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Final chapter for Heart of Hawick Book Awards

Children of Hawick and the surrounding area took centre stage recently as the Heart of Hawick Book Award celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Six of eight shortlisted authors joined youngsters from all Hawick catchment area primary schools along with teachers, library staff and guests as this year’s winners of the Picture Book and Junior Fiction awards as well as the overall Book Review Award were announced.

Run by a voluntary group of teachers, parents and librarians the Award was launched in 2007 and has been a popular event on the calendar ever since.

Sadly, however, due to the volunteers being unable to commit to another year the recent presentation ceremony is likely to be the last. A factor which made the 2017 Award all the more poignant for those in attendance.

As well as the Award presentations, the audience were entertained on the day by a Vox Pop produced by Denholm Primary School children who voiced, in a full and frank manner, what the readers liked or disliked about the books.

A wonderful animation of Mr Baboomski and the Wonder Goat, made by children from all participating schools along with animator Simone Russell, was also shown.

Video messages from previous Award winners were viewed before local author Tom Murray opened the floor to questions from the children to the authors, of which there were many. 

Winner of the Junior Fiction Award, Nick Garlick, was asked what inspired him to write his novel Storm Horse. He replied: “I know exactly how it began: when I heard about the horses that were used to pull lifeboats to the sea from 1830 to the 1950s .

“And even though the book isn’t just about them, it was the horses who provided the spark that started it all.”

On being announced as the winner of this year’s award Nick commented: “It is a great honour to receive this as it is the children themselves who vote on the winner.

“That’s all you can ask as an author, that the people reading your work enjoy what you write.”

Julie Patterson of the Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award ended proceedings by thanking everyone who took part in this year’s event as well as the small group of tireless volunteers and the enthusiastic support from Live Borders Library Service.


Picture Book Award Winner: Pirates in Pyjamas by Caroline Crowe.

Shortlist: Fairytales for Mr Barker by Jessica Ahlberg; The Boy Who Switched Off The Sun by Paul Brown; Where’s Polar Bear? By Nico Hercules.

Junior Fiction Award Winner: Storm Horse by Nick Garlick.

Shortlist:  Beetle Boy by M. G. Leonard; Mr Baboomski and the Wonder Goat by Richard Joyce; Scrambled by Huw Davies.

Book Review Winner: Isobel Mactaggart (Denholm Primary School) – Storm Horse.

Shortlist: Sam Wight (Trinity PS) – Storm Horse; Jacklyn Hartley (Newcastleton PS) – Scrambled; Kuba Raczynski (St. Margaret’s PS) – Beetle Boy; Georgie Morgan (Stirches PS) – Beetle Boy; Josh O’Rourke (Drumlanrig PS) – Scrambled; Courtney Wallace (Burnfoot PS) – Mr Baboomski and the Wonder Goat; Joseph Casson (Wilton PS) – Storm Horse.


All books are available for loan at Hawick Library.

HoH Book Awards authors on stage.jpeg HoH Book Awards authors.jpeg HoH Book Awards review shortlist.jpeg