There was a sea of red in Falkirk Town Hall last Wednesday as pupils from secondary schools in the Falkirk area turned out in style for the RED book award ceremony, and there was even some dancing in the aisles.
This was the seventh year of the RED book awards by Falkirk Council, organised by Yvonne Manning who is Principal Librarian, Education Services.
RED stands for ‘Read, Enjoy, Debate’ and the pupils had been considering four short listed books - ‘An Act of Love’ by Alan Gibbons, ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece’ by Annabel Pitcher, ‘Blood Red Road’ by Moira Young, and ‘Gladiator, Flight for Freedon’ by Simon Scarrow. Three of the authors were at the ceremony; Annabel Pitcher was unable to be there.
The winning book voted by the pupils was An Act of Love.
Author Alan Gibbons was presented with Barbara Davidson’s Falkirk Wheel design plate with details of the award on the back.
Alan said: “I’m really thrilled to receive this award. I’m passionate and one of the things I am passionate about is the liberating ability of words.
“We should appreciate the guardians of words – librarians.
“I hope that councils will continue to do everything they can to guard and protect library services. If you let the philistines take over, that is the end of freedom.”
The programme for the day included presentations of the short listed books by the all of the schools involved, Bo’ness Academy, Braes High, Denny High, Falkirk High, Graeme High, Grangemouth High, Larbert High and St Mungo’s High.
Everyone at the event was asked to vote for the presentation which they considered would make them buy the book and this was won by Falkirk and Denny for the presentation of Blood Red Road.
There was also entertainment by Bo’ness Academy, a Braes Youth Theatre drama about bullying, singing by Daniel Louis from St Mungo’s, a soliloquy from Braes High, Double Trouble from Grangemouth High, and a dance group from Falkirk High.
Organiser Yvonne Manning, resplendent in multi-shades of red, led an impromptu dance with the pupils.
Winners of the Book Review competition which was sponsored by Palimpsest were Robert Scotland, Bo’ness Academy; Andrew Hyslop, Braes High; Callum Marshall, Denny High; Andrew Walker, Falkirk High; Carmen Tran, Graeme High; Natasha Hogan, Grangemouth High; Rebecca Clark, Larbert High; and Orla Gaynor-Kirk, St Mungo’s High.
Andrew Hyslop finally came out as the overall winner.
The pupils added to the red ambience with their red accessories.
Winners of this competition, sponsored by publishers Bright Red Books, with prizes going to Jessica Donachie, Morag Meldrum and Clare Campbell of St Mungo’s High; Andrew Stowe of Larbert High; Miss Sutherland, Grangemouth High; and Ewan McMillan and Cameron Walker of Braes High.
Finally, to round off a highly successful day, there was a lively question and answer session with the authors.
Provost Pat Reid also added to the occasion by dusting off the traditional ermine trimmed red robes for his visit.