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If you're looking for some good reads this summer, look no further! The Surrey Schools Book Awards winners have been announced, with student-approved recommendations for kids and teens to add to their bookshelves throughout July and August!
Every year, Surrey Schools educators, including teacher-librarians, nominate books for four readers' choice award programs: Surrey Schools Book of the Year (for intermediate students); Surrey Schools Picture Book of the Year (for primary-level readers); Surrey Schools Narrative Nonfiction Book of the Year (for elementary students); and Surrey Teens Read (for youth).
Students of all ages throughout the district then vote on the nominated books, and winners in each category are announced at the end of each school year.
The votes have been tallied, and the 2020-21 Book of the Year goes to Bloom by Kenneth Oppel, a suspenseful novel about an overnight takeover by toxic plants, wreaking havoc on all but three children on a remote island who seem to be immune. It is the first in a trilogy and an absolute page-turner for students!
For younger students, Old Rock (Is Not Boring) by Deb Pilutti was voted the top Picture Book of the Year, telling the story of a seemingly stagnant rock who is anything but. An exemplary example of "don't judge a book by its cover," kids can hear about Old Rock's many adventures and experiences that they'd never guess at a glance!
This year's student choice for Narrative Nonfiction Book of the Year goes to Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team, based on the true story of a youth soccer coach and his 12 players, aged 11 to 16, who survived being trapped in an underground cave for more than two weeks in 2018. A gripping tale, it is one of the highlights of this year's awards!
Lastly, youth chose A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer as the Surrey Teens Read winner. Equal parts Beauty and the Beast and Alice in Wonderland, it's the story of a prince-turned-beast cursed to relive his 18th year, and seemingly only a resilient young modern-day woman who stumbles upon his magical kingdom can save him. Teens won't be able to put this one down until the very end!
If that's not enough to feed the need to read, Surrey Libraries has a free Summer Reading Club for kids of all ages, as does the White Rock branch of Fraser Valley Regional Library. Both have a detective theme this year, so get out your magnifying glass and take a closer look at some books!