Pupils rewarded for reading challenge

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Pupils from seven secondary schools across St Helens gathered at Chester Lane Library for the annual Book Award St Helens celebration event.

Now in its fifth year, the award - administered by the St Helens Schools Library Service - involves pupils attending reading workshops in libraries across the borough to cut a list of 13 longlisted book nominations down to six.

After long deliberations, the pupils unanimously voted Alex Bell’s horror novel Frozen Charlotte the overall winner.

The students from St Augustine’s, St Cuthbert’s, Cowley, De La Salle, Haydock, Rainhill and Rainford were also encouraged to enter a ‘best book review’ competition. The first prize consisted of a certificate and 12 of the 13 books that appeared on this year’s list, most of which were signed by the authors.

Meg Downey from Haydock High School was the chosen winner for her fabulous review of The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson.

Shortlisted author of ‘The Game Changer’ Tim Bowler and shortlisted author at last year’s event, Emma Carroll, were on hand to present Meg with her prizes.

This year’s special guest, Emma, author of Frost Hollow Hall, In Darkling Wood, The Girl Who Walked on Air, The Snow Sister and Strange Star - due out in July 2016 – then spoke to the pupils about her experiences as a writer and her love of writing from an early age.

Sue Williamson, Head of Library Services for St Helens Council, said: “It was wonderful to see so many young people turn out at Chester Lane Library to show their enthusiasm for reading at this year’s BASH celebration event.

“Reading has the ability to reach children and young people in a way other mediums can’t. It can spark creativity and broaden learning.”

For more information on BASH, visit