Fantastic Book Awards 2017 launch

This year's Fantastic Book Awards will be launched by children's authors Guy Bass, Karen McCombie and Steven Webb at the Samlesbury Hotel, Preston on Wednesday 20 September.

Over 130 teachers are expected to attend the official launch of the book awards initiative for Lancashire's primary schools, developed by Lancashire's school library service.

These awards will run until May 2018 and will involve thousands of children from Lancashire schools.

The main aim of the awards is to support reading for pleasure and enjoyment by introducing newly-published fiction titles to 9 -11 year old pupils, and encourage them to meet and discuss them at informal book clubs.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "I think this is a tremendous initiative. Research tells us that interest in reading sadly declines considerably when children move on from primary to secondary school.

"I really enjoyed reading when I was at school, and when I get time I still like to settle down with a good book. We are fully committed to maintaining the high levels and standards of literacy here in Lancashire and I'll take a keen interest in who's won next May."