Guest post: Henry's thoughts about NSTBA17

On World Children's Day, who better to do a post than a child? Our very own Henry has kindly shared his thoughts about Saturday.

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When you are a booklover, it’s always nice to be around other booklovers and there is no better place to mingle with booklovers than the wonderful North Somerset Teachers' Book Award Ceremony – and that’s where I have been today!

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Just like last year, there was more cake than I have eaten in my whole 12 years of life – and I have eaten a LOT of cake. Just like last year, there were lots of lovely authors – there should be a collective noun for a lot of authors….and a lot of cakes. But according to Answer.com ‘cakes don’t usually congregate in groups’ and I think it’s pretty rare for authors too, so that’s what’s amazing about NSTBA17!

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I entered Mendip Green’s busy hall which was already buzzing with chit chat. I ran over to the bookshop and ‘helped’ my Mum choose some new books to add to my ‘To Be Read’ pile. Then I looked around to see which author I should go and introduce myself to first which turned out to be Tom Moorhouse. He signed my book in a blue pen which he said he hadn’t done before- and as I had never had a book signed by Tom Moorhouse before, it was a first for us both!

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Then I ‘hobnobbed’ (not the biscuit) with shortlisted authors. After lots of booky talk, signatures and selfies, it was time for the raffle (Don’t mention the raffle….I didn’t win) and the start of the ceremony.

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It was really great to see the winning authors get their awards. They all did amazing speeches – you could tell how much it meant to them and that was really special.

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I was lucky enough to announce the winner of the Information Category; the winner was…’La La Land’ ...oh no sorry, it was actually…’Moonlight’…oh no, it really was Martin Brown with his ‘Lesser Spotted Animals’. Well done Martin! It was lovely meeting you!

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The ceremony ended with lots of happy faces and laughing with cake-filled bellies.

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Just like last year, I loved every minute but a huge highlight this year has to be meeting, Mungo, Perdy and Lola -some book lovers have more than 2 legs!

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I can’t wait to start reading my new books and I’m looking forward to North Somerset Teachers' Book Award 2018!

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Thank you so much for writing this, Henry- we couldn't do it without you! As I keep being reminded- only 51 and a bit weeks until NSTBA18!

North Somerset Teachers' Book Award 2017, part 3

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So here are all the fabulous authors and illustrators who attended the North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards 2017. You can find reviews of each of their books on the website- and each comes highly recommended! 

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The winners of the 2017 North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards are:

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Quality Fiction Category: A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan by Hilary Robinson, illustrated by Martin Impey. Read our review here.

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Picture Book Category: Superbat by Matt Carr. You can read our review here.

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Read Aloud Category: S.C.R.E.A.M. The Mummy's Revenge by Andrew Beasley. Read our review here.

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Moving On Category: Black Powder by Ally Sherrick. You can read our review here.

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Information Category: Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown. You can read our review here.

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Poetry Category: Reaching the Stars: Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls by Jan Dean, Liz Brownlee and Michaela Morgan. Read our review here.

Thank you once again to everyone who came and supported us.

So many wonderful books! And yes, in answer to the question I've already been asked, we are already looking for books for next year! Only 52 weeks to go!

North Somerset Teachers' Book Award 2017, part 2

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And then it was time to open the envelopes and reveal the winners.

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First category... picture book. From an amazing selection, the winner was the lovely Matt Carr for his wonderful story, 'Superbat'. He could not have been more surprised- or pleased! He was almost lost for words!

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Next, the Poetry Category. So important, yet often neglected in schools, the short list offers a brilliant selection with something for every occasion. The winner was 'Reaching the Stars' by Jan Dean, Liz Brownlee and Michaela Morgan.

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Although Michaela and Jan were unable to attend, Liz Brownlee and the lovely Lola, her medical alert dog, were with us to accept the award. 

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Next...the Read Aloud Category. Great books for engaging a class at story time, each of these books is a treat. The winner was 'SCREAM The Mummy's Revenge' by Andrew Beasley. 

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Andrew was delighted to win and told us all how he had always dreamed of being an author. 

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Next, the Information Category. Four excellent titles- each beautifully illustrated and fascinating-perfect for National Non-fiction November, the winner was Martin Brown's 'Lesser Spotted Animals'.

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Well known for illustrating the very popular 'Horrible Histories' (celebrating 25 years!), Martin wrote and illustrated 'Lesser Spotted Animals' and was very pleased to win. 

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The Quality Fiction Category is all about those books which lend themselves to inspiring children in their work. As with each of our categories, this year's short list was extremely strong. Each of the authors in this category was able to attend and so the atmosphere was particularly tense as Will opened the envelope...

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And the winners were Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey with their book 'A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan'. Winners last year of the Poetry Category with 'Flo of the Somme', Hilary and Martin spoke passionately about this very special book which commemorates the life of the gardeners of Heligan, particularly William Robins Guy who died in the war. Showing us all a book once owned by Will, Martin explained that Will's nephew, Trounce Guy, had given it to him when he was writing the book.

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Last, but definitely not least, was our Moving On Category. Many children in Y6 moving to Y7 are ready for a challenging read, yet not really ready to move on to YA fiction: these books are to help teachers with suggested reads. 'Black Powder' by Ally Sherrick won this category. Ally was delighted to win and know that we enjoyed her book.

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It was such a lovely occasion. Everyone was so kind and said how much they had enjoyed the day- no one was keen to leave! Already people are talking about next year...perhaps we'll have a week off before we start planning!