Engaging pupils to read more widely

Amber Lee Dodd from Portsmouth, who used to work at Blackwells at the University of Portsmouth, launched her debut novel We Are Giants there last year Picture: Sarah Standing (160532-8758)

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OTHER schools throughout the city have also been voting on their favourite book.

The Portsmouth Children’s Book Awards has allowed more than 3,000 pupils across infant, junior and senior schools to vote for their favourite book.

Now in its 15th year, the awards aim to encourage and motivate children to read more widely. Advisory librarian at the School Library Service, Caroline Prince, said: ‘The idea behind it was to engage children in reading.’

With three categories including picture book, shorter novel and longer novel there is a section for each age group.

The shorter novel category was voted for by 1,702 year 5 pupils from 27 schools.

The shortlist for this category included The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon by Jonny Duddle, Seal Island by Julia Green, Warrior Heroes by Benjamin Hulme-Cross and Running on a Patchwork of Earth by Jonny Zucker.

Caroline said: ‘The schools then buy these books and then they can teach them in any way they want to.

‘Some teach them as a whole class, some take them home and others will use the books as guided reading in groups.’

The longer novel category consisted of five books which will be narrowed by 145 year 8 and 9 pupils in study groups.

School Library Service manager Peter Bone said: ‘At an event we will have the pupils work with trainee teachers from University of Portsmouth and then they will vote for the three that should be shortlisted.’

Winners from the shorter and longer novel categories will be announced in June with pupils from across the city getting together and meeting the winning author.