A group of nine Bridgnorth Endowed School students were invited to attended the very first Shropshire Teenage Book Awards held at Concord College near Shrewsbury on Wednesday 22nd May.
Eleven schools from the county had been asked to take part in the judging, with pupils from Years 7 to 9 voting for their favourite title from a shortlist of six books based on a broad theme of ‘empathy and social wellbeing.’
Three of the authors – Sita Brahmachari, Beverley Naidoo and Elizabeth Laird – were present at the event and regaled students with tales of their incredible lives and experiences that provided them with the inspiration for their books.
Bridgnorth Endowed student, Ellie Conner, comments: “I loved hearing real authors talk about what inspired them to write their books.”
Year 7 student, Sam Hirsch, adds: “I liked the book awards even more than Bookfest as we could actually talk to the authors.”
In front of a packed theatre, the newly-appointed Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Phil Gillam, announced that Elizabeth Laird’s book ‘Welcome to Nowhere’ had tied for the silver medal with Matt Haig’s ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’.
The winner of the gold medal was Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Private Peaceful’; a story that follows 24 hours in a young soldier’s life at the front during the First World War.
The Teen Book Award was organised through a long working relationship between Concord and the Shropshire School Library Service, which will hopefully lead to similar awards projects in the future or even for this award to become an annual event.