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BASH proves a hit with young book lovers

Bookworms from primary and secondary schools across the borough have been hard at it over the past few months, deciding on their favourite reads of the year.

BASH 2024

Article date: 5 April 2024

As part of St Helens Schools Library Service's BASH (Book Awards St Helens) - an annual reading for pleasure scheme where children and young people are encouraged to read the latest, modern and enticing fiction written specially for them - pupils from 20 primary schools and five secondary schools have been busy taking part in library workshops to agree on which book should be crowned number one from a short-list of nominations in their age category.

At special celebration events held in Chester Lane Library, author and storyteller Dan Worsley was on hand to announce Cats in Chaos by Peter Bently, along with Shane Hegarty's The Shop of Impossible Ice Creams as winners of the 5+ and 9+ age categories respectively - while Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick was given the nod in the 11+ category.

Congratulating pupils for their efforts this year, Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said:

"It's wonderful to see so many young people from the borough get involved in BASH to share their valued opinions on books and I'd like to thank them for their important input.

"St Helens Schools Library Service forms an integral part of our overall recently modernised library service offer, supporting teaching, empowering learning and inspiring young readers - providing access to the latest high-quality resources at school to develop reading and learning experiences.

"Reading is such a wonderful gift that has the ability to spark creativity and broaden learning and St Helens Library Service is committed through a number of initiatives like this to ensure young people from all over the borough have the opportunity to keep on reading."

All books featured on the BASH shortlists are available to borrow from St Helens Borough Council's network of seven libraries, with selected titles available online by visiting

BASH is available to all schools that subscribe to the Schools Library Service. For more information, email or call 01744 677425.