John Fardell, Lari Don and Keith Gray have been named as this year’s winners for the 2009 Royal Mail Awards, Scotland’s largest children’s Book Prize which is voted for exclusively by Scottish children themselves.
Author/Illustrator John Fardell won the Early Years category (0-7) for his first picture book Manfred the Baddie (Quercus), Lari Don won the Younger Readers category (8-11) for her first book First Aid for Fairies and Other Fabled Beasts (Floris Books) and best-selling teenage fiction author Keith Gray won the Older Readers category (12-16) for the acclaimed Ostrich Boys (Random House). They will each receive £3,000 and a prize presented to them by Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years who commented:
"These awards play a valuable part in helping children to discover the joy and pleasure of reading a great story. Nearly 30,000 children have been reading from the selected lists and voting for their favourite books and it's impressive that so many have been involved. That's why I am delighted to be at the Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books and help hand out the prizes to these worthy winners!"
Record numbers of children took part in the voting process this year, with nearly 30,000 children from all over Scotland actively involved in the awards compared to 18,000 in 2008 and just over 10,000 in 2007.