Winterbourne pupils help choose book of the year
YOUNG readers from Winterbourne International Academy were among the jury picking this year’s winner of the Concorde Book Award.
South Gloucestershire’s literature prize for young people was won by The Boy at the Back of the Class, a novel which tells the story of a boy who flees from a war torn country and makes new friends in the UK.
Author Onjali Raúf was at the awards event, staged at the Bristol and Bath Science Park at Emersons Green on March 10.
Hundreds of children from schools and reading groups across the area read their way through a shortlist of six titles, which also included The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton, Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan, Thunderstruck by Ali Sparkes, Potkin and Stubbs by Sophie Green and The Land of Neverendings, by Kate Saunders, before voting on World Book Day, March 5.
Eleven schools and book groups across South Gloucestershire took part in the awards, with children giving presentations about their favourite books and interviewing shortlisted authors Ali Sparkes, Tracy Darnton and Gabriel Dylan.
Onjali said: “I’m so utterly thrilled to have the Concorde Book Award be gifted to Ahmet’s story - it means the world to me that the story is deemed worthy enough of this lovely award, and that the story is still striking a chord with so many hearts. Thank you so much for the honour.”
The Concorde Book Award was first staged in 2007 and is one of the few literary awards that involves children and young people all the way through from choosing the longlist to the winner, giving presentations and conducting at the award ceremony.
Run by South Gloucestershire schools and public libraries, the scheme aims to promote a love of reading among 11 to 14 year olds in Years 7 to 9, encouraging them to join a group, read six books and talk about them with other group members, before voting for their favourite.
Shortlisted books are put into South Gloucestershire public and school libraries.
Council chair Brian Allinson said: “I’d like to congratulate Onjali for winning this award in what was a shortlist full of excellent books. The Concorde Book Award encourages young people to maintain a passion for reading through a time in their life when some turn to alternative activities instead.
“My thanks go to the organisers and to the young people for taking part, it is an inspirational event and I have really enjoyed being involved.”