NEARLY 600 primary school children from across the city have voted online to select their favourite books.
The annual Our Best Book competition, organised by Leicester Libraries, asks children aged 10-11 to vote for their favourite reads from a longlist of 20.
The top three are usually announced at a special awards event, attended by authors and children from lots of Leicester primary schools. Coronavirus restrictions mean that isn’t possible this year, but the voting system has successfully moved online, with results announced on Leicester Libraries’ social media pages.
The winning book – announced today – is The Bad Guys: Episodes 1 & 2. Bad Guys is a series of graphic novels about a gang of scary-looking animals trying to change their bad reputations. Written by Australian author Aaron Blabey, the Bad Guys books have previously topped the New York Times’ bestseller list.
In second place was Killer Custard, by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore – an interactive adventure story – and in third place was Not My Fault, by Cath Howe – a story of sibling rivalry, family dynamics and forgiveness.
The Our Best Book scheme encourages and motivates children to read for pleasure by providing copies of a longlist of books to schools and asking young readers to vote for their favourite. In total, 4,700 books were given to 43 primary schools that took part in the scheme.
This year, children have been reading at home and picking their favourites, with schools sending in their results.
Assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods Cllr Kirk Master said: “Reading for pleasure is more important than ever at the moment. What I like about Our Best Book is that it’s the children who choose the winner. This year’s winner is a very accessible, fun story and I think that’s what we all need at a time like this.
“We’ll continue to support schools and help children to read for enjoyment while they are at home. As well as Our Best Book, we’re supporting the online Summer Reading Challenge and we have hundreds of ebooks available for loan through our online library service. There’s never been a better time to help children develop a lifelong love of reading.”
Our Best Book is led by Leicester Libraries and the city council’s neighbourhood services, in partnership with Leicester primary schools, Creative Learning Services and the multi-agency reading project Whatever It Takes.