Essex annual book award winner announced

THE winner of the forth annual Essex Book Award has been announced. Run by Essex County Council s Library service the county-wide scheme is aimed at encouraging secondary school pupils to enjoy reading and foster a passion for fiction. Who won?

THE winner of the forth annual Essex Book Award has been announced. Run by Essex County Council's Library service the county-wide scheme is aimed at encouraging secondary school pupils to enjoy reading and foster a passion for fiction. Who won?

Jane Mitchell's novel, Chalkline, has been announced the winner of this year's award from a shortlist of six novels.

All were chosen by Essex School Library Service Librarians from a huge range of newly-published books for young people, all participants were given the opportunity to write a review and post it on the Essex Grid for Learning.

Encouraged throughout by the librarians in their own schools, all pupils were able to cast individual votes for their favourite book.


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In February, the votes were counted and verified and Jane Mitchell's Chalkline was a clear winner, as voted for by hundreds of students agreeing it was their favourite; she will be presented with the Essex Book Award at an award ceremony during the summer term.

Trained to kill

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The contemporary novel, set in the mountains of Kashmir, features Rafiq, who is just nine when Kashmiri Freedom fighters raid his village in search of new recruits. Rafiq is forced to become a boy soldier against his will.

His sister Jameela cannot forget her brother and while Rafiq is trained to kill in the rebel camp high in the mountains, she keeps his memory alive.

When their paths cross again, Rafiq is unrecognizable as the boy who was forced to leave his village and family.

Also shortlisted for the Award were:

The Battle for Gullywith by Susan Hill

Deathwatch by Nicola Morgan

The Sandfather by Linda Newbery

The Soul Trade by E.E.Richardson

The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine.

Essex County Council cabinet member for education, Stephen Castle, said: "The Essex Book Award is a wonderful way to get young readers inspired by fiction, and encourage them to develop their own views and opinions as the Award was judged by them.

"We are thrilled to announce Jane Mitchell's Chalkline as the winner of the forth book award, a clear favourite and inspiration to those pupils involved in the decision making.

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