Concorde Book Awards return

THE magical story of a boy finding friendship in a ghost who helps provide the courage to escape from oppression has been voted the 2024 winner of South Gloucestershire’s literature prize for young people, the Concorde Book Award.

The author of Ghostcloud, Michael Mann, beat off competition from five other young people’s fiction titles to claim the coveted award.

This is the welcome return of the awards after they paused during the Covid pandemic. As before, the winner was chosen after a district-wide reading challenge in which young people from groups throughout South Gloucestershire read their way through a shortlist of titles.

Votes were cast on World Book Day (7 March) and the winner was announced at a celebration event for the young people taking part at Bristol and Bath Science Park at Emersons Green on March 12.

 Winning author Michael Mann attended the event with guest authors Jasbinder Bilan and Sophie Cleverly. 

 He said: “These awards mean so much to us authors, it’s so important to know you’ve connected with young readers – that’s what it’s all about for me.”

The Concorde Book Award is run by South Gloucestershire schools and public libraries in which groups of young people read a shortlist of novels. They are then encouraged to join a reading group, whether at school or in a local library, to read six books and talk about them with other group members, before voting on their favourite title.

The scheme, launched in 2007,  aims to promote a love of reading among 11-14 year olds.