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CLS hosts TSBA ceremony

Friday, 13 March 2020

On Thursday, we were delighted to host the Trinity Schools Book Awards Ceremony for 2020. This was the sixth year of this Reading Challenge and the first occasion that the ceremony had been held at CLS. The TSBA was originally launched by librarians from 22 independent senior schools in the Trinity group, with the aim to celebrate quality writing in both new and older fiction.

The TSBA Committee determines a theme each year and shortlists books nominated by librarians. Participation now extends beyond the group to any interested secondary school. Children from the ages of 11 to 14 read the shortlisted books through the Autumn and Spring terms and cast their votes in February to determine the winner. The student competitions for the best book reviews and best creative response run alongside the main book awards. This year students from 30 schools took part and voted for their favourite book from the shortlist. It was also the first year that CLSG and three of the City of London Academies participated.

The theme for 2020 was ‘Stand Up, Speak Out’ and the full shortlist of six books was: The Ones That Disappeared – Zana Fraillon, I Have No Secrets – Penny Joelson, Beyond the Wall – Tanya Landman, Mike – Andrew Norriss, Ghost Boys – Jewell Parker Rhodes, The Survival Game – Nicky Singer.

The Trinity Schools Book Award not only encourages young people to read and discuss good quality contemporary literature, but also asks them to review and, uniquely, to respond creatively to the shortlisted books. The creative responses received this year – ranging from 3D models, poetry, paintings, cakes and songs to both computer and board games, puppets and films – demonstrated incredible imagination and inventiveness. Many of the contributions were showcased at Thursday’s Award Ceremony.

Nearly 200 students and staff, representing 16 schools, attended the Ceremony which was hosted by David Rose, Senior Librarian of the Levene Learning Centre. The Head welcomed everybody to the Awards and English teacher Mrs. Sebban chaired a lively and informative Q & A session with three of the shortlisted authors: Tanya Landman, Andrew Norriss and Nicky Singer. Following the discussion, the student prizes were presented by the publisher David Fickling. The TSBA 2020 Book Award, as voted by students from all the participating schools, was won by Penny Joelson for her debut novel I Have No Secrets. Unusually, this novel is narrated by a teenage girl with severe cerebral palsy, who is incapable of speech or independent movement, but nevertheless uses intelligence, courage and determination to expose a crime and apprehend its perpetrator.

Mr. Riggs, Head of English, announced the winner and spoke enthusiastically about the Awards. Unfortunately Penny did not feel well enough to attend the Ceremony but the Award was collected on her behalf by her two Egmont editors. At the conclusion of the Ceremony, the three authors met the students and signed books for them. Next year’s theme and shortlist will be announced in June.

Winners and runners up:

Book Reviews
Sophie Bailey, Kingston Grammar School – The Survival Game
Runners Up:
Carla Ashbridge, City of London Academy, Highgate Hill - I Have No Secrets
Alice Perry, Emanuel School – Beyond The Wall
Creative Responses
Zac Warham, Royal Grammar School, Guildford – Beyond The Wall
Esme Mills, Emanuel School – Ghost Boys
Runners Up:
Kabir Zafar, Dulwich College – The Survival Game
Leonard Stocker, City of London School – The Survival Game
Greta Romano, Ibstock Place School – I Have No Secrets

This was the sixth year of this Reading Challenge and the first occasion that the ceremony had been held at CLS.
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