Book award author to meet pupils

Award-winning author Kevin Brooks will visit Montrose Academy on Tuesday to discuss his work with pupils.

Mr Brooks is one of the four writers shortlisted for this year’s Angus Book Award who will make a whistle-stop tour of all eight of the county’s secondary schools to meet pupils who have taken part in the voting process.

The novels in the running for the award were read by around 400 third year pupils before they voted for their favourite book in a secret ballot. The winner will be revealed at the award ceremony on Tuesday evening, which this year is being held at Carnoustie High School.

The award is an Angus Council initiative to encourage teenagers to read and enjoy quality teenage fiction. The award led the way for others of this kind across the UK and over the years has given young people a taste of democracy.

The four shortlisted titles are: Pastworld by Ian Beck, Flip by Martin Bedford, iBoy by Kevin Brooks (Penguin Books), Being Billy by Phil Earle (Penguin Books). While this year’s shortlist features novels by three authors new to the award Mr Brooks is returning as a previous winner, his book ‘Candy’ having polled the most votes in 2007.

His latest novel iBoy is a gripping and gritty tale of revenge and the redeeming power of love as Tom struggles to remain in control of himself. The fog, grit, cruelty and sometimes gruesome nature of the Victorian era created in Ian Beck’s Pastworld makes for a fast paced and gripping novel. Questions of identity, the will to survive and what you’re willing to sacrifice to be alive make Martin Bedford’s Flip an extraordinary book difficult to put down. The final shortlisted title is Being Billy by Phil Earle; Billy has spent eight years in a care home and it is his believable character and his personality that form the backbone of this realistic and moving story.