Bolton School Senior Boys

Award Winning Author Launches Bolton Children’s Fiction Book Award

Bolton School welcomed author and Brit Writers’ Award Winner, Sufiya Ahmed, to officially launch a new initiative supported by the Bolton Schools' Library Service - the “Bolton Children’s Fiction Book Award”. 

Over 100 pupils in Years 7 and 8 from across the region joined Bolton School pupils at the launch, where Sufiya announced the six shortlisted books and encouraged the pupils to read the shortlisted books and vote for their favourite. Bolton Public Libraries are stocking the shortlisted titles in their branch libraries.

The shortlist was drawn up over the summer by librarians from schools across the region including Mrs Linda Frew from Bolton School. Mrs Frew said: “I was so disappointed when the Bolton Children’s Book Award stopped.  Having a focus for reading, topics for discussion and feeling that they had a real influence on the outcome of the award, meant that the pupils got so much out of it. We are hoping the new award ceremony will be a bigger event than ever. We librarians are all looking forward to seeing how our hard work of short-listing books will enable pupils to have a great time being involved in discussions, voting, blogging, acting, making films and, let’s not forget, reading books and discovering brilliant new authors.”

Addressing the pupils at the launch, Sufiya said: “I hope you all take part by buying and reading the books. All the books on the shortlist sound amazing and I do not envy you all the task of choosing the winner. I am very pleased to be here to launch the Bolton Children’s Fiction Book Award and I hope the event will carry on for years to come.” The blog for children to leave their comments on the books can be found at

31 schools in total are involved, some coming from as far away as Lancaster, Blackburn, and South Manchester. Jack Mardella, a pupil at St Anne’s Academy, said: “Reading is fun and interesting. My favourite kind of books are adventure books and I’m looking forward to reading the shortlisted books.” Safia Kapadia from Bolton School Girls’ Division added: “I love reading because it is like having a TV in your head.” Pupils could purchase the books at the launch, and demand was so high that another book sale has been organised for next Friday.

The winner will be announced at an event at Bolton School in June 2014, attended by pupils from participating schools and compered by previous Bolton Book Award winner Joe Craig. Children will have the opportunity to take part in workshops and talks led by authors and have their books signed. Children’s author Alan Gibbons said: “Great to see the Bolton Book Award roaring back. Good luck to all the authors and may the young readers have a great time gobbling up all those wonderful books.”

The shortlisted books are:

After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross

Young Knights of the Round Table by Julia Golding

Chase the Dark by Sam Hepburn

Constable and Toop Gareth P Jones

Moon Bear by Gill Lewis

No Where by Jon Robinson

Sufiya Ahmed at Bolton School

Pupils from across the region joined Bolton School pupils at the launch, where Sufiya announced the six shortlisted books