Southern Schools Book Award

30 January 2019

Last Friday, Book Club members travelled to Roedean School in Brighton for the presentation of the Southern Schools Book Award. Five books were shortlisted for the award last summer and, between September and January, we, and pupils in lots of other schools, read all of them and voted for our favourite.

The five books were all very different: there was sci-fi, adventure and much more. We enjoyed some more than others, and Woldingham’s favourite was ‘After the Fire’ by Will Hill. This book took inspiration from the Waco siege in 1993 and what happened to the children who survived the attack; the story was captivating, with beautiful, strong characters that captured your heart.

On the evening of the Award Ceremony, teachers, librarians and students gathered to see the authors of these books and discover the winner. Unfortunately, one of the authors was unable to attend, but the four others were superb and talked to us about the inspiration for their books. Some wrote them for their children, others just because they found the topic interesting, however, all the authors were equally inspiring and charismatic.

The winning book was ‘After the Fire’, which we were all tremendously pleased about. I went on stage to collect book tokens for all of us to spend and, afterwards, we were able to meet the authors and have our books signed. I was lucky enough to talk to Will Hill; he was very charming and loved hearing that every single person in my family has read his book because, after I read it, I held it in such high regard that I practically forced them all to read it!

I thoroughly enjoyed both the evening and the opportunity to read books that I would not have picked up before.

Emily, Year 11

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