On Thursday 7 July 2016, over 230 enthusiastic readers, budding writers along with their school librarians and teachers celebrated this year’s Redbridge Children’s Book Awards in a buzzing, exciting ceremony at Redbridge Town Hall.
Students from seventeen secondary schools and eight primary schools across Redbridge, Havering and Newham voted for their favourite children’s and teenage book published in 2015.
With such a vast and amazing selection of books voted upon, the final winners were announced. Car-jacked by Ali Sparkes, won the Children’s category and One by Sarah Crossan won the Teenage Category.
We were delighted to have three of the shortlisted authors present at the awards ceremony – Ali Sparkes, Holly Bourne and Teri Terry. Unfortunately Sarah Crossan, winner of the teenage award, was unable to attend but sent a lovely message.
“I’m so delighted to have won The Redbridge Children’s Book Award 2016. Regional awards are so important in inspiring young people to try new books, and I’m just so sad I can’t be there to celebrate the shortlisted titles. I really hope you’ve all enjoyed reading the books and I do hope to meet some of you soon for book chats. Lots of love, Sarah.”
The event was also an opportunity for the winners of the writing and poetry competitions that took place across the schools to be presented with their prizes. The poetry competition was judged by David Fulton, lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University and the short story competition was judged by author and Head of Bancrofts Prep School, Joe Layburn.
It was a tough decision for the judges, as there were so many great entries to choose from! Mia Thomas from Fairlop Primary won the junior poetry competition with her poem, 5 Senses. Ayesha Ahmed from Woodford County High School won the teenage category with the poem Am I Invisible. Suamaya Zanab from Wanstead High School won the junior short story competition with her story, Change. Annie Walker from Wanstead High School won the teenage category with her story, The Miserable Life of Ernie Thomas. Winners were presented with a book token, a fiction book and a copy of this year’s anthology of all shortlisted poems and stories.
Many thanks to everyone who attended the event, especially the authors who gave up their time to be present, students and teachers who participated so enthusiastically and a very special thank you to my team in the Redbridge Schools’ Library Service who worked very hard behind the scenes to ensure the afternoon was such a success.
The book award is organised by Redbridge Schools’ Library Service and sponsored by MLS (Micro Librarian Systems).
Nina Simon, Redbridge Schools’ Library Service