Excelsior Award Black 2024

2024 Shortlist

The books on the Excelsior Award Black shortlist have been designated as suitable for children aged 16+ (or Sixth Form in schools).

We are avoiding topics that could be considered "offensive" or "too adult" for a school library, but books on this shortlist may include moderate swearing and moderate violence, akin to a 15-rated movie.

Click on book's title for extra information

Two renegade A.I. minds want to simply make conversation - not war! When a bipedal, independent robot soldier makes a unique connection with an injured, flying drone, they flee the warzone they're in to seek lives of their own. Their military builders want to destroy them though, while a sympathetic pair of humans do what they can to free the errant robots from military service!


Writers: Geoffrey D. Wessel

Artist: Steve Parkhouse

Published by Dark Horse

ISBN-13: 978-1506733746

What if Sleeping Beauty never got her happily ever after… and had to save herself instead? One-hundred years after Briar Rose first fell into her slumber, the sleeper has now become the sleepwalker, and she must face a brutal, bleak world ruled by a tyrant from her past.

Burdened by prophecy and betrayal, it will take everything Briar and her band of misfits have to survive the wasteland where magic went to die. As they journey through a land of untold terrors, Briar nurtures a burning pledge of vengeance. But will it be enough to bring some semblance of a happy ending to the land… and her heart?


Writer: Christopher Cantwell

Artist: German Garcia

Published by Boom! Studios

ISBN-13: 978-1684159000

1738, Cap-Francais, in the Caribbean. Redbeard, once the terror of the Seven Seas, has partially retired. Now a privateer in the service of the King of France, he chomps at the bit along with his companions, for France is currently at peace. So, when the town's governor tasks him with catching a mysterious French pirate who terrorises the Carolinas, he jumps at the chance to get back into the fray. But he made many enemies during his pirate years, and danger lurks in wait...


Writer: Jean-Charles Kraehn

Artist: Stefano Carloni

Published by Cinebook

ISBN-13: 978-1800441088

All Hiroto has ever known is a life on a tiny coastal speck of Japan. Much of the country has been swallowed by Yokohama Station, a mysterious, ever-growing series of buildings that's been around for as long as anyone can remember. The few who live outside its many entrances have never seen Inside and know only rumors and legends of the station's interior. That all changes when Hiroto is given an 18 Ticket, a mysterious item that lets him enter the massive complex for five days. The young man has always sought a purpose, but the one he finds may not be the sort he'd hoped for...


Writer: Yuba Isukari

Artist: Gonbe Shinkawa

Published by Yen Press

ISBN-13: 978-1975350895

The duel of duality! Two-Face has always been viewed as Batman's most tragic villain. If only Harvey Dent hadn't been scarred by acid, he could have continued his good work as D.A. in Gotham City and been Batman's greatest ally and friend…right? Or has Batman extended Harvey Dent too much grace in his multiple attempts at reform? He'll question himself as Harvey Dent is free once more, scarred but seemingly free of Two-Face's influence. But…when it's revealed Harvey Dent's father has been threatened to be murdered on his 88th birthday, will Two-Face be able to resist joining the party?


Writer: Mariko Tamaki

Artist: Javier Fernandez

Published by DC Comics

ISBN-13: 978-1779519924

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