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County’s teens to celebrate their top reads at Cosford

Published on: 28 June 2017

Young readers from across Staffordshire will gather at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Tuesday 4 July for the grand finale of their annual book award.  The Young Teen Fiction Award, now in its thirteenth year is designed to encourage the county’s teenagers to enjoy reading books and share their enthusiasm with others.

Hundreds of 11-14 year olds, who either live or go to school in Staffordshire, or use Staffordshire Libraries, have been voting for their favourite reads since last September.  The short list of six titles was announced in February, and since then voting has moved online.

County Councillor Gill HeathGill Heath, Staffordshire’s Libraries Chief said:
"This is always a popular scheme that helps encourage youngsters to get into books and there is still time for them to vote for their favourite read before the big day. We’re very grateful to the museum for welcoming us back for a third year, and I know the youngsters will be truly inspired by their illustrious surroundings. We’ve always recognised the importance of encouraging youngsters to read for pleasure. This helps them to become effective, independent learners so I would definitely encourage them to get involved and vote for their favourite book.”

This year, as part of the Celebration Day activities, six schools are chosen to champion one of the shortlisted books in a short film, before the final votes are cast by an invited audience of county schoolchildren.

Library volunteer Mikey Roberts with top teen author Virginia Bergin at the RAF Cosford Museum Celebration Day in 2016 Youngsters from Landaue Forte QEMS Academy, Tamworth at last year’s YTF Award day.

Author Gareth P. JonesSpecial guest speaker for the Celebration Day will be top author, and YTF2017 nominee for his book ‘Death or Ice Cream?, Gareth P. Jones.

YTF2017 nominee, Gareth P. Jones said:
"The Staffordshire Libraries’ YTF Award is a brilliant way of engaging young people with books. Regional book awards are a wonderful reminder of the importance and
vitality of libraries in encouraging artistic engagement in every part of our communities. It is an honour to have my little book, Death or Ice Cream? Included on this year's richly diverse shortlist and I am very much looking forward to attending this year's celebration day.”

The six shortlisted titles for the Young Teen Fiction Award 2017 YTF2017 are:
• The Bone Sparrow: a refugee novel by Zana Fraillon
• Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
• A Seven Letter Word by Kim Slater
• Death or Ice Cream? by Gareth P Jones
• The Midnight Gang by David Walliams
• Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg

The closing date for online voting will be 12pm on Monday 3rd July 2017.

In addition schools are invited to propose up to two students to receive the accolade of YTF champion. This prestigious award will be presented at Celebration Day by the visiting author and will include the awarding of a badge and certificate. The award is for young people who have ‘gone the extra mile’ by undertaking some activity which contributes to the promotion of the school reading culture.

For more information on the Staffordshire Young Teen Fiction Award CLICK HERE.

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