Ten-year anniversary BASH for St Helens Library Service reading initiative

Ten-year anniversary BASH for St Helens Library Service reading initiative

A reading for pleasure initiative, run by the St Helens School Library Service, which sees children and young people choose their best reads of the year is celebrating a key milestone.

Now in its tenth year, Book Awards St Helens (BASH) is an annual event where children and young people come together to agree on the best latest, modern and enticing fiction in a number of age categories, from 5-11 plus years.  

Schools that subscribe to the School’s Library Service can participate in BASH and through a series of library-based workshops, debate and critical appreciation – vote for their favourite book and choose an overall winner.   

Previous winners include David Walliams, Michael Morpurgo and Emma Carroll.  

A celebration event attended by a number of guests – including the Mayor of St Helens Borough Council, Councillor Sue Murphy – was recently held in St Helens Library where the shortlists for each category were announced, with the winners revealed around World Book Day in March 2022.  

This year’s shortlists contain a selection of popular best-selling authors and exciting debut authors, including ‘King of the Swamp’ by Catherine Emmett, ‘The Last Bear’ by Hannah Gold and former Sunday Times book of the week, ‘A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll.   

Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, who was among those in attendance, said: 

 “It’s wonderful that so many young people from the borough have got involved in our BASH initiative over the years to share their valued opinions on the books they like and I’m sure this year’s – our tenth event –  will be no different.  

“Reading is such a wonderful gift which should be encouraged from an early age as it has the ability to spark creativity and broaden learning and this Library Service is committed to ensuring young people keep reading, with schemes like BASH playing a key part.”  

All books featured on the BASH shortlists are available to borrow from your local library, with selected titles available online by visiting https://sthlibrarieswp.koha-ptfs.co.uk/book-awards-st-helens-bash 

Meanwhile, St Helens Library Service has teamed up with children’s reading charity, BookTrust to bring new story adventures to life.  

BookTrust Storytime celebrates six brilliant books that are great for sharing with young children aged 0-5 years old, with stories and activities for families to enjoy, either in the library or at home.  

As well as having these books available for loan, Parr Library and St Helens Library are also running free activities including storytime sessions, crafts and activities related to the books. There are even collectable characters each time you return to the library.  

The six books will also be shared at weekly Read & Rhyme Time across all libraries.  

For more information about BookTrust Storytimes please follow St Helens Library Service on Facebook and Twitter.  

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