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The two winners have been announced for the Biblio-Buzz: Alexandra Palace Children’s Book Award 2019.

Voted for by schoolchildren from across the borough of Haringey, Will You Catch Me? by Jane Elson has received the Schools Award. Voted by children visiting Haringey’s libraries, Child I by Steve Tasane collected the Library Award. In total, more than 25 schools took part with 600 votes cast.

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust’s Creative Learning team and Haringey Library Services collaborated to deliver the award aimed at nine to 12 year olds, inspiring them to read and vote for their favourite book.

The winners were announced at a ceremony at the restored Alexandra Palace Theatre, hosted by Michael Rosen – one of Britain’s best-loved writers and performance poets.

Biblio-Buzz was founded six years ago by a team of dedicated school librarians who have built a passionate following amongst primary schools who see the scheme as a cherished part of their annual enrichment programme. The support of Alexandra Palace and partnership with Haringey Library Services will help grow the scheme and give greater access to the reading challenge – ensuring more young children in Haringey have the opportunity to get involved.

Steve Tasane, winner of the Library Award, said: “I’ve loved Alexandra Palace ever since moving to London in 1983, so to win my first award at this amazing venue and with this wonderful community means the world to me.”

Jane Elson, winner of the Schools Award, said: “Thank you. I am also accepting this award on behalf of Michelle Brackenborough, who designed my beautiful cover. Being on the shortlist with such amazing authors as these is an award in itself. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. Growing up in North London. Alexandra Palace, was always this magical place up on a hill. So winning this award fees like a fairy tale to me.”

Michael Rosen, said: “It is an honour to be part of this year’s Children’s Book Awards at Alexandra Palace Theatre. These awards not only celebrate the works of six brilliant authors but also champions reading and our invaluable library service.”

Louise Stewart, Chief Executive of Alexandra Palace, said: “This competition captured the imagination of so many children and hopefully inspired them to keep reading and continuing to use their invaluable local library. We look forward to the Award’s return in 2020.”

Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Civic Services, Councillor Kaushika Amin, said: “The Biblio-Buzz: Alexandra Palace Children’s Book Award 2019 has lived up to its name by creating a buzz about books for schoolchildren in Haringey. It has been encouraging to see so many young children getting involved and picking out their favourites. Congratulations to Jane Elson and Steve Tasane on their winning entries.”

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Haringey Council, Alexandra Palace’s Creative Learning programme works with people in Haringey and beyond to deliver experiences no other venue can offer, as well as giving people the opportunity to learn new skills and increase access to great entertainment and inspirational art. Additional funding for the Biblio-Buzz: Alexandra Palace Children’s Book Award comes from the Tottenham Grammar School Foundation.

Jane Elson’s blog on the awards and her work can be found here.

The shortlisted novels were:

Will You Catch Me? – Jane Elson

Tin – Padraig Kenny

Child I – Steve Tasane

Kat Wolfe Investigates – Lauren St John

The Lost Magician – Piers Torday

Kick – Mitch Johnson

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