THE N. I. BOOK AWARDS GRAND FINAL took place this year  in Stranmillis College and fifteen of our Junior Bookclub attended. The Awards are the brainchild of two enterprising school librarians – Ann Cowdrey (Bangor Grammar) and Kathy Lindsay (R.B.A.I) and are designed to encourage a love of reading and to develop interaction and debate among young readers throughout Northern Ireland.

This year’s Awards kicked off in September with nominations from booksellers and pupils aged 11-13 years and these were then whittled down to 8 titles. Throughout the year participating schools were treated to an array of author events, book-related workshops and competitions culminating in the Finale Event with over 240 pupils from all over N. Ireland participating.

At the Final we were treated to a colourful performance from Craig Bradley, aka “That Poetry Bloke” who had us all in stitches with his on –the- spot made up poetry, tongue twisters and comic routines. Aquinas was next up with our dance routine which went down really well and was later described on the NIBA website as “A super innovative display …..Brilliantly imaginative, focussing on reading in general and Run Rabbit Run in particular.”  NIBA’s version of  The Chase followed with volunteers from our school and others up against The Chaser in a bid to outwit him on his specialist subject – the nominated books . He narrowly missed out on the mega prize of 17 Easter eggs when he was pipped to the post by his opponents. Better luck next time Chaser !!!

 AND FINALLY the overall winner was announced. IN FIRST PLACE …….…….Gangsta Granny by David Walliams.   SECOND PLACE……………………..The Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood and in THIRD PLACE………………Run Rabbit Run by Margaret Mitchelhill.

Our congratulations to the winners and to all the nominated authors and thanks to the organisers for inviting us. It was a fantastic day !