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Authors Clare Weze, Simon James Green, and Beth Lincoln.
Authors Clare Weze, Simon James Green, and Beth Lincoln.

Primary school pupils from across the county enjoyed a great reading celebration which saw a book of their choosing crowned winner of the Warwickshire Junior Book Award 2024.

Year 5 and 6 pupils gave their stamp of approval to award-winning author Simon James Green and his book “Finn Jones Was Here” in the annual award hosted by Warwickshire Schools Library Service (WSLS).

Green, who has penned over twelve books for both children and young adults, said he was delighted to win such a special award:

 

“It means such a lot to win awards like these that are voted for by the readers themselves and to be here today to meet them has been fantastic.”

The initiative is delivered in primary schools during the summer term to boost reading for pleasure, with students encouraged to read and select their favourite book from four shortlisted titles, chosen by specialist librarians from Warwickshire Schools Library Service.

The shortlisted books chosen for pupils to read this year were: Finn Jones Was Here by Simon James Green, The Swifts by Beth Lincoln, The Storm Swimmer by Clare Weze, and Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan.

This year’s initiative culminated with the final award ceremony at Kings High School, Warwick, that saw three of the authors attend in person, including New York Times best-selling author Beth Lincoln, Simon James Green, and Clare Weze, as well as Ayub Khan, Head of Communities, Libraries, Heritage and Registration services at Warwickshire County Council. 

Cllr Yousef Dahmash, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation, said:

"The Warwickshire Junior Book Award is a great initiative to encourage primary school students across the county to discover the many benefits of reading. Reading for pleasure is known to enhance well-being and empathy and is closely linked with an increase in academic success.

 

“I would like to thank our Schools Library Service and the authors for their participation in this event. These child-friendly book awards are increasingly popular among Warwickshire schools, and our staff are available to help any schools that would like to get involved and use literature to enhance the educational experience of their students.”

Warwickshire Schools Library Service organised and hosted the Junior Book Award 2024 and are grateful to have received support from Warwickshire Libraries Reading and Learning team, the shortlisted authors and publishers and Warwick Books. They are also a friend of Child Friendly Warwickshire, which is bringing the county together in a collective effort to ensure all children and young people have a voice that is heard, that they are safe, happy and healthy and that they are equipped with the skills to have the best lives they can. To find out more, visit the Child Friendly Warwickshire website.

WSLS services are available to support schools and education settings through a wide range of reading and curriculum resources, awards, initiatives, training and more that will engage children and young people and help foster a love of reading. To find out more about WSLS, visit https://sls.warwickshire.gov.uk  

If your school would like to take part in the Junior Book Award next year, please email WSLS at schoolslibraryservice@warwickshire.gov.uk  

To sign-up to the WSLS newsletter, visit https://sls.warwickshire.gov.uk/subscribe

Published: 9th July 2024

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