Young readers win prizes

Youngsters of primary school age often can't wait to get home from school and get to grips with their play stations and other computer games.But one group of pupils have been seeing the written word in a new and enthusiastic light through a project involving children's authors and Norfolk County Council's library service.

Youngsters of primary school age often can't wait to get home from school and get to grips with their play stations and other computer games.

But one group of pupils have been seeing the written word in a new and enthusiastic light through a project involving children's authors and Norfolk County Council's library service.

The NCC Norfolk Shorts Book Award 2008 asked pupils from eight local primary schools to read and review six shortlisted books and to vote for their favourite story.

The schools involved were Sandringham West Newton, West Raynham, Middleton, Great Massingham, Hindringham, Toftwood , Sculthorpe and Norman at Northwood, near Thetford.


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The award ceremony was held last week at Fakenham library and followed visits by authors - Kay Umansky from London, Vivian French from Edinburgh and Geraldine McCaughrean from Berkshire, to three schools.

The schools they visited included West Raynham primary where the pupils had a chance to hear Miss McCaughrean read from her story, Mo, and ask her questions.

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At the ceremony each author gave a different presentation to the children and the winners in three categories were announced by Harriet Cox from the Norfolk schools' library service.

“It has been really great because the scheme was a pilot and we didn't know how it would go. We never imagined that three of these well-known authors would want to come,” said Mrs Cox, who came up with the idea for the scheme.

In the children's categories the winner of the best book review was Jessica Sunderland, from Sculthorpe primary school. The judges particularly liked Jessica's “honesty and sense of humour” in her review.

Winner of the best alternative book cover was Daisy Holman, from Middleton primary school, near King's Lynn and the best book display was won by Sandringham and West Newton primary school.

The children voted their favourite short story to be Andy Stanton's You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum.

Head of the Norman primary school Rob Hothersall said he has been very impressed with the scheme.

“I think it is a really good idea. The process which has culminated in this event today has been very special and has got the children very excited about books. I was talking to a parent who was saying how her daughter was dashing upstairs to read rather than go on her play station or watch the television,” said Mr Hothersall.

The event was one of the events aimed at celebrating the National Year of Reading 2008.

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