Southern Schools Book Award 2012 Presentation Evening

January 11th 2013 marked the ninth annual Southern Schools Book Award Presentation Evening which was held again this year at Roedean School. The event was hosted by author Jenny Valentine who won the award last year with her book The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight. The five shortlisted books for 2012 were Malorie Blackman with Boys Don’t Cry, Tim Bowler with Buried Thunder, Mark Lowery with Socks Are Not Enough, Saci Lloyd with Momentum and Celia Rees with This is not Forgiveness. The award was attended by some 290 young judges and represented 31 schools from across Kent and Sussex.

index_clip_image002_0000Jenny introduced each author in turn who was then invited to speak briefly about their book and read a short passage. Sadly Celia Rees was unable to attend the event but kindly forwarded a message thanking all the young judges for selecting her book for the shortlist. This was read to the audience by Jenny.

And so the fun began! The four authors and host indulged in the most entertaining interaction and kept the judges laughing throughout the evening. This was especially so of Saci Lloyd who threatened a tantrum if her book was not declared the winner!

The young judges again this year received a £7 book token which was handed to the school representative by benefactor Joolz Clothier.

index_clip_image002_0001Then of course the moment everyone was waiting for … accompanied by a foot drum roll the Highly Commended title was announced, it was for the second time Tim Bowler who accepted his award to cheers from the audience. Now an even louder drum roll as slowly Jenny took the gold card from the envelope and proclaimed that Malorie Blackman was this year’s winner. A deafening cheer this time as a surprised Malorie collected her award and responded to the judges. Saci refrained from throwing the tantrum!

index_clip_image002_0002Jenny summed up the evening with thanks to the organisers and to Roedean School and was thanked in turn by a Roedean student who handed her a beautiful basket of flowers. The judges were then able to purchase a range of books by the shortlisted authors and queued to speak with them and to have their books signed by them.

And so another great and very entertaining evening came to a close with Malorie agreeing to uphold the SSBA tradition by hosting next year’s award event.

Just some of the comments received
“Wow wasn’t it wonderful.  We couldn’t of asked for a more exciting bunch of authors.  Saci Lloyd, well what can I say, the students just loved her”. Worthing High School

“I really do think it was the best one yet, the authors were hugely entertaining and my girls were totally thrilled with the winners. Fantastic!” Moira House School

“The writers were fantastic and interacted brilliantly with the kids.” Brighton College