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Stack the Shelves

World Book Day’s inaugural award offers school libraries a £50,000 donation from bestselling author James Patterson

The World Book Day Award (WoBoD) launched last Friday, 9 January, and is offering schools the chance to win books to transform their libraries. American author James Patterson has donated £50,000 over two years to the award, and will also be involved in judging entries. The winning school will receive £10,000, 2nd prize is £5,000, and three runners-up each will get £3,000 worth of books. A local bookseller will also give expert advice to help winners make the most of their literary selection.

To enter, schools simply need to submit a response to ‘Why we can’t live without books’, which can be done in a range of creative formats including writing, art, film and photography. Entries can be from individual children or groups, and the deadline is Friday 30 January. The winner and runners-up will be announced on World Book Day 2015, Thursday 5 March.

Patterson, who is a staunch supporter of school libraries and passionate about encouraging children to read, said: “Far too many children are in danger of living their lives without books. Reading is one of the building blocks of life and can take you to another world. It only takes one good book to create a lifelong reader – even kids that have trouble reading can usually find something they gobble up. World Book Day is a brilliant way to introduce kids to new stories and authors.

“Right now we need places where kids can go and talk about books – and libraries are those places. Children have a fundamental right to libraries in schools and a right to access to books that will interest them.”

Each year on World Book Day £1 book tokens are distributed in schools across the UK and Ireland which can be used to claim one of 10 special books produced to mark the celebrations. The selection is a yearly showcase of some of the bestselling writing and illustrating talent published in the UK, and the 2015 range includes Chris Riddell’s Goth Girl, Jonny Duddle’s A Pirate’s Guide to Landlubbing and Michael Morpurgo’s Best Mates.

Visit www.worldbookday.com for more information, entry requirements and the latest news.

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Pie Corbett