Today sees the launch of the Essex Book Awards 2017 with publication of the shortlist of six books for young people nominated for Book of the Year.
Now in its eleventh year, the Essex Book Awards (EBA) are run by EES for Schools and aim to improve literacy among pupils at Key Stage 3, creating debate and discussion between pupils taking part and encouraging reading and discovery of new authors and genres. The awards encourage young people to read widely and to develop speaking and listening skills through participation in discussion and debate. Through the EBA blog participants can chat with pupils from other schools and engage with the authors as well as then meeting in person at the event finale.
The six shortlisted books are decided upon by librarians from the School Library Service and participating pupils have until February to vote for, and review, their favourite book, with the winner announced in March as part of the countywide Essex Book Festival.
The Essex Book Awards 2017 shortlist is:
- 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 book that receives the most pupil votes wins the Book of the Year 2017 Award. Schools that participate can also triumph in categories such as Most Innovative School and Best Pupil Review.
Last year 34 schools took part and promoted the books through dance, drama, art and even the use of IT to create book trailers. One school had a remote control car race to promote Ali Sparkes’ book Car-jacked – engaging pupils not normally interested in reading.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “The Essex Book awards are an inventive way to not only improve literacy and encourage young people to read more but to get them talking about books. It is great to get recommendations of good books and hear what your friends are enjoying.”
To get involved, or for more information, schools should visit www.eesforschools.org The Essex Book Awards are open to all secondary schools in Essex, Thurrock and Southend.