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4th Jul, 2022

Literary-inspired Warwickshire pupils cast a vote

WHEN the World Was Ours by Liz Kessler has won the Warwickshire Secondary Book Award 2022.

The title follows a vote by Year 7 and 8 pupils in secondary schools across the county.

The annual award is hosted by Warwickshire Schools Libraries Services (WSLS) to encourage more students to enjoy reading for pleasure.

The Warwickshire Secondary Book Award is a spring term initiative delivered in secondary schools between January to March each year, with a reading list selected by the experienced WSLS team alongside valuable input from school librarians. The shortlist of books chosen for students to read this year included:

– Cardboard Cowboys by Brian Conaghan

– When the World was Ours by Liz Kessler

– Asking for a Friend by Kate Malinder

– The Supreme Lie by Geraldine McCaughrean

– The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny

– The Humiliations of Welton Blake by Alex Wheatle

To participate, students were encouraged to read all six books from the shortlist and to vote for their favourite book as the winner – using the criteria the book must be ‘a page-turner pupils would highly recommend to others’.

The initiative culminated in a final award ceremony at the Bridgehouse Theatre in Warwick, where students from 14 secondary schools attended.

Three of the authors attended the event to speak with students in-person, with the other three authors attending virtually, to talk to students about the shortlisted books and what it’s like in the publishing industry.

Warwickshire county councillor Andy Jenns said: “The Warwickshire Secondary Book Award initiative offers real empowerment to the Year 7 and 8 students taking part across the county. Schools that take part regularly report that their students develop a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem through the Award, and so it’s important for us to continue this work to help Warwickshire’s young people with discovering the many benefits of reading.

“Engaging with the written word is a great way to help young people develop their communications skills, encourage insightful discussions, and connect with each other especially during their early teenage years. To support this personal development our Schools Library Service staff are always on hand with professional advice and guidance to help any schools that would like to further enrich the education of their students.”

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