Northern Ireland Book Awards
The Northern Ireland Book Award is an annual event including around 35-40 Northern Ireland post-primary schools. Local book award schemes to encourage and develop a love of reading had been springing up in England and Scotland but no such award existed in Northern Ireland. In an attempt to rectify this, two school librarians, decided to introduce such a scheme to the Province in 2009.
Children are the driving force behind the scheme and it is their suggestions which provide the foundation. All year 8-9 school pupils in Northern Ireland are invited to submit nominations which fit specified criteria. Booksellers, too, submit nominations according to sales figures, as a fair reflection of what young people are actually reading and again the nominations have to fit the specified criteria.
The whole emphasis is on books that are exciting and encourage children to read more books and the over-riding aim is to see book-centred social interaction and debate amongst young people from all community sectors.
Curtis Jobling, Dead Scared
Simon and Schuster. ISBN: 9781471115776
When Will finds himself in hospital, but unable to make anyone see or hear him, he realises that he never made it home from his first kiss with the school hottie. Knocked off his bike in a road traffic accident, Will is now officially dead - and a ghost. But somehow his best mate, Dougie, can still see him, and, what is more, increasingly Will seems bound to Dougie, going only where Dougie goes. Once they've exhausted all the comic possibilities of being invisible, they set about unravelling the mystery of Will's predicament. Is it something to do with that kiss, or the driver of the car that killed him and didn't stop? Maybe they will find an answer by investigating the rumour that there is an unhappy spirit haunting the ruins in the school grounds, and if so, why? What they discover is a long-buried mystery, which stretches its fingers right into the present...
Kenneth Oppel, The Boundless
David Fickling Books. ISBN: 9781910200100
After a murder is committed, Will finds himself in possession of a key that has the potential to unlock the train's hidden treasures. Together with Maren, a gifted escape artist, and Mr Dorian, a circus ringmaster with amazing abilities, Will must save the Boundless before someone else winds up dead. With villains fast on his heels and strange creatures lurking outside the windows, the train hurtles across the country as Will flees for his life. His adventure may have begun without his knowing... but how it ends is now entirely up to Will.
Carter Roy, The Blood Guard
Scholastic. ISBN: 9781407136998
Thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove leaves school one day and discovers he's a member of The Blood Guard - an ancient order of protectors. He will acquire invaluable skills (in swordfighting, subterfuge and more); learn that he has magical talents he never dreamed of; rescue his parents from certain death and finally fall for the wrong girl and overlook the right one. Only then will he find out his true purpose: guarding a geeky girl computer genius, and by saving her, save the world.
Steve Backshall, Wilds of the Wolf
Orion. ISBN: 9781444004403
Saker and Sinter escape by the skin of their teeth when their plan to sabotage a billionaire businessman plundering 'black gold' (natural oil and gas) and hunting wolves in the remote Yamal peninsula in North West Siberia goes disastrously wrong. But they escape one kind of peril only to find themselves in an even more terrifying situation. Separated by blizzards and avalanches, lost in a breathtakingly beautiful but deadly frozen Arctic wilderness, suffering from frostbite and hunger, listening to the wolves howl and the packs draw closer, it seems that this time they cannot possibly live to tell their tale...
Holly Goldberg Sloan, Counting by 7s
Piccadilly Press. ISBN: 9781848123823
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn't kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now. Suddenly Willow's world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.
Michael Morpurgo, Listen to the Moon
HarperCollins. ISBN: 9780007339631
Alfie and his fisherman father find a girl on an uninhabited island in the Scillies – injured, thirsty, lost... and with absolutely no memory of who she is, or how she came to be there. She can say only one word: Lucy.
Where has she come from? Is she a mermaid, the victim of a German U-boat, or even – as some islanders suggest – a German spy... ?
Only one thing is for sure: she loves music and moonlight, and it is when she listens to the gramophone that the glimmers of the girl she once was begin to appear.
WW1 is raging, suspicion and fear are growing, and Alfie and Lucy are ever more under threat. But as we begin to see the story of Merry, a girl boarding a great ship for a perilous journey across the ocean, another melody enters the great symphony – and the music begins to resolve...
For more information go to http://www.nibookaward.org.uk/
The NI Book Awards Finale was held in Strathearn School in Belfast on Tuesday 23rd June where 10 pupils were given the opportunity to attend. Dan Freedman, author of the ‘Jamie Johnson' series shared his love of writing and football followed by a ‘best question' competition.
We then got to watch the school entries for the annual ‘Book Trailer' competition. Our school entry was made by the very talented James McKeown – 10 Layde. His book trailer for ‘Counting by 7's' wasn't successful this time but there's always a chance next year!
Finally The NI Book Award 2015 winner was announced as ‘The Bloodguard' by Carter Roy! As a school St. Louis had decided it as our winner too!
Look out for book 2 in ‘The Blood guard' series – ‘The Glass Gauntlet' coming in September.
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