Students choose reading gem for World Book Day

Year 7 reading team with Nicola Davies SUS-140313-122327001
Year 7 reading team with Nicola Davies SUS-140313-122327001

Forget the Man Booker Prize or the Blue Peter Book Awards, the honour every children’s author wants has been announced today at Oathall Community College.

The school’s Year 7 reading team named Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child from a nine-strong shortlist selected by the county’s school library service. Their choice matched those of students from across the county, who also picked the book as the winner of the West Sussex Children’s Book Award.

The student judges at the Haywards Heath school each read as many of the nine shortlisted books as possible and met author Nicola Davies as part of the judging process. They then met to discuss their opinions before deciding on Lauren Child’s story of a teenage detective as the winner.

One of those judges, Eithne Yates-Kneen, said: “I enjoyed the chance to have my say in what I thought was a good book.”

The Year 7 reading team is Kie Baker, Andrew Galt, Darcey Gee, William Gordon, Paige Martin, Priya Murugaiyan, Eve Mustin, Imogen Pickering, Nathaniel Van den Dolder, Harry Woodington, and Eithne Yates-Kneen.

Miss Evans, head of English at Oathall, said:

“It was really valuable for our students to talk to a published author and be inspired about how characters and stories are created. To then judge the books encouraged our students to read critically, which is a great skill to develop. Reading for pleasure is the best activity you can do to raise your grades and enrich your life.”

The award announcement was part of a flurry of activity in school to mark World Book Day. Every student has been given a £1 book token to encourage them to buy a book and enjoy reading.

Our library has launched a new chapter of its own by starting a book blog, which can be found online at, to showcase the books, computers and support that students can find at the library to get the most out of it.

Report and pciture contributed by Oathall