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School pupils urged to vote in tenth annual Essex Book Awards

22 February 2016

Secondary school pupils are being encouraged to vote for their favourite books when voting for the tenth Essex Book Awards opens this week.

The annual awards aim to create debate and discussion among young people about the six shortlisted titles, as well as improve literacy.

34 Essex schools have so far signed up to take part this year.

Run by EES for Schools’ School Library Service, six books have been shortlisted for the awards. They are:


  • Car-Jacked by Ali Sparkes
  • Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
  • If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn
  • The Crowham Martyrs by Jane McLoughlin
  • The Door That Led To Where by Sally Gardner
  • The Sound of Whales by Kerr Thomson


Voting opens on Wednesday (24 February 2016) and pupils can then vote for their favourite and post comments about the books on the Essex Book Awards blog at


The book that receives the most pupil votes wins the Book of the Year 2016 Award.


Other awards will include Most Innovative School, Best Film Trailer and Best Pupil Review. 


Voting closes on Wednesday, 9 March 2016.


Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “For ten years now these awards have helped improve literacy and encouraged pupils across Essex to discover the delights of reading.


 “They are a fantastic and engaging way for schools to support young people with their reading and a further illustration of our efforts to ensure all pupils receive the best possible education.” 


The winners will be announced at the Essex Book Awards ceremony on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, where authors of the shortlisted books will also be invited to take part in a Q&A session with school pupils.