Bolton School Announces Shortlist for Children’s Fiction Awards 2023


Bolton The school has announced the finalists for the 2023 Bolton Children’s Fiction Awards.

The shortlist includes six recently published books recommended by the school’s library staff for young readers (grades 6-9).

The list includes genres such as horror, magical creatures, time travel, animals and environments, gothic history, zombie apocalypse, and more.

During the New Year, students are invited to read the shortlisted books and vote for their favorites.

Book club members can also talk to authors during lunchtime video conferences and participate in joint book discussions.

A special awards ceremony will be held on July 4, 2023, where participating students will have the opportunity to meet the winners and other authors.

Local external primary and secondary schools also participate in the award.

Teachers and librarians are making this shortlist the focus of their school’s book club. Students also vote for their favorite books and attend an awards ceremony to find the winners.

Schools interested in participating in the Bolton Children’s Fiction Awards, please contact us. Click here for details.

Here are the finalists, explained by a Bolton School spokesperson:

MA Bennett’s “Ship of Destiny”
This is a wonderful blend of fiction and fact. A time-traveling tale filled with interesting people from both H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as a diverse cast of fictional characters.

At the heart of this book is the theory of the “butterfly effect”. From 1894 he is tasked with traveling aboard a famous ship of the early 20th century to steal inventions from his three children. They face a dilemma – should they change the future to save lives, and if so, will it affect their present?

“The Last Bear” by Hannah Gold
The book has already won several awards, including the Blue Peter Prize. A story about wildlife, nature and friendship. The depiction of life in extreme cold and barren but striking landscapes made the sense of the place feel like extra character.

April is sent to Bear Island with her father, a scientist working on a project on global warming. His long days mean April is left to explore the harsh environment alone.Despite its name Bear, his island is no longer inhabited by bears. One day, her adventure begins when April catches a glimpse of a magnificent creature.

“How I Saved the World in a Week” by Polly Hoyen
Survival is the theme of this book, featuring spooky zombies and a mysterious virus.

Billy’s mother is a “prepper” that others dismiss as a hysterical overreaction. After she becomes ill and has to go to the hospital, Billy lives with her father, who dismisses her ex-wife’s behavior as “ridiculous.” When a mysterious virus breaks out, you have no choice but to flee into the wild. Billy and his dad begin a desperate dash for safety.

“Dreadwood” by Jennifer Killick
This is an age-appropriate horror story in the style of the ever-popular Goosebumps series.

When a group of students are brought into Saturday morning detention, the least they expect is their teacher disappearing before their very eyes. while the horrors are left to investigate.

A desperate few hours follow as they try to evade capture from terrifying subterranean creatures and learn more about themselves and each other.

Kieran Larwood’s “Lost Carnival”
It’s a mystery story set in Victorian London with a cast of quirky characters who are part of a traveling show.

With children disappearing from the banks of the Thames, London is a dirty, smelly and dangerous place. Together they must solve the mystery and find these forgotten sea urchins.

The staff felt that the footnotes throughout the book set the scene and added historical depth to the story.

Lee Newberry’s “The Last Firefox”
This is a funny family story about blending in and standing up for yourself.

One day Charlie comes across a strange looking boy who is nervous as if he is being chased. The boy has a puppy and asks Charlie to take care of him for a few days and then disappear. With a pointed nose, sticky ears and bright orange fur, Charlie realizes he’s a fox, not a puppy. Not just a fox, but a magical fox that emits flames and smoke when excited or frightened.

With the help of his friends, Charlie had to hide the fox, with some hilarious consequences that were further complicated by his firefighter father.

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