Excelsior Award Blue 2023

2023 Shortlist

The books on the Excelsior Award Blue shortlst have been designated as suitable for children aged 11+ (or Key Stage 3 in schools)

Click on the book's title for extra information

A lonely evening and a chance encounter (or is it?) sends Ben Grimm embarking on an unexpected sojourn - where he must battle foes both old and new! But as The Thing fights and fights to rescue his newfound love, Amaryllis, from the seemingly unstoppable Brusque, there's more going on than meets the eye! Featuring characters drawn from all throughout the Marvel Universe, The Next Big Thing is here to remind audiences why The Thing is one of the most popular and beloved characters in the history of comics!


Writer: Walter Mosley

Artist: Tom Reilly

Published by Marvel Comics

ISBN-13: 978-1302927998

In the near future, Earth is falling to a catastrophic alien invasion: giant beetle-like creatures emerge without warning from spatio-temporal rifts, wipe out resistance in a certain zone, then seal it behind a completely impenetrable barrier. Entire sections of the planet have already been lost forever. With conventional weaponry powerless, the USA authorise a program that will turn five teenagers into pure geniuses. Will the test subjects find a defence, though… or will they become out of control themselves?


Writer: Clarke

Artist: Clarke

Published by Cinebook

ISBN-13: 978-1800440555

Riko, a twenty-nine-year-old office worker with an obsession for video games, finds her quiet life upended when she takes in a stray cat! Her coworkers can't quite figure her out - she never talks about her personal life, she never works overtime, and she never joins them for happy hour. Is she antisocial? Nope, she's rushing home to play video games! One day, a stray cat is found in the office parking lot, and before Riko knows it, the cat has moved in with her! Having no experience with pets, Riko uses lessons drawn from video games to guide her in cat care, while her cute companion tries to understand her behavior through a cat's worldview.


Writer: Wataru Nadatani

Artist: Wataru Nadatani

Published by Dark Horse

ISBN-13: 978-1506727417

Doctor Stephen Strange is the Master of the Mystic Arts. Earth's Sorcerer Supreme. A one-man barrier protecting our world from all the nightmares, demons and warlords out there in dimensions beyond our comprehension. So what happens... when Doctor Strange is murdered? As his friends mourn - and his enemies rage at having been deprived of the killing blow - dark forces set their sights on an unprotected Earth. Now, as the world's remaining magicians race to protect our world from an unimaginable sorcerous threat, one very surprising investigator must unravel the mystery of Doctor Strange's murder. But can he do it before his own time runs out?


Writer: Jed MacKay

Artist: Lee Garbett

Published by Marvel Comics

ISBN-13: 978-1302930226

Shouta Kikuzato’s hopes of starting on his school’s prestigious football team are derailed when a terrible accident costs him his leg. Now in his first year of high school (again), Kikuzato has resigned himself to never reaching his athletic dreams. But when Chidori, a passing prosthetist, notices Kikuzato’s artificial limb - and speed - as he races through the train station, the specialist proposes a partnership: Chidori will build Kikuzato a brand-new leg designed solely for speed. All Kikuzato has to do is run!


Writer: Wataru Midori

Artist: Wataru Midori

Published by Yen Press

ISBN-13: 978-1975339005

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