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Southern Schools Book Award

Since September the ten Year 9 members of the Southern Schools Book Award Reading Group have been meeting in the Library with Mr Smith and Mrs Duck to discuss the five short listed books.  These are:

'Bone Jack' by Sara Crowe, 'Salvage' by Keren David, 'Say Her Name' by Juno Dawson, 'Hate' by Alan Gibbons and 'Web of Darkness' by Bali Rai

Our students chose their favourite book in December and the votes from the 40 participating schools were counted.  We all assembled at Roedean School last Friday evening for the Presentation Evening to find out which author had won this year's award.

Last year's winner, Sophie McKenzie, hosted the evening.  We were also privileged to have Chris Riddell, the Children's Laureate, who made drawings of the authors and illustrated their books throughout the evening.  His drawings were displayed on two large visualizers for the audience to see.

The five authors all spoke passionately about their books.  Alan Gibbons and Bali Rai both took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of public libraries and the life changing opportunities that can come from reading books.

Juno Dawson's book 'Say Her Name', a ghost story actually set in Roedean School, won the Highly Commended.  Bali Rai's 'Web of Darkness', a dark thriller about cyber bullying in a school, was chosen as the winner.  Both authors received loud rounds of applause.

Our students were delighted as we had chosen 'Web of Darkness' as our winner with 'Say Her Name' as the runner-up.

The authors' books were on sale and there was the opportunity for all the students to meet the authors and have their books signed.

It was a wonderful and memorable evening for everyone present.


Some of the Chailey students with Miss Burke


Chris Riddell drawing his introductory message to the audience



Sophie McKenzie hosting the event


Alan Gibbons


Chris Riddell presented the book tokens to a representative from each of the 40 schools.  Harry Knighton, from Chailey, can be seen above


Bali Rai making his acceptance speech









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