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BASH is a hit with pupils

Article date - 07 April 2017

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.
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St Helens Schools Library Service operates 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. As part of this, year one, five, seven, eight and nine pupils have been busy taking part in library workshops to agree on which book should be crowned number one from a shortlist of nominations in their respected age category.

Celebration events held at Chester Lane Library saw winning titles announced by prominent children’s authors, with the Mayor and Mayor of St Helens, Councillors Dave and Jeanette Banks., also among those in attendance.

Children’s author and illustrator Steven Lenton was on hand to announce Emma Yarlett’s Nibbles:The Book Monster as the winner of the first ever BASH 5+ award after year one pupils from nine different primary schools gave it the nod over the other four nominated books. Steven then showed the children how to draw a character from the popular Shifty McGifty series and read his latest book – ‘Let's Find Fred.’

In the BASH 9+ category, year five pupils from 11 St Helens primary schools took part in two library workshops - which included the ever popular game of book charades - before sitting down to shortlist six books, with author Will Mabbit announcing Julian Clary’s ‘The Bolds’ as the favourite.

Meanwhile, the BASH 11+ event saw year seven, eight and nine students from six secondary schools take part in two library workshops to reduce a long list of titles down to a shortlist of five. After much deliberation, ‘A Seven Letter Word’ by Kim Slater was announced the winner by ‘The Art of Being Normal’ author, Lisa Williamson.

Awards were also handed out for the best written book reviews, with Billinge St Aidan’s Piper Williams scooping best review in the BASH 9+ category for her review of Christopher Edge’s ‘The Many Worlds of Albie Bright’- while Bridie Bell from Haydock High School was commended for her review of ‘Am I Normal Yet?’ by Holly Bourne.

Congratulating each pupil for their efforts, Sue Williamson, Head of Library Services for St Helens Council, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many young people turn out at Chester Lane Library to show their enthusiasm for reading at this year’s BASH celebration event.
“Reading has the ability to reach children and young people in a way other mediums can’t. It can spark creativity and broaden learning.”

BASH is available to all schools that subscribe to the School Library Service. For more information, contact Kathryn Boothroyd by calling 01744 677486, or email kathrynboothroyd@sthelens.gov.uk