Primary pupils vote for their favourite book

Fairy vs Boy book coverA mischievous tale of stinky, naughty, woodlice-eating, rat-riding fairies has been named as the winner of this year’s East Sussex Children’s Book Award.

Stink: Fairy vs Boy: A Stink Adventure by Jenny McLachlan came first in a poll of primary school children from across the county.

Since December, young readers from 55 local schools have been reading six shortlisted books before voting for their favourite in May.

Over 200 children aged between 8 and 11 attended a special award ceremony at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill earlier this month where the winning author was announced.

Winning author Jenny McLachlan said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Stink has won the East Sussex Children’s Book Award 2024. I’m honoured that the young readers of East Sussex voted for Stink – book awards chosen by children are the best.

“The whole experience has been wonderful – from visiting the local schools, to attending the exciting awards ceremony where I got to meet so many lovely children, teachers and authors. And I have to mention everyone at East Sussex Libraries who have worked so hard to get authors into local schools and books into young readers’ hands.

“Stink is about a tiny fairy who does wild and audacious things. I think she has a lot in common with the East Sussex Book Awards, and if you attended the awards ceremony you’d know what I mean. It was a blast!”

As part of the award, 1,800 children attended author events at local libraries and schools where they had the opportunity to meet this year’s shortlisted authors and hear them read exerts from their books.

All the shortlisted books, including e-books, are available to borrow for free from East Sussex libraries.

The award ceremony also included the presentation of prizes to children who entered competitions to write the best book review and creative writing piece and design a book cover or draw their favourite literary scene.

The children also heard from two of the shortlisted authors, Patrice Lawrence and Lindsey Galvin, and Jenny McLachlan about their careers as authors and what inspires them to write.

The East Sussex Children’s Book Award is an annual competition run by East Sussex Libraries that aims to introduce children to new children’s authors and encourage a ‘county wide conversation’ about books.

For more information on the Award and details of the shortlisted books visit