Berkshire Book Awards Pen2Page Event

Wednesday 27th February 2019

On Wednesday 13 February, Queen Anne’s Book Club attended the Berkshire Book Awards Pen2Page event at Reading Blue Coat School.


Our girls met with Imogen Russell Williams, an acclaimed children’s literature critic, and were able to ask her some interesting questions.

They also got a first look at the books shortlisted for this years’ Berkshire Book Awards!




Daisy and Alice kindly gave accounts of their day, which you can read below.


Yesterday, the we visited Reading Blue Coat School to attend the Berkshire Book Awards event. It was an amazing experience, and I certainly hope to go to many more like it.


The event started with us taking a seat and sorting ourselves out, surrounding ourselves by a hubbub of noise.

However, the room escaped into silence when Imogen Russell Williams – a well-known kids book reviewer – came on stage. She started to discuss her experience of writing kids’ reviews, and what intrigued me most about it was when she said that you have to read “as a child”.

She explained that when you grow up, some of the things you may read will have most detailed and complex wording, but with children’s books you shouldn’t base it off that, but more for the enjoyment of the child. She also enthralled us by talking about how you can’t just simply say “I love/hate it” you need to say, “I love/hate it because…”.


When Imogen had finished discussing about how to write a book review, she started to take questions. Many of the questions varied from what’s your favourite book, to what inspired her to start her career of reviewing books.

I must admit that when I asked my question it was rather nerve-wracking to be talking to such a great children’s book reviewer, however she was very kind and took interest in my question. I asked how long it took to write a book review and she elaborated on how it depends on the size of the book. She said that if it’s a big book, it will take a lot more time to describe it in 150 words than a shorter novel.


After the suspense of what’s going to be on the short list, they finally announced the books. On the short list there is:


  • The Silver Mask – Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.
  • The Burning Maze (Trials of Apollo) – Rick Riordan.
  • A Spoonful of Murder – Robin Stevens
  • The 1000 Year Old Boy – Ross Welford
  • Beyond the Odyssey – Maz Evans
  • The Book of Dust (volume 1) – Phillip Pullman.


Overall, I was pleased with the short list, however I would dispute that “The 1000 Year Old Boy” shouldn’t be on there because of my disliking to his writing style, but that is just my own personal preference.

Yesterday, the Book Club visited Reading Blue Coat School for the Berkshire Book Awards event, where there was an interesting speech by Imogen Russell Williams, and the shortlist for the Berkshire Book Awards was revealed.


When Imogen got up on stage she began to tell us about her career, as a children’s literature critic. She told us all about how to write a review, her favourite books and then showed us a review of ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell. Overall, her speech was very interesting.


Then the Book Awards Shortlist was revealed! Six books made it on to the shortlist, including ones by authors such as: Rick Riordan, Robin Stevens and Phillip Pullman. My favourite book on the shortlist is A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens, the sixth installment in her series.

Thank you so much Daisy and Alice.

We are glad the Book Club enjoyed their trip to the Berkshire Book Awards Pen2Page event.



Read more of the latest news from Queen Anne’s School here.