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Fantastic Book Awards 2019 launch

Chris Riddell

This year’s Fantastic Book Awards will be launched by the award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Chris Riddell OBE, at the Marriott Hotel, Preston, on Wednesday 18 September.

Chris was appointed the UK Children’s Laureate in 2015, and held this title until 2017.

Over 170 primary schools are expected to attend the official launch of the book awards, developed by Lancashire’s School Library Service. The 30 books that have been chosen for the children to read will be revealed at the launch.

These awards run until May 2020. They will involve thousands of children from Lancashire primary schools reading the books and voting for their favourites.

The five winning titles for the Fantastic Book Awards will be announced by pupils in primary schools in May 2020.

The main aim of the awards is to support children aged nine to 11 years in reading for pleasure by introducing them to newly-published fiction titles, and encouraging them to meet and discuss these at informal book clubs.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “I think that this is an excellent initiative, and it has my firm support.

“Unfortunately, interest in reading declines a great deal when children move on from primary to secondary school. Hopefully this initiative for children, as they are approaching the end of primary school, will help to encourage an interest in reading to continue.

“I loved reading when I was at school, and I still like to settle down with a good book whenever I have some spare time.

“We are fully committed to maintaining the high levels and standards of literacy in Lancashire and I’ll take a keen interest in who’s won next May.”

Chris will also be launching his new book, Guardians of Magic, at the event.

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