Reading for book award now under way

Reading for this year’s Angus Book Award is now under way in the county’s secondary schools.

Now in its 20th year, the festival began in 1996 with the aim of promoting reading for enjoyment among teenagers in Angus.

It gives both committed and less enthusiastic readers the chance to engage with new, rewarding and accessible books for teenagers.

The book award gives participating pupils opportunities to creatively respond to the books, and to compete in art and book blurb competitions.

Pupils form their own opinions about which books they like and dislike through discussion and listening to the views of other pupils.

Shortlisted authors also visit schools across the county to talk about their work and hold workshop sessions with the youngsters.

This year the shortlist features novels by two authors new to the Angus Book Award and the return of two previous shortlisted authors, Alan Gibbons and Chris Priestley.

‘Raining Fire’ by Alan Gibbons is a gripping and absorbing real life thriller about gun crime and the consequences it can have.

Chris Priestley’s ‘Through Dead Eyes’ is a haunting tale set in both a contemporary and age old Amsterdam. Readers have to concentrate right up to the very last line of this dark tale as it edges towards a terrible twist.

‘Infinite Sky’ by C.J. Flood is a novel of tragedy involving travellers and explores the loyalty, prejudice and vulnerability of Iris as she struggles to find where her loyalties lie.

The final shortlisted title is ‘Cross My Heart’ by Carmen Reid, inspired by real people, real places and real events during the Second World War, this gripping story of espionage and war-time resistance is one of immense heroism and hope.

After they have read and discussed the novels, participating pupils will vote for their favaourite book in a secret ballot.

The 2015 winner will be announced at an award ceremony in Montrose Town Hall on Tuesday, May 19 where they will be presented with a £500 prize and the Angus Book Award trophy which is a small scale replica of the Aberlemno serpent stone.

Further information about this year’s Angus Book Award can be found online at www.angus.gov.uk/bookaward and by following the latest news on @AngusBook.