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School pupils celebrate reading and literacy at the Essex Book Awards

16 March 2017

This week, secondary school pupils from across Essex were recognised at the Essex Book Awards 2017, held at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford.

Over the last five months, hundreds of pupils from nineteen secondary schools in Essex have been reading and reviewing novels from a range of talented writers.

Now in its eleventh year, the Essex Book Awards (EBA), run by EES for Schools, aims to improve literacy among pupils at Key Stage 3. Pupils are encouraged to read widely, with the benefits of exploring different writing styles, themes and discovering new authors emphasised.

Over 600 individual book reviews were sent to the EBA blog with participants engaging in lively debate about the novels and the broad range of themes explored. Individual authors also got involved, often interacting with pupils and contributing to the discussions.

The Essex Book Awards 2017 shortlist included:

  • Boy X by Dan Smith 
  • River of Ink – Genesis by Helen Dennis 
  • Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman 
  • Sophie Someone by Hayley Long 
  • Six by M. M. Vaughan 
  • The Power of Dark by Robin Jarvis 

The winners from the event were:
Best Pupil Reviews (per book):

  • Hell and High Water - Anna White - The Boswells School
  • Boy X - Olivia Houghton - Moulsham High School
  • Power of Dark - Maisie Baylis - The Sweyne Park School
  • River of Ink - Genesis - Matthew Wadey - King Edward VI Grammar School
  • Sophie Someone - Phoebe Alderson - Davenant Foundation School
  • Six - Kate Trendell - Harris Academy Chafford Hundred

Most Innovative School: Great Baddow High School and King Harold Business and Enterprise Academy

Book of the Year: Boy X by Dan Smith

Stephen Nunn, Head of School Services at EES for Schools, said: “We are delighted that all schools taking part in the Essex Book Awards have participated with such enthusiasm.

Once again we have been impressed by the range of imaginative and creative ways that librarians and their students have engaged with these books and promoted wider reading across their school communities.”