I was asked by Youth Libraries Group to write an article for the upcoming Lancashire book of the year award 2016. I was reading one of the shortlisted books on my flight from Dublin to London wondering, what am I going to write? How am I going to write it? Will I get it done in time? Will people read it? Will YLG even like it? Of anything I have ever written, I have penned this with all of my heart. I thought about my favourite books and what I read with my eight-year-old cousins and what makes me want to read and read to them.
I love to read for so many different reasons. On a noisy, peak-time tube ride, I was addicted to Sarah Mussi’s powerful, Riot (LBOY winner 2015). By the beach, I lost myself in the incredible world of Jonathan Stroud’s The Amulet of Samakand (LBOY winner 2005). I didn’t sleep the night I devoured Cat Clarke’s Undone with red-rimmed eyes and a hammering heart.
I know what it is to believe the unbelievable. I feel the power and poignancy of so many books.
I know what it is to believe the unbelievable. I feel the power and poignancy of so many books. This is a celebration of the books we read and why we read them. But this is also a plea to parents: let your children and teenagers read what they love. Footie biographies. Graphic novels. Fantasy. Manga. Magazines. Whatever it is they love to read, please encourage their passion for reading.
There are a lot of fantastic awards out there but there is nothing quite like the Lancashire book of the year award. LBOY puts the power back in the hands of the young people; they choose both the shortlist and the overall winning book.
To the readers: love what you read and show your cover for the world to see. Display it loud and proud.
To the authors: know what an honour it is that the young people themselves have shortlisted your books.
To the winner, Holly Bourne author of ‘Am I Normal Yet’: know how incredible it is that in twelve months of powerful Children’s and Young Adult literature, that it was your book that broke through and touched the lives of the young people judging the award and resonated with so many.
To Libraries: know that your work does not go unacknowledged or unappreciated.
So let’s make some noise. Take a picture of your current read. Take a picture of your favourite read. Take a picture of your favourite book covers and bookshops. Send it to @YLGNorthWest. Shout about LBOY using the hashtag #LBOY2016.
Christopher Moore is a co-founder of the YAfictionados blog and is best known as the YAblooker. He is a twenty-five year old book blogger who has previously worked in marketing and consumer insight for various publishing houses and currently works for British Airways as a Content Executive. Christopher spearheaded the #YAtakeover on Twitter, an event that saw literature trend for over six hours and that involved debates, discussions, interviews and give-aways. When he is not reviewing, or innovating in the field of children and young adult literature, Christopher enjoys swimming, travel and writes in his spare time.
2016 sees the 30th anniversary of the Lancashire Book of the Year Award – making it the longest running regional book award in the country. The award is voted for by Year 9 students in twelve high schools around the county. From a list of 92 fiction titles a shortlist of eleven was announced on 11 March 2016. The judges met on Friday 17 June to vote for the overall winner, and the name of the winner was made at the Presentation of the Award on Saturday 18 June 2016 in the Council Chamber, County Hall, Preston.
Find out more about the Lancashire book of the year award.