Salford crowned its 2018 Literary Hero at 15th Annual Book Award

An exciting annual reading event for Salford high schools took place on 16th March, at The Lowry, to announce this year’s winner of the Salford Children’s Book Award.

Over 130 11-14 year olds from 13 schools across Salford got to meet their literary icons with five out of the six shortlisted authors attending plus host, comedian and author James Campbell at the 15th Salford Children’s Book Award.

The 2018 winner was Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock, who said:

“I am really shocked to have won. Thank you so much to all the children that voted, I am amazed.”

Fleur was presented with her award by Natalie and Maisie, both aged 12 from St Patrick’s RC High School in Eccles. The pupils went on stage and presented their view of Fleur’s book(link is external) and why they voted for it in front of Salford’s Ceremonial Mayor, Councillor Peter Connor, and Councillor Ann-Marie Humphreys.

Natalie said:

“I really enjoyed meeting Fleur and also the event’s host James Campbell. He’s very funny and they both inspire us.”

The Salford Children’s Book Award, which is run by Salford Schools’ Library Service, is designed to introduce high school pupils in Salford to a wide range of books and authors, to promote that reading is fun and enhance literary development.

Sarah Spence, Director of Libraries and Culture at Salford Community Leisure, said:

“We are delighted that this year’s winner is Fleur Hitchcock for her book Murder in Midwinter which is a thrilling, fast-paced read and we thank the shortlisted authors who attended the event and further inspired our young readers in attendance.

For 15 years, Salford Schools’ Library Service has been encouraging pupils in Salford High Schools to love reading through the Salford Children’s Book Award. We aim to continue to inspire and engage our young people by providing the most diverse range of reading materials possible as we believe that reading different types of literature can really enhance learning, vocabulary and general knowledge.”

Each year six outstanding books are sent to participating schools to read over the course of 6 months and at the end of this period, students vote for their favourite titles from the selection.

At the ceremony, pupils from participating schools went on stage and told the crowd what they thought about the books, heard the authors’ answers to their questions, and met the authors and host.

The 2018 shortlist was:

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl; River of Ink: Genesis by Helen Dennis; The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr; The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster; Beetle Boy by MG Leonard and Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock.