Youngsters make a Fine choice of book of the year
Leicestershire-born author Anne Fine, whose book was made into hit movie Mrs Doubtfire, has won the hearts of children in the county with her latest offering.
Her new book Bill's New Frock has been named the winner of the 2012 Leicestershire children's book prize.
More than 2,000 children throughout Leicestershire voted online in school or in their local library to help decide the winner out of a shortlist of six authors.
Anne said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have won the award.
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"I was born in Leicester, so it's a place very dear to my heart. It's a special thrill for me to know so many children who live in the city and the county are now busily reading my book."
Bill's New Frock tells the tale of a young boy, Bill Simpson, who wakes up one morning to find he is a girl. Anne will officially be crowned the winner at St Edward's Church of England Primary, in Castle Donington, later this month, when she drops in to speak to children who voted.
Pupil Oliver Walters, nine, said: "I thought it was really funny because Bill wears a dress and it's packed with arguments."
Fellow pupil Thomas Bailey, nine, said: "I loved all the humour."
Head teacher Mary Robinson said: "It's been fantastic to take part in and has really got the children thinking about the types of books they like to read.
"They are very excited about her visit."
Second place went to Little Manfred, by Michael Morpurgo, and third place went to The Boy with Lightning Feet, by Sally Gardner.
The other titles, which were all based on the Olympic values of determination, friendship, respect, courage, excellence, and inspiration, were Wasim the Wanderer, by Chris Ashley, Olympic Poems, by Brian Moses, and Roger Stevens, and Eric! by Chris Wormell.
Dave Houseman, Leicestershire County Council's spokesman for adults and communities, said: "The books included titles by new authors as well as books by established writers.
"It was also really encouraging that nearly 2,000 children voted online, either in their local library or through their school. The aim of the prize was to widen reading choices for youngsters and to encourage children to share their reading with others."
Previous winners of the prize are Andy Stanton and Alan McDonald.