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Ealing Teen Read Final

Ealing Teen Read - Holly Bourne PresentationOur Year 9 students taking part in the Ealing Teen Read enjoyed attending the Final on 13th March.  In the four months since we first went to Elthorne Park High School for the launch of this literacy event, our students have read all six shortlisted books, debated their merits and voted for their top three.  The books, chosen by school librarians in the borough, dealt with a variety of themes including crippling anxiety, a dystopian virus, bereavement, homelessness and romance between troubled teenagers.  Our twenty participating students appreciated how the event encouraged them to try different genres and authors other than their usual favourites. 

Each school taking part submitted their top three of the shortlist during the week before the Final.  When the results were announced at the Final, we found that our school’s top three matched the top three of the whole borough, although we had placed the 1st and 2nd choices in the opposite order.  The winning book was "After the Fire" by Will Hill, a story inspired by the Waco Siege of 1993.  Our school’s unanimous favourite, "Contagion" by Teri Terry came second overall and third place went to "Born Scared" by Kevin Brooks.

Ealing Teen Read - Holly and Ben (cropped)

Before the announcement of the winning book was made, last year’s winning author gave a talk.  Holly Bourne’s book, "Am I Normal Yet?" won the very first Ealing Teen Read last year which our school was very proud to host.  She talked about why she chose to cover mental health as a theme in her books and spoke about her journey from journalist to published author.  Our students were also grateful for the writing tips Holly gave in her talk.

Before making the two bus journey back to Northolt, students who had bought copies of Holly’s books when we first arrived, were able to get them signed by her - a wonderful keepsake of a special event.