Youngsters say space thriller is out of this world
WINTERBOURNE International Academy students have been getting to grips with an exciting space adventure novel as part of a popular literary prize.
A group of students at the academy are reading Space Crime Conspiracy, one of six highly-rated novels shortlisted for the Concorde Award 2013.
The award, which has been running for six years, is aimed at encouraging children aged between 11 and 13 in South Gloucestershire to read novels for pleasure.
The hundreds of students taking part must read the six shortlisted books before voting for their favourite online on March 7, which is World Book Day.
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The author with the most votes will be presented with the coveted Concorde Award, which is being supported by The Post, at a ceremony at the Bristol and Bath Science Park in Emersons Green on March 12.
This year, 12 schools are taking part along with four library reading clubs.
Members of Winterbourne International Academy's Concorde Award Group say they have enjoyed reading Space Crime Conspiracy, which was written by Gareth P Jones.
The book tells the story of Stanley Bound, a boy living above a London pub who gets arrested and has to prove he didn't the commit the murder of a president in another galaxy.
Madeline Hanwell, 13, from Downend, said: "I really liked it because there was an unexpected ending. It's the first time I've taken part in the Concorde Award and I've read five of the six novels.
"My favourite so far is Space Crime Conspiracy but The Demon Collector is a close second."
Charlotte Harris, 13, from Frampton Cotterell, said: "It was very good – it would appeal to people who like aliens and fantasy things.
"I've read three books so far and my favourite is The Devil's Triangle. I like shorter novels and adventure ones."
Thomas Rosenberg, 11, from Frenchay, said the book was "amazing".
He said: "It's full of twists and turns and vibrant characters that leapt off the page. I've read all the shortlisted books. Justin Thyme was my favourite because it was the most intriguing and got my brain working. A close second was The Demon Collector."
Rachel Jones, 13, from Emersons Green, said: "It was really good. It uses twists and different characters. The characters seemed really real. The twists and turns kept me very intrigued.
"I like reading novels because they take you to places you can't think of yourself."
Harry Lear, 12, from Downend, said: "It has an unexpected ending. I liked it more than the other shortlisted book I've read, which is Bullet Boys."
Caitlyn Bryant, 12, from Frampton Cotterell, said: "I loved the book. I liked the fact it kept on flashing back in time. I've read four of the books so far and Space Crime Conspiracy was my favourite."
Mr Jones said he was delighted his novel had been shortlisted.
He said: "My intention when I wrote it was to write the book I wanted to read as a child.
"It's a big funny exciting space adventure with a talking mushroom in it. I'm crossing all of my fingers, legs and eyes that it wins. I bet it won't but if it does I promise to come to Bristol dressed as a marauding picaroon (that's a kind of bird headed space pirate) to celebrate."