Thursday, June 11, 2009

Red House Children's Book Award


Former journalist and editor Sophie McKenzie has scooped the overall prize in the prestigious Red House Children’s Book Award 2009 for her thrilling teen novel, Blood Ties.
It is second time lucky for McKenzie, as her novel, Girl, Missing, won the older readers’ category in 2007.
Blood Ties (Simon and Schuster) won both the older readers’ category and overall prizes in the award, which is owned and co-ordinated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups.
The winning novel is a gripping thriller that explores issues of genetic engineering and personal identity.
McKenzie learned of her win at a glittering awards luncheon at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens yesterday (Saturday) which was attended by more than 200 people, including 80 children from across the country, all of whom were involved in the voting.
Stunned McKenzie, who won a silver trophy, said she was honoured to win this unique literary prize.
“Blood Ties is my favourite book so I am completely overwhelmed that the readers have chosen it as theirs, too,” she said.
“I am delighted and it is a huge honour, but this isn’t really about an award, fantastic though it is to have won it, it is a celebration of reading. It’s stories above everything.
“I passionately love stories as they help us understand the world around us and the work the Federation of Children’s Book Groups does in getting children to love books and reading cannot be underestimated.”
Two other category winners in the 29th annual award were also announced at the event: Allan Ahlberg’s beautiful picture book The Pencil (Walker), illustrated by Bruce Ingman, has taken the younger children category, while Kes Gray’s fun story, Daisy and the Trouble with Zoos (Random House) has clinched the younger readers’ category.

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