A pupil with a Fantastic Book Awards selfie frame

Top Lancs children's book awards launched with author visit

A chance for Lancashire pupils to pick their top reads has been launched with a visit from an award-winning author.

Lancashire School Library Service launched its Fantastic Book Awards 2024 at Preston North End Football Club on Thursday, September 28, with a visit from acclaimed children's author Phil Earle and the unveiling of the 25 books chosen as contenders for the awards.

The celebrated author of books for children and teenagers was a special guest speaker at the official launch of this year's Fantastic Book Awards last week.

A prolific author with stories spanning many subjects and abilities, Phil's latest book, 'Until the Road Ends,' came out in June, while his book 'When the Sky Falls' won the British Book Awards, Children's Book of the Year 2022, and the Fantastic Book Awards 2023.

The exciting competition, which has been up and running for nearly two decades, will see children from over 160 primary schools across Lancashire picking their favourite reads.

It involves children from Years 5 and 6 voting for their top choices before the five winners are unveiled next May at a glittering celebration.

Aimed at encouraging a love of reading for pleasure and providing opportunities for pupils aged from nine to 11 years old, The Fantastic Book Awards help expand children's reading choices and create opportunities for them to discuss books and share views about reading before voting for their favourite ones.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for Community and Cultural Services, said: "Our wonderful Fantastic Book Awards have been encouraging young readers to enjoy reading for nearly two decades, and we are very proud of the way in which our School Library Service has helped champion a love of reading among children across Lancashire during this time."

 County Councillor Jayne Rear, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: "We are fully committed to maintaining the high levels and standards of literacy here in Lancashire, and it's important that we encourage children to read for pleasure, so I will be taking a keen interest to see who has won next May."