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Portsmouth's book-loving pupils vote for favourite books in annual awards with the Portsmouth School Library Service.

These are awarded annually and the winners are chosen by pupils in three year groups: Year 1; Year 5 and Years 8/9.

The winners of this year’s awards were revealed as A Little Bit Brave by Nicola Kinnear, D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer and Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans.

Cllr Suzy Horton congratulated the winning authors whose books were voted favourite from a shortlist of five books in each category by pupils from schools across the city.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member of Children, Families and Education said: “It is great to see the spirit of Portsmouth pupils shine through these awards with so many votes coming in despite school closures. The children had a challenging task with choosing a book from such a fantastic shortlist. Congratulations to the winning authors.”

Portsmouth’s Secondary School Reading Champions were also recognised. All the secondary schools make a nomination for a pupil who is an avid reader and enthuses others around them to love books and reading as well.

The champions, as voted by their peers, were Shaun Moore of Charter Academy, Filip Lehota of Springfield School and Anna-May Lines of St Edmunds School.

A school librarian said of Shaun Moore: “He doesn’t realise how influential he is by modelling great behaviour, determination and always offering to read aloud and support other students in the Library.”

Filip Lehota said of his love of reading: “It is like a portal to a different world – it lets one forget about reality and dive into somewhere new.”

A school librarian described Anna-May Lines: “She oozes a love of literature and always shares her knowledge with others and recommends a good read.”

Cllr Pitt, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture and City Development, said of the book awards: “We were delighted that so many pupils had been nominated this year. In the end, we can only give the prize to three winners and we felt they had done such a fantastic job of sharing their love of books and reading with other pupils in their schools.”

Portsmouth School Library Service runs an annual Book Award and Reading Champion competition across three age groups to promote a love of reading: Year 1s vote for their favourite Picture Book; Year 5s for a short novel and Year 8/9s for a longer novel.

The announcement of the winning authors was made on Twitter given the current restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. Traditionally, the announcement is given at a celebratory event at the Kings Theatre with pupils from participating school in attendance. A number of schools give performances inspired by the winning books.

Portsmouth City Council has a number of programmes which aim to get pupils reading for pleasure and create opportunities for them to meet published authors and celebrate books.