The winner of the Portsmouth Year 5 Book Award 2022, in which pupils vote for a favourite book, was announced in front of students at the Kings Theatre in Southsea this week.
The lord mayor, councillor Canon Dr Hugh Mason and lady mayoress, Miss Marie Costa, congratulated British children’s writer Chris Priestley, whose book Freeze, was voted the winner from a shortlist of five books.
More than 1200 year five pupils voted from 23 city schools.
Portsmouth's Year 5 Reading Champions, pupils from Ark Ayrton Primary Academy and Portsdown Primary School, were also recognised.
Each primary school made a nomination for a pupil who is an avid reader and encourages others around them to love reading.
Cllr Suzy Horton, cabinet member for education at Portsmouth City Council said: 'Chris Priestley was the runaway winner this year from a fantastic shortlist.
‘Portsmouth pupils had to choose their favourite book from four quite different titles, but they were really gripped by this great story. The annual Book Award and Reading Champion competition is a fantastic initiative to promote the love of reading.’
Children were also given the chance to nominate an 'Inspiring Adult', someone in their school who has helped and encouraged pupils to develop a love of reading.
Sam Smith from Portsdown Primary School received the prize, which is given in memory of the late Mrs Jean Fray, who was Librarian at Arundel Court Academy.
This is the second time Chris Priestley has won the book award.
In 2018 he was named for his book Flesh and Blood.