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Catalyst 2008-2009

And the winner of the Catalyst Book Awards 2008, as voted for by North Lanarkshire school pupils, is ‘Zenith’ by Julie Bertagna.

Zenith, the incredible story of three teenagers making their own beginnings in the harshest of worlds, was voted for by the area’s teenagers, as their favourite work of teen fiction this year.

3rd and 4th year pupils in secondary schools and public libraries across North Lanarkshire had the opportunity to vote for their favourite book from four titles selected from a longlist of 24 (click on each link to read a review).

Zenith by Julie Bertagna

Abela: the girl who saw lions by Berlie Doherty

Nemesis: the beast within by Catherine MacPhail

From where I stand by Tabitha Suzuma

Voting took place online via the Young Scot website prior to the main awards event in October. There was an added bonus for several pupils, who had the opportunity to meet one of our shortlisted authors, who came along to visit and talk to them in their own schools.

The Catalyst Book Awards, now in their fifth year, concluded with an awards ceremony at Motherwell Civil Centre where over 600 S3 and S4 pupils attended.  Master of Ceremonies at this year’s awards was last year’s winner Anthony McGowan, author of Henry Tumour.  Also attending the event were all the nominated authors who gave fantastic talks to the pupils about their work.  In addition, a question time, which was a lively affair, also took place.  During this section the young audience put their questions to the authors, who also stayed behind at the conclusion of the event to sign books for pupils.

Attending the awards ceremony was Depute Provost Jim Robertson who said,

“I was delighted to attend the event and was thrilled to see so many young avid readers coming together and discussing their opinions on this year’s finalists.  This event has really captured the imagination of school pupils across the area and is growing year on year.  Congratulations to everyone involved in delivering such a successful Catalyst Awards.”

From a shortlist of four, ‘Zenithby Julie Bertagna was selected and on winning the award she said,

“It’s a thrill to win the Catalyst Book Award 2008 and fantastic to see so many teenagers reading and debating books with real passion.  I was very moved by the deep connection young readers made with my book, Zenith, about a drowning world and flood refugees of the future, and I was honoured to be chosen as winner out of a shortlist of such great books.

“A special thanks to all the enthusiastic young people who read and debated the books and voted on the award, and to the teachers and librarians who make the Catalyst Award such a fantastic event for everyone involved.  You are all really inspiring.  The Catalyst Award is a brilliant catalyst for making sparks fly between teenagers and books.”

Roll on Catalyst 2009!


Longlist 2007

Julie Bertagna:  Zenith

Malorie Blackman: The Stuff of Nightmares

Anne Cassidy: Careless

Cassandra Clare: City of Bones

Grace Dent: Slinging the Bling

Berlie Doherty: Abela, the girl who saw lions

Siobhan Dowd: The London Eye Mystery

Jenny Downham: Before I Die

Doyle, R. Wilderness
Gaiman, N Eternals
Grant, A. Kidnapped (Graphic)

Hoffman, M. The Falconer’s Knot

Hornby, N. Slam

Jauncey, J. The Witness

Kennen, A Berserk

MacPhail, C. The Beast Within

Mankell, H. When the Snow Fell

Millar, Mark Civil War (Graphic)

Rai, B Revenge of the Number Two

Rosoff, M What I Was

Shan, Darren Blood Beast

Singer, N. The Innocent’s Story

Suzuma, T. From Where I Stand

Valentine, Jenny Finding Violet Park

Weatherly, L Watcher


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