HUNDREDS of young people from schools across Salford will decide the winner of the prestigious Salford Libraries Children’s Book Award in March. 

The prize is part of an initiative run by Salford Community Leisure’s Schools’ Library Service, and the winner will be announced on 11 March 2016 at The Lowry.

The books shortlisted include, Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton, Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen, A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson, Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis, The Executioner’s Daughter by Jane Hardstaff and The Ultimate Truth by Kevin Brooks. 

 Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton begins with brave Jack deciding whether to venture in to the room with thirteen chairs, where twelve mysterious storytellers are waiting to begin their stories. There is one chair that still sits empty, waiting for Dave’s story.

 Described as ‘a heart-wrenching tale of survival’, Polly Ho-Yen’s Boy in the Tower tells the story of Ade who lives at the top of a tower block with his mother. One day the surrounding towers begin to collapse and strange plants appear, and suddenly there is just Ade and his mother, trapped with no way out…

A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson tells the story of Dan Hope, a boy who wants to be the first eleven year old on the moon, but most of all who wants his dad to love him. This is a moving story about Dan’s search for his Dad and is described as ‘lovely, heart-warming and funny.’

Gill Lewis’s Scarlet Ibis is about Scarlet and her brother, Red. Every night, Scarlet tells Red his favourite story about how one day, they will fly away to the Caroni Swamp in Trinidad where thousands of birds fly. But one day, Scarlet and Red are split up and Scarlet must do whatever she can to get her brother back. 

 The Executioner’s Daughter by Jane Hardstaff is the tale of Moss, the ‘basket girl’ who must get used to beheadings, but longs to escape and dreams of doing so when she gazes at the river. Described as a ‘gripping tale’ that is ‘both gruesome and lightweight’.

The Ultimate Truth by Kevin Brooks sees Travis searching for the truth about his parent’s recent and fatal car crash. He begins investigating the last case that his parents were working on at their private investigation agency. He soon realises that he may have been right all along…

As part of the ceremony youngsters will critique the works and also present their synopsis and comments back to the authors in short presentations.

 The event will be compered by popular Children’s author, comedian, story-teller and poet, James Campbell.

 The event is part of a recurring year-long campaign in Salford from Salford Schools’ Library Service to promote a greater engagement with books, reading, discussions and overall enjoyment of literature. 

Sarah Spence, head of libraries and heritage, comments: 

 “This is the thirteenth year of the Salford Children’s Book Award. It is wonderful to watch so many young people engaging on such a level with literature. The Award offers those involved the chance to voice their opinions on youth books and even meet the authors of their favourite reads.

 “As a result, we are seeing more and more young people reading and enjoying books, engaging with the scheme and benefitting from the programmes we run within the community.

“As an organisation, we aim to maintain the stimulus and the availability of books for the whole community.”


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