Lancashire Book of the Year is a unique opportunity for students in Year 9 to showcase their judging skills for the better. BRGS was one of a few selected schools from around the county.

We were given a collection of books aimed at our age group to read and our job was to choose our favourites by reviewing them. The books covered many different genres ranging from New Orleans-style voodoo to Sleeping Beauty-inspired sci-fi. They were all fantastically written, and it was a tremendously close call to determine our top 6 from the longlist.

We took these favourite titles to the first LBOY short listing meeting held at Haslingden Library. It consisted of four different schools from different parts of the county. The activities which were held there varied from a quick starter of ‘Would you rather?’ to a book cover selection game where we rated our most favourite covers from the LBOY longlist. It was particularly interesting when we compared our school’s reviews on the books we had read to ones from other schools-one school’s absolute favourite was our worst-rated by far! We also discussed different ways in which a book cover can be interpreted and our first impressions when we pick up a book-do we tend to go for the most colourful cover? Or the funniest blurb?

The best thing about the experience so far is that it gave us the opportunity to try out books we had never read before. Also, having responsibility to choose the overall winning title out of a longlist of about 60 is a fun experience. The feeling knowing that your opinions have been heard and will be part of something important makes you feel involved in the process which is another positive aspect. It develops confidence when discussing different titles the meetings as well as creativity and imagination. All skills which are all vital for life beyond school.

From now until June, the overall winner will be judged as new titles will be given for us to read, and the celebration event held at UCLAN in July is where the overall winner will be announced.

By Hafsa (Year 9)