School librarians work SO hard. Every year, there are regional awards for children’s books, and they’re all organised by a cohort of passionate and dedicated librarians. On Monday, I took several train journeys to Wood Green, which was a real trip of nostalgia because it’s where I lived in halls of residence in my first year at university:
I walked up to Heartlands High School, the host for the Haringey Book Awards, for which A Library of Lemons had been shortlisted. I’m not quite sure how many schools brought kids along, but it felt like about twenty! I did a workshop in the morning with kids from three visiting schools:
And then after a quick lunch, there was the awards ceremony.
No one knew in advance who was going to win, because the kids actually voted in a ballot box right before the ceremony, and the votes were counted during it! So the envelope was hotly anticipated by all – and the winner was Christine Hamill for her book The Best Medicine! This is a story about a boy whose mother has breast cancer, but it’s properly, properly funny – Christine read out a section that had me chuckling out loud, which isn’t usually how I react to revelations of cancer. I’m looking forward to getting hold of a copy and reading the rest – it’s clear that the black humour in the book really resonated with the young audience, as there was a genuine gasp of delight when the winner was announced! Huge congratulations to Christine, and also to my fellow nominees: Peter Bunzl, Karen McCombie, AF Harrold and Emma Carroll. I think we all had a brilliant day, and for that we have to thank the librarians who bring authors, books and children together at these wonderful inspiring events.