A plucky young boy “amazing at drawing but terrible at fitting in” is the hero of a new crime story that has been chosen by local schoolchildren for this year’s Tower Hamlets Book Award.
Pupils from 29 schools in Tower Hamlets have chosen Smart by Kim Slater, over six shortlisted novels, as their favourite book in a ceremony at Swanlea Secondary School last week.
This award is one of many accolades that Slater has won for Smart, a book for young adults published by panmacmillan, which has also been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and nominated for the 2015 Carnegie Medal.
Smart is the story of a fourteen-year-old autistic boy with learning difficulties who sets out to solve the mysterious death of a homeless man. According to Slater, Smart began as a 3000-word short story assignment for her MA degree at Nottingham Trent University.
Slater delighted pupils with visits to a number of the local schools involved in the voting process. She met with children to talk about what makes an entertaining story for them. Slater said on her blog she was impressed with the contributions from the pupils and even received some artwork from her young fans.
“I was so touched and impressed to receive wonderful artwork from some of the children. It was evident that hours of hard work and effort had been invested and I’m truly grateful.”
Now in its ninth year, the Tower Hamlets Book Award has been organised by the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service annually to encourage reading in the local area.
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