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Cecelia Ahern and Anne Cassidy among authors shortlisted for 2017’s Redbridge Children’s Book Award

PUBLISHED: 16:09 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 March 2017

Pupils from Gainsborough Primary School at a previous awards

Pupils from Gainsborough Primary School at a previous awards

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The cream of 2016’s crop of children’s and teenage books will battle it out this summer to be crowned winners of the Redbridge Children’s Book Award.

Polly Ho-Yen, pictured here visiting Ilford's Isaac Newton Academy, is one of the shortlisted authors in the children's category of the Redbridge Children's Book AwardPolly Ho-Yen, pictured here visiting Ilford's Isaac Newton Academy, is one of the shortlisted authors in the children's category of the Redbridge Children's Book Award

The shortlist has just been announced, with Cecelia Ahern, Anne Cassidy and Polly Ho-Yen among those vying for the top prize in their respective categories.

More than 200 children are expected to attend this year’s ceremony on June 29, and many helped to whittle down 15 children’s and 15 teenage books to just five in each section.

Sharing her thoughts, Nina Simon, manager of Redbridge Schools’ Library Service, told the Recorder: “I think this year’s shortlist is an exciting selection, with themes ranging from child abduction, time travel, grief, abandoned babies, gene manipulation, clockwork animals and a perfect society that brands and segregates anyone who breaks a rule.”

Battling it out in the teenage category are Flawed by Cecelia Ahern, The Leaving by Tara Altebrando, Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy, More of Me by Kathryn Evans and Book of Lies by Teri Terry.

The children’s category features Cogheart by Peter Bunzl, The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge, Bus Stop Baby by Fleur Hitchcock, Where Monsters Lie by Polly Ho-Yen and Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford.

Sixteen secondary and nine primary schools are taking part in the awards this year. The process began in November, when school librarians and literacy coordinators met to select 15 teenage and 15 children’s titles published in 2016.

Pupils in school reading groups then read all the books and selected their favourite eight in each category, with a Eurovision-style voting system resulting in the shortlist.

Cassidy, Bunzl, Evans and Terry have already confirmed their attendance at the ceremony, which includes readings from the winners of short story and poetry competitions run for youngsters in conjunction with the awards.

The shortlist for the teenage category of the Redbridge Children's Book Award 2017The shortlist for the teenage category of the Redbridge Children's Book Award 2017

Cassidy took home the teenage prize in 2009 for Forget Me Not, and other former winners include Anthony Horowitz, Suzanne Collins and Malorie Blackman.

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