We were unable to hold a launch event this year so we made a short video to introduce the 2021 Award instead!
Berkshire Book Award 2020 Events
Berkshire Book Award Launch Event 9th October 2019
This year’s launch event was held at St George’s School Ascot with 180 attendees fromBerkshire schools. Miss Knight, Librarian at Reading Blue Coat School, opened the event by reminding attendees what the award is about and reading a message from Robin Stevens, the winner last year. Robin Stevens was excited to be the winner and to be a part of this excellent opportunity for young people in Berkshire.
Laura Wood, author of the Poppy Pym series, Vote for Effie, A Sky painted Gold and Under a Dancing Star, was the inspiring speaker for this year’s launch. Laura talked passionately about reading and writing, in particular how it is not possible to be a writer if one is not an avid reader. Although Laura is not an illustrator, some of her very early illustration attempts still survive!
Her debut YA novel, A Sky painted Gold, was inspired by St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. She loves the mystery of the location and the fact that sometimes you can walk to the island on the sand; at other times it is surrounded by the sea, due to the tides.
Laura answered many questions from the children in the audience. These included questions about the source of her inspiration for her books, her favourite book to date that she has written, how long it takes for her to write and what she enjoys reading.
Berkshire Book Award Shortlist Event 12th February 2020
The 2020 event was held at Denefield School in Reading. Approximately 74 students and 10 staff members attended from schools across Berkshire. Our visiting speaker was Clare Rees, local English teacher turned author. The event included the announcement of the shortlist 2020. We had discussions in our table groups about reading habits and more in-depth discussions about the individual books.
At the end of the afternoon, a straw poll was conducted to see which book on our shortlist would win if the vote were to depend on students attending this event. Results were as follows:
Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott: 32
Secret Weapon (Short stories, Alex Rider 3.5) by Anthony Horowitz: 11
Snowglobe by Amy Wilson: 9
The day I was erased by Lisa Thompson: 4
The Meltdown (Diary of a Wimpy Kid 13) by Jeff Kinney: 3
The dog who saved the world by Ross Welford: 2
A clear winner for Five Feet Apart, but time will tell what happens when the real voting to take place over the next few weeks!