Trust Students Share Love of Reading at SLS Hampshire Book Awards 2019


This term saw three schools from BET visit the Hampshire School Library Service book awards in Winchester.

Year 9 students from Bohunt School Liphook, Costello School and The Petersfield School travelled to the award ceremony eager to meet their favourite author and hear more about what inspired her to write the book.


‘Shell’ by Paula Rawsthorne was awarded winner of this year’s Hampshire Book Awards. Aimed at young adults, the Sci-Fi thriller novel set in the near future tackles issues of modern morality; a gripping read and one that our students felt deserved first place.

In an energetic and engagingly interactive presentation, Paula explained how she came to be a novelist and where the inspiration for the story came from. She was profusely thankful to students for voting for her and explained how meaningful it was to be voted winner by young people, for whom her books are written. Hooking the reader in quickly, according to Paula, is paramount. The Thriller genre suits her style of writing as she explained that she crafts the story much like a detective’s crime investigation board with key components strategically mapped out. Importantly, she knows from the outset what the ending will be!

Paula thrilled her audience at the ceremony with genuine interest in their reading tastes and asked students why they loved certain titles, authors and genres.

Students who attended the awards said, “We thought the speech by Paula Rawsthorne was exciting and we learnt a lot about how she had the idea for her book SHELL and her other books. It was great to see her perspective of writing”.


Angela, Librarian at Bohunt School Liphook said, “I’m immensely proud of our students today, they were eager to present Paula with the award and their maturity and professionalism during the vote earlier this year is to be commended. By encouraging our students to read for pleasure and engage with what they are reading, our students become broad-minded, observant individuals who reflect the ethos of the school. We look forward to the SLS Book Awards every year and can’t wait for voting to begin again in 2020”.

Trips to events such as these demonstrate the importance given to improving literacy in the Trust. Inspiring students to pick up a book and read for pleasure reflects such an achievement and one which is central in our ethos of ‘Enjoy, Respect, Achieve’ echoed across the Trust.