Our annual trip to Bolton Children’s Fiction Award was the best ever and fourteen enthusiastic readers from year 7-9 took part. Many students shadowed the Book Award by reading and discussing the six books on this year’s shortlist. We were thrilled that the winner of the award this year is Penny Joelson for ‘I have no secrets.’ It was our favourite book!

Mrs Cairns,

‘the award is an exciting way to introduce students to new authors and genres’.
Thank you to Grace Holland and Amelia Wierzbicki for sharing their experiences of the day.

Grace said…

Our first author session was with Penny Joelson who talked to us firstly about her book ‘I have no secrets’. She explained to us about the importance of communication especially between people who can’t talk. This helped us to think about and understand what it was like for Gemma (the main character of her book). Penny told us how it was important that Gemma’s voice was heard. Also how people who had cerebral palsy had told her how they thought the book would help their parents to understand how they were feeling. She told us how she got to go to the place where her book was getting printed. We also got to hear about her most recently published book. She also shared her story of how she tried and failed to get an agent and publisher in the beginning.

At the Winner Announcement Ceremony, the author Andy Briggs talked to us and introduced each of the authors to us and they all gave a little speech. They told us a bit of what inspired them to become an author. Finally the winner was announced. It was …..Penny Joelson.

After that, we had the incredible opportunity to get our books signed and to meet the authors. We even got to have a picture with some of them.

Finally it was finished. We all had an amazing day and got lots of inspiration to become an author. My overall experience of the BCFA Awards was that it was an exciting and fascinating event.

Amelia said…

Mitch Johnson talked about the plot of his book called Kick. In the story a boy called Budi lives in Indonesia and works in a sweatshop; a type of factory, making football boots. But Budi has a dream. He wants to be a top football player for a famous team. However, when he crosses a dangerous villain he has to choose between his dream and his family. In the session we also played a number of games and quizzes. He showed us where most of our clothes are made (Indonesia) and chose four people to work in teams of two to try and build a pair of football boots. He also made up a quiz to see what we knew about how much effort goes into making shoes and clothes. We also had the opportunity to buy books and get them signed by the authors. We learnt a lot about how to write stories and the special benefits of reading.

I remember these words shared by the authors;

“You need to have a good imagination and this makes characters just appear” Natasha Farrant (The Children of Castle Rock)

“It is a massive honour to be here with all of these amazing authors” Will Mabbit (Embassy of the Dead)

I enjoyed the award so much that I am looking forward to taking part next year.

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