Lancashire's Book of the Year Award 2019 named by county's schoolchildren

Sarah Crossan's Moonrise was named Lancashire Book of the Year 2019
Sarah Crossan's Moonrise was named Lancashire Book of the Year 2019

The winner of Lancashire's Book of the Year Award was today revealed at ceremony  at the University of Central Lancashire.

Sarah Crossan's Moonrise won the honour which is voted on by schoolchildren from across Lancashire

The book is about the relationship between two brothers, Joe and Ed, who haven't seen each other for 10 years, and what happens to that relationship when Ed is on death row in Texas for murdering a police officer. Teenager Joe travels to Texas to visit Ed who maintains his innocence and Joe has to decide whether to trust him or not, as they make the most of the time they have left together.

The event was attended by five of the top 11 shortlisted authors with Terry Lee, Bloomsbury Publishing's area manager accepting the award on Sarah. Due to personal circumstances the Irish author wasn't available to receive the accolade herself at the event.

However. in a special message Sarah, said, "I'm completely thrilled by this award. It is an honour for Moonrise to be recognised like this, and what makes the award so special is that it’s been decided by students. It’s amazing to think representatives from 24 high schools across Lancashire debated my book and chose it. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the award."

The shortlisted authors and books were:

Holly Bourne - It only happens in the movies

Katy Cannon - How to Write a Love Story

Sarah Crossan – Moonrise

Siobhan Curham - Don't stop thinking about tomorrow

Lauren James - The loneliest girl in the universe

Penny Joelson - Girl in the window

Taran Matharu - The Summoner: Outcast

Nathan Parker - The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson

Paula Rawsthorne – Shell

Fiona Shaw – Outwalkers

S.M Wilson – The Extinction Trials

The event was attended by County Coun Phillippa Williamson, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for children, young people and schools, who said: "This is a fun way to encourage young people to read and help us maintain the county's high literacy levels. The love of reading that is shared by so many young people was clear for everyone to see and it has been a pleasure to share that enthusiasm for reading with everyone at the event."

Now in its 33rd year, Lancashire's Book of the Year Award remains one of the few book awards where young people themselves are entirely responsible for drawing up the shortlist and choosing the overall winner.

The Lancashire Book of the Year was the first regional book award for children when it was originally organised in 1987. It was won that year by Philip Pullman, who went on to great success with the His Dark Materials trilogy.

The judges are pupils from school years 8 and 9 (aged between 13 and 14). 24 high schools from across the county took part, with each of Lancashire's districts represented.

There were 60 books nominated on the list. The young judges came together in March to hear which books had made it to the shortlist. A panel of pupils met up again in June to appraise each of the eleven shortlisted books and debate who should be the winner.

County Coun Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "Being introduced to books at a young age is important, as it can build up a love of reading that can stay with you for the rest of your life.

"It's fantastic to see so many young people so actively involved in judging these awards, and clearly getting so much pleasure from books. I really hope that their love of reading continues. I'm keen to do all I can to promote it."

Five of the other shortlisted authors Siobhan Curham, Taran Matharu, Nathan Parker, Paula Rawsthorne and Fiona Shaw were also present at the awards ceremony.

Previous winner Sarah Mussi also attended the ceremony and spoke about what winning the award in 2015 meant to her. The Lancashire Book of the Year Award was sponsored by UCLan for the 18th year.

This year's judging schools were:

Accrington Academy, Accrington, Hyndburn

Albany Academy, Chorley

Alder Grange School, Rawtenstall, Rossendale

Ashton Community Science College, Preston

Bishop Rawstorne Lang College, Leyland, South Ribble

Carr Hill High School, Kirkham, Fylde

Central Lancaster High School, Lancaster

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Clitheroe, Ribble Valley

Fleetwood High School, Fleetwood, Wyre

Garstang Community Academy, Garstang, Wyre

Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Lancaster

Marsden Heights Community College, Nelson, Pendle

Moor Park High School, Preston

Mount Carmel High School, Accrington, Hyndburn

Ormskirk High School, Ormskirk, West Lancashire

Pendle Vale High School, Nelson, Pendle

Shuttleworth College, Burnley

Sir John Thursby Community College, Burnley

SS John Fisher and Thomas More Roman Catholic High School, Colne, Pendle

St Bede's Catholic High School, Lytham St Annes, Fylde

Brownedge St Mary's Catholic High School, Bamber Bridge, South Ribble

Wellfield High School, Leyland, South Ribble

Whitworth Community High School, Whitworth, Rossendale

Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe, Ribble Valley