Author receives Lancashire Book of the Year Award 2019

Friday, July 05, 2019

The winner of Lancashire's Book of the Year Award has been announced at a prestigious presentation ceremony held today (Friday 5 July) at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Harrington Building.

The award was won by Sarah Crossan, for her book, Moonrise. The award was accepted on Sarah's behalf by Terry Lee, Bloomsbury Publishing plc area manager. Due to personal circumstances Sarah wasn't available to receive the accolade herself at the event.

The book is about the relationship between two brothers, Joe and Ed, who haven't seen each other for 10 years, and what happens to that relationship when Ed is on death row in Texas for murdering a police officer. Teenager Joe travels to Texas to visit Ed who maintains his innocence and Joe has to decide whether to trust him or not, as they make the most of the time they have left together.

The event was attended by five of the top 11 shortlisted authors.

The event was attended by County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for children, young people and schools, who said: "This is a fun way to encourage young people to read and help us maintain the county's high literacy levels. The love of reading that is shared by so many young people was clear for everyone to see and it has been a pleasure to share that enthusiasm for reading with everyone at the event."

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, lead member for economic development and cultural services also attended the event.

Winning author Sarah, said, "I'm completely thrilled by this award.

"It is an honour for Moonrise to be recognised like this, and what makes the award so special is that it’s been decided by students. It’s amazing to think representatives from 24 high schools across Lancashire debated my book and chose it.

"I’d like to thank everyone involved in the award."

Now in its 33rd year, it remains one of the few book awards where young people themselves are totally responsible for drawing up the shortlist and choose the overall winner.

The Lancashire Book of the Year was the first regional book award for children when it was originally organised in 1987. It was won that year by Philip Pullman, who went on to great success with the His Dark Materials trilogy.

The judges are pupils from school years 8 and 9 (aged between 13 and 14). 24 high schools from across the county took part, with each of Lancashire's districts represented.

There were 60 books nominated on the list. The young judges came together in March to hear which books had made it to the shortlist. A panel of pupils met up again in June to appraise each of the eleven shortlisted books and debate who should be the winner.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "Being introduced to books at a young age is important, as it can build up a love of reading that can stay with you for the rest of your life.

"It's fantastic to see so many young people so actively involved in judging these awards, and clearly getting so much pleasure from books.

"I really hope that their love of reading continues. I'm keen to do all I can to promote it."

The Lancashire Book of the Year Award was sponsored by UCLan for the 18th year.

This year's judging schools were:

Accrington Academy, Accrington, Hyndburn
Albany Academy, Chorley
Alder Grange School, Rawtenstall, Rossendale
Ashton Community Science College, Preston
Bishop Rawstorne Lang College, Leyland, South Ribble
Carr Hill High School, Kirkham, Fylde
Central Lancaster High School, Lancaster
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Clitheroe, Ribble Valley
Fleetwood High School, Fleetwood, Wyre
Garstang Community Academy, Garstang, Wyre
Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Lancaster
Marsden Heights Community College, Nelson, Pendle
Moor Park High School, Preston
Mount Carmel High School, Accrington, Hyndburn
Ormskirk High School, Ormskirk, West Lancashire
Pendle Vale High School, Nelson, Pendle
Shuttleworth College, Burnley
Sir John Thursby Community College, Burnley
SS John Fisher and Thomas More Roman Catholic High School, Colne, Pendle
St Bede's Catholic High School, Lytham St Annes, Fylde
Brownedge St Mary's Catholic High School, Bamber Bridge, South Ribble
Wellfield High School, Leyland, South Ribble
Whitworth Community High School, Whitworth, Rossendale
Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe, Ribble Valley
Five of the other shortlisted authors Siobhan Curham, Taran Matharu, Nathan Parker, Paula Rawsthorne and Fiona Shaw were also present at the awards ceremony.
Previous winner Sarah Mussi also attended the ceremony and spoke about what winning the award in 2015 meant to her.
The shortlisted authors and books were:
Holly Bourne - It only happens in the movies
Katy Cannon - How to Write a Love Story
Sarah Crossan – Moonrise
Siobhan Curham - Don't stop thinking about tomorrow
Lauren James - The loneliest girl in the universe
Penny Joelson - Girl in the window
Taran Matharu - The Summoner: Outcast
Nathan Parker - The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson
Paula Rawsthorne – Shell
Fiona Shaw – Outwalkers
S.M Wilson – The Extinction Trials

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