Pupils select book prize winner
STUDENTS from King’s Oak Academy in Kingswood were among those who chose this year’s winner of the Concorde Book Award.
The selected title for South Gloucestershire’s literature prize for young people for 2020 was The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Raúf.
It is a novel that tells the uplifting story of a boy who flees from a war-torn country and makes new friends in the UK.
Six books were shortlisted for the award. Eight secondary schools and three reading groups took part. Votes were cast on World Book Day and the winner was announced at a gala event at Bristol and Bath Science Park at Emersons Green.
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Councillor Brian Allinson announced the winner. He said: “I’d like to congratulate Onjali for winning this award in what was a shortlist full of excellent books. The Concorde Book Award encourages young people to maintain a passion for reading through a time in their life when some turn to alternative activities instead.
Onjali Raúf said: “I’m so utterly thrilled to have the Concorde Book Award be gifted to Ahmet’s story - it means the world to me that the story is deemed worthy enough of this lovely award, and that the story is still striking a chord with so many hearts. Thank you so much for the honour!”
The Concorde Book Award aims to promote a love of reading among 11-14 year olds, and thousands of young people have taken part since it was launched in 2007.
It is one of the few literary awards that involves children and young people all the way through from choosing the longlist and the winner, to delivering presentations and author interviews at the annual award ceremony.
Shortlisted books are made available from South Gloucestershire public and school libraries, and voting takes place on World Book Day each year.
This year’s shortlisted titles were:
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Rauf (Winner)
The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton
Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan
Thunderstruck by Ali Sparkes
Potkin and Stubbs by Sophie Green
The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders