Pupils from 25 participating West Sussex primary schools have voted ‘Land of Roar’ by Jenny McLachlan the winner of this year’s West Sussex Schools Library Service Story Book Award.
The book captured the hearts of children because of its contemporary characters, thrilling adventure and its ability to immerse the reader in its fantasy realm.
‘Land of Roar’ tells the story of eleven-year-old twins, Rose and Arthur Trout, who stay with their grandad over the summer holidays. Rose and Arthur may have forgotten about the fantasy world they created when they were small, but the characters of that world have not forgotten them. When grandad is sucked into Roar through the fold-up bed in the attic, Arthur and Rose must return to a world they thought was make-believe.
Shortlisted books were delivered to schools before the coronavirus pandemic, and any schools who had difficulty accessing them during lockdown were supported with online resources through the Schools Library Service’s blog.
Nigel Jupp, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The awards have been run by the West Sussex Schools Library Service for the past five years. They are a great success and always well received by the schools and pupils who participate.
“The awards encourage children to read for enjoyment, which is key to developing literacy and life skills for the future. Research shows that reading for pleasure helps children make sense of the world, form good relationships and gain a sense of cultural identity, all qualities that are constantly being developed in children in West Sussex primary schools.”
Schools are invited to participate in next year’s Story Book Award from November 2020. The award is aimed at Y5 pupils and schools can participate as a class or book group. Schools are provided with copies of the shortlisted titles, the award longlist, bookmarks and a briefing pack. For more information on the West Sussex Schools Library Service, visit schools.westsussex.gov.uk/Services/3148.