Sheffield school wins novel prize on World Book Day

Aston Academy has won �3000 in a World Book Day Competition. Picture: Andrew Roe
Aston Academy has won �3000 in a World Book Day Competition. Picture: Andrew Roe

Bookworms at a Sheffield school have won a novel prize – thousands of pounds to spend on books.

Aston Academy in Swallownest has been named as runner-up in the World Book Day Award and have been given £3,000 to spend on books for the school’s library.

Author Peter Murray with (l-r) Grace Bower, Sophie Jackson and Holly Wigfull, of St Bede's Catholic Primary School for World Book Day and the launch of his latest book Kruschmeister. Picture: Andrew Roe

Author Peter Murray with (l-r) Grace Bower, Sophie Jackson and Holly Wigfull, of St Bede's Catholic Primary School for World Book Day and the launch of his latest book Kruschmeister. Picture: Andrew Roe

Schools had been challenged to respond to the question, ‘Where does your reading take you?’ in any way they wanted to win the prize, which had been launched in celebration of World Book Day yesterday.

Aston Academy submitted a short film featuring pupils talking about their incredible reading journeys, complete with animation, multi-lingual narration and subtitles.

Judges headed by best-selling author James Patterson, who founded the prize with £50,000 of his own money when it began in 2015, selected Aston Academy as the runner-up.

Eunice Newton, executive principal at Aston Academy, said: “We are thrilled to win this wonderful prize and we are immensely proud of our students’ creative efforts.

Author Peter Murray at St Bede's Catholic Primary School for World Book Day and the launch of his latest book Kruschmeister. Picture: Andrew Roe

Author Peter Murray at St Bede's Catholic Primary School for World Book Day and the launch of his latest book Kruschmeister. Picture: Andrew Roe

“Our film showcased the children’s diverse tastes and reading choices and gave a real glimpse of what reading in our school community is all about.

“At Aston, we know that reading unlocks learning – and pupils will be so excited to choose the wonderful new books their efforts have earned them.”

James Patterson, who is well-known for his books about detective Alex Cross and his children’s titles, the Middle School Series, said: “Reading is a vital life skill and it is important we encourage a love of reading in kids from a young age. This award changes lives – it is as simple as that.”

Meanwhile, award-winning Rotherham author Peter Murray met 200 pupils from St Bede’s, St Gerrard’s and St Mary’s schools to launch his latest title, Kruschmeister.

St Bede’s headteacher Amanda Wassell, who hosted the event, said: “We are delighted Peter chose St Bede’s to launch his latest book as it is the school his father attended.

“The children loved hearing stories about this when Peter visited as it made the prospect of becoming a famous children’s author seem even more accessible to them and therefore made his visit even more inspirational.”

Peter’s 12th book, Kruschmeister, is based on three football-mad kids who find their way into the deserted Millerbrook Stadium where they practise their own ball skills, until they find themselves face to face with a ghoulish fiend.

Coaches from Rotherham United were also at the launch to practise ball skills with the children.