BASH Proves To Be A Hit With School Pupils

BASH 5+ participants and Liverpool-based author and illustrator Helen Poole give the reading for pleasure scheme a thumbs up.

Bookworms from primary and secondary schools across the borough have been hard at it over the past few months, deciding on their favourite reads of the year.

As part of St Helens Schools Library Service’s BASH (Book Awards St Helens) – an annual reading for pleasure scheme where children and young people are encouraged to read the latest, modern and enticing fiction written specially for them – primary and secondary pupils have been busy taking part in library workshops to agree on which book should be crowned number one from a short-list of nominations in their age category.

Celebration events, held at Chester Lane and Newton-le-Willows libraries, saw winning titles announced by prominent children’s authors, with the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens,  among those in attendance.

Helen Poole, an author and illustrator from Liverpool, was on hand to announce ‘The Everywhere Bear’ by Julia Donaldson as the winner of the BASH 5+ award after year one pupils from different primary schools gave it the nod over the other nominated books on the short-list.

In the BASH 9+ category, sponsored by Fiction Express, Christian O’Connell’s Radio Boy won. Year 5 pupils took part in library workshops which saw them write their own review of their favourite book from the short-list.

Sutton Manor Primary School pupil Kacie was awarded best review for her piece on ‘Who Let The Gods Out’ by Maz Evans, receiving a wonderful selection of books as a result.

The special guest for the 9+ event was author of ‘The Many Worlds of Albie Bright’ – Christopher Edge.

While in the BASH 11+ event which took place at Newton-le-Willows Library, secondary pupils took part in library workshops to decide on their winning book which was eventually won by Emily Barr’s ‘Memory of Flora Banks.’ Although Emily couldn’t be there in person, she did send the students a video message to thank them for their winning choice.

The winning book review was won by Cowley High School’s Jasmina Rai for her account of Elizabeth Laird’s ‘Welcome to Nowhere.’ Jasmina received copies of each title that appeared on the long list for BASH 2018, some of which were signed.

Martin Griffin, author of ‘Poison Boy’ and ‘Lifers’ – as well as professional cartoonist Nick Brokenshire, whose work includes Star Wars Adventures and the Amelia Cole Series, were on hand to present certificates at the 11+ category celebration ceremony.

Congratulating each pupil for their efforts this year, St Helens Council’s Libraries Service Manager Kathryn Boothroyd said:

“It’s wonderful to see so many young people from the borough get involved in BASH to share their valued opinions on books, and I’d like to thank them for their important input.

“Reading is such a wonderful gift which has the ability to spark creativity and broaden learning and this Library Service is extremely committed to ensuring young people keep reading.”

BASH is available to all schools that subscribe to the School Library Service. For more information, contact Kathryn Boothroyd by calling 01744 677486, or email

BASH 9+ participants pictured with library staff and author, Christopher Edge.
BASH 11+ Participants pictured with the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens; author Martin Griffin (back row, centre) ; cartoonist Nick Brokenshire (back row, second on right) and Libraries Service Manager Kathryn Boothroyd.

Main photo – BASH 5+ participants and Liverpool-based author and illustrator Helen Poole give the reading for pleasure scheme a thumbs up.



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