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Top award announced at Stockton Children's Book of the Year ceremony

23 March 2017

Stockton schoolchildren from across the Borough have voted for their favourite book in the 20th Stockton Children's Book of the Year competition, run by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Libraries service.

Image of Tamsin Cooke at the book of the year ceremony

The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar, by Tamsin Cooke, scooped the top prize at the awards ceremony as the views and reviews of Stockton schoolchildren provided the acid test for the writers of children's fiction.

More than 600 children, aged between nine and 12, from 27 local primary, secondary and academy schools read their way through a series of shortlisted books before voting for their favourite in a secret ballot.

Topping the poll of pupils' votes was Tamsin Cooke's The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar, which tells the tale of Scarlet McCall - a schoolgirl by day and cat burglar by night - who is on a mission with her dad to return stolen treasures to their rightful owners.

And Tamsin wasn't the only award winner as Eve Connor, from St Paul's RC Primary School in Billingham, won The Book Review of the Year Award for her review of Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: "The Stockton Children's Book of the Year is a much-loved project, now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, which is leaving a lasting legacy of a love of literature for so many schoolchildren.

"Over the last 20 years, more than 15,000 pupils have taken part and it is fantastic to know that so many schoolchildren are being introduced to such wonderful storytelling year on year.

"I'd like to say congratulations to Tamsin Cooke and Eve Connor for their award wins and well done to all of the pupils who took part in reading the books and choosing their favourite this year."

In the build-up to the ceremony, all of the shortlisted authors visited Stockton Borough schools to meet with pupils, talk about their books and the importance of literature.

The full shortlist for the 2017 Stockton Children's Book of the Year was:

  • Chris Callaghan - The Great Chocoplot
  • Tamsin Cooke - The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar
  • Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler - Defender of the Realm
  • Toby Ibbotson - Mountwood School for Ghosts
  • MM Vaughan - SIX
  • Laura Wood - Poppy Pym and the Pharaoh's Curse

For more information, visit Libraries and archives.