Winner of the 2011 Grampian Children’s Book Awards to be revealed at Word

The winner of a children’s book award voted for by S1-3 pupils from across the north-east will be announced at one of Scotland’s most popular literary festivals today (Wednesday May 11).

Word – the University of Aberdeen Writers festival – will host the Grampian Children’s Book Awards (GCBA) for the first time.

The competition – organised by Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray school and public librarians – will unveil the 2011 winner at a special event attended by almost 500 north-east pupils at the University’s King’s College campus.

A longlist of 20 books recommended by pupils was published in Autumn 2010 and votes were then cast to create a shortlist of their favourites.

The shortlisted books in the running for the Grampian Children’s Book Award are Angel Cake by Cathy Cassidy, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Enemy by Charlie Higson, Grass by Catherine MacPhail, Wasted by Nicola Morgan and Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo.

Schoolchildren from across Aberdeen city, shire and Moray have been voting for their favourite book since March and the votes cast will be counted ahead of the Word event.

Now in its seventh year, the Grampian Children’s Book Award was conceived by school and public librarians in 2004 with one main objective – to promote reading for pleasure, regardless of ability. 

Katie Fairweather, Joint Chair of the GCBA committee said: “The award is aimed at pupils in S1 – S3, often a time when reading is forgotten about as other more ‘interesting’ activities present themselves to these young adults. 

“Pupils who participate take an active part in the award as it is only they who select, read and review the short listed books, finally voting for their favourite. 

“The award relies solely on sponsorship and the GCBA committee is delighted to have been given the opportunity to become part of this year’s Word festival – which also plays an important role in firing young imaginations.

“In today’s economic climate, sourcing potential sponsors can be difficult which is why we are so grateful to all those who have agreed to support us.”

The winning author will be announced by Alan Binley, Sales Manager Offshore of the Award’s main sponsor, StormGeo limited.

Jill Burnett, coordinator of the Marathon Oil Schools’ Festival at Word, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Grampian Children’s Book Award for 2011.

“During the three-day Schools’ Festival more than 1,000 north-east pupils will descend on campus, many of whom will have a direct influence on the winner of the competition.

“Word Schools’ events cover a range of curriculum areas, with an emphasis on literacy across learning, so it is fantastic to be able to unveil the winner of this important competition at the festival.”