An author’s debut novel about an 11-year-old-boy with leukaemia has won the Bolton Children’s Book Award 2009.
Sally Nicholls’ touching story, “Ways to Live Forever”, was voted the best read by Bolton secondary school children and announced as the winner at a special awards ceremony on Saturday, June 27.
Hundreds of young people crammed into the Festival Hall to hear the results and the author herself was invited along to receive the coveted award.
The Bolton Children’s Book Award is now in its fifth year and is organised by a steering group with representatives from Bolton Council’s Schools’ Library Service, secondary school librarians, Bolton Literacy Trust and the University of Bolton. The initiative is sponsored by the University of Bolton, Bolton Literacy Trust and Page Nation.
“Ways to Live Forever” was selected from a shortlist of seven top titles and readers had four months to read all the books and cast their votes.
The University of Bolton also arranged a series of book award themed workshops and some of the young readers had their reviews printed in the council’s publication Bolton Scene.
Executive Member for Adult Services, Councillor Elaine Sherrington, said: “The Bolton Children’s Book Award is a fantastic event and one that is eagerly awaited each year by pupils and authors alike.
“There is always a feeling of excitement when the winner is announced and I think Sally’s book is an excellent choice. For her to win with her debut novel is such an achievement and an inspiration to all young people with an interest in reading. I hope she inspires them to read more or even pick up the writer’s pen themselves.”
Ms Sam Johnson, Director of the School of Arts, Media and Education at the University of Bolton, said: “The Book Awards generates a whole range of activities for children including art and writing workshops, competitions and the opportunity to hear the authors read from their work and talk about the writing process. It creates new ways of looking at books that will, we hope, encourage a love of reading in children that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”