Meet the junior judges!
Ahead of Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards' 10th birthday, we challenged young booklovers to write a review of the best book they read last year. We received over 600 fantastic entries – and here are our junior judges! They will help judge the Best of the Best Children’s Book Award, with the winner being announced in September. Plus the winners and 10 runner-ups all received National Book Tokens to spend in their favourite bookshops.
Hi! My name is Alfie. I'm 13, and I live in leafy Hampshire with my mum, dad and Keith, our female tortoise (I chose the name long before I chose her!). I love reading (obviously, or why would I have wanted to be a judge for the competition?!) but I am also an Air Scout, young archaeologist (I've dug up artefacts on various digs at Basing House) and am a keen techie, immersing myself in the worlds of Raspberry Pi and Python. My favourite book of all time has to be Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and I am also a huge fan of Charlie Higson's The Enemy series, but with this competition, that could all be about to change...
Anna is 11 years old, lives in Odiham, Hampshire and attends Mayhill Junior School. Her hobbies include sailing, playing the piano, sewing and reading (especially on her swing in the garden!). Her favourite foods are toad in the hole & strawberry ice cream and she is the proud owner of a Blue Peter Badge. Anna is looking forward to starting Robert May’s Secondary School in September, making lots of new friends, trying out lots of different activities and hopefully the chance to write some of her own stories. She is extremely excited to have been selected to be a judge and is looking forward to reading all 10 of the fantastic books in Best of the Best! She likes reading all sorts of books; funny, serious, scary – anything that is unputadownable!
Magnus is 12 years old and lives in Sheffield, where he goes to Meadowhead School. He enjoys reading and especially likes dystopian books and sci-fi: his favourite series is the Foundation saga by Isaac Asimov. He also plays the clarinet and piano. Magnus says: ‘I am very glad I have been chosen to judge the competition, and will try my best to give a fair and reasonable review of the books chosen.’
Hi, my name's Emily. I'm a 13-year-old from Fife in Scotland. I attend Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy, where I am a first year. I really enjoy reading and writing and I hope to become an author when I'm older. My favourite genre is detective and mystery stories. My other interests are music and drawing and I enjoy illustrating my own stories.
Emma is 14 and lives in Poynton, Cheshire with her Mum, Dad and younger brother. She is an avid reader and reads in her spare time between school, homework and swimming. Her favourite genres are YA dystopian, crime/mystery thrillers and YA contemporary. Her favourite authors are Sarah J. Maas, Lauren Oliver and J.K. Rowling. She is a huge Harry Potter fan and wishes she was choosing her subjects to study at Hogwarts rather than her GCSEs!
We're also giving away sets of the Independent Bookshop Week shortlists – go here to enter.