Youngsters in St Helens urged to have a BASH at books

Youngsters who took part in the BASH 5+ awards with Liverpool-based author and illustrator Helen Poole
Youngsters who took part in the BASH 5+ awards with Liverpool-based author and illustrator Helen Poole

Bookworms have been busy rating their favourite reads of the year for primary and secondary schools in St Helens

Nominations were sought by BASH (Book Awards St Helens) as part of an initiative by the council's schools library service, to encourage young people to read the latest fiction.

Celebration events were held at Chester Lane and Newton-le-Willows libraries, which saw winning titles named by Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Coun Joe Pearson and his wife Sylvia.

Helen Poole, an author and illustrator from Liverpool, was on hand to announce ‘The Everywhere Bear’ by Julia Donaldson as the winner of the BASH 5+ award, chosen by Year One pupils.

In the BASH 9+ category, Christian O'Connell's Radio Boy won. Year Five pupils took part in library workshops which saw them write their own review of their favourite book from a short-list.

Sutton Manor Primary School pupil Kacie was awarded best review for her piece on ‘Who Let The Gods Out’ by Maz Evans, receiving a wonderful selection of books as a result.

The special guest for the BASH 9+ event was author of ‘The Many Worlds of Albie Bright’ by Christopher Edge.

While in the BASH 11+ event, which took place at Newton-le-Willows, secondary pupils took part in library workshops to decide on their winning book, which was scooped by Emily Barr’s ‘Memory of Flora Banks.’

The winning book review was awarded to Cowley High School’s Jasmina Rai for her account of Elizabeth Laird’s ‘Welcome to Nowhere.’ Jasmina received copies of each title that appeared on the long list for BASH 2018, some of which were signed.

Martin Griffin, author of ‘Poison Boy’ and ‘Lifers’ – as well as professional cartoonist Nick Brokenshire, whose work includes Star Wars Adventures and the Amelia Cole Series, were on hand to present certificates at the 11+ category celebration ceremony.

Kathryn Boothroyd, library service manager, said: "It’s wonderful to see so many young people from the borough get involved in BASH to share their valued opinions on books, and I’d like to thank them for their important input.

“Reading is such a wonderful gift which has the ability to spark creativity and broaden learning and this Library Service is extremely committed to ensuring young people keep reading."