IT may not be the Booker Prize, but the significance of this award is not lost on writers ­— for its voted for by the very people that matter, the readers.

And the winner of this year’s Bolton Children’s Fiction Award went to Penny Joelson for her novel “I have No Secrets” at a special ceremony in Bolton School, which organises the annual celebration of children’s books.

Hundreds of children across Bolton voted for their favourite book over the past school year.

Penny said: “Thank you to everyone for voting for me. It feels really special to be the winner today, thank you so much from me but also from the ­— disabled ­— main character Gemma, it is great to have her voice heard!

“I wrote the book with the intention of producing a good story and it is magical that it has also raised issues. Today has been a wonderful day of celebrating reading. It has been a lovely day and it turns out, looking at all these people, writing is not such a lonely business after all!”