Herts and minds

A trip to Hertfordshire beckons in the spring with the news that Flip has been shortlisted for the 2011-12 Immanuel College Book Award.

This prestigious school has a strong reading culture and its staff, pupils and parents have picked some terrific books to contend for this year’s prize. Also shortlisted are: No and Me by Delphine de Vigan; Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes; A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness; Trouble Twisters by Garth Nix; and The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

I’ve read the first three of these and enjoyed them all – the Patrick Ness, in particular, is an outstanding novel by any standards.

I’m grateful to Year 7 pupil Ethan Cohen for nominating Flip and for generously describing it as having an “enthralling, jaw-dropping, ‘unput-downable’ feeling and atmosphere”.

Pupils in Years 7 to 9 will read the six novels before voting for a winner and, as part of the promotion of the award, I have been invited to give a talk and reading at the school in March, which I’m very much looking forward to.

The picture, reproduced here with Immanuel College’s permission, shows staff and pupils with five of the books from the shortlist – and, given Flip‘s unusual design, it’s a pleasant change to see it being held the right way up!

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