 'knows' might not be the truth.
- Browns Books Synopsis