YOUNG bookworms across Bolton are busy reading their way through six children’s books to judge which author should receive Bolton Children’s Fiction Award 2020.

The shortlist was revealed at a special ceremony at Bolton School and includes both emerging and established writers. Pupils in schools across Bolton will vote for which author should receive the award.

Bolton School’s Head Librarian Maria Howarth said: “This year’s list gives lot of scope for extension activities, which we will be sending out to participating schools via our website. We are hoping to do some link up work with Bolton Aquarium too.”

Canon Slade librarian Mrs Cairns, who has been involved with the award since it started, said: “The students at Canon Slade have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Bolton Children’s Fiction Award every year and it is one of the highlights of our school library calendar. Students enjoy meeting and discussing the books on the shortlist. The award is a fabulous way of promoting new authors and different genres.”

This year books shortlisted for the award are:

Clownfish by Alan Durant. In the aftermath of losing his father, Dak comes to believe that his dad has been reincarnated as a Clownfish at his local aquarium ­— and the aquarium is facing closure.

•Wildspark: by Vashti Hardy. The novel is set in the fantastical city of Medlock, where mechanical animals house the souls of the deceased to give them a second life. Prue, who has recently lost her much-loved brother, is given the opportunity to learn the secrets of this new technology with the aim of bringing him back.

•The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay. The story follows the lives of three children from idyllic, carefree Cornwall to the horrors of World War I’s trenches.

•Malamander by Thomas Taylor. This magical fantasy novel is written by Harry Potter illustrator and is set in the seaside town of Eerie-on-Sea. Packed with a cast of quirkily-named characters, the story focuses on the attempts of two children trying to understand how the legend of a mythical sea creature, the Malamander, is connected to their own mysterious backgrounds.

•The Lost Magician by Piers Torday has echoes of the much-loved Narnia tales,

•The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle: by Victoria Williamson. Th debut novel tells the story of two girls from very different backgrounds who become united in the fight to save the lives of a fox and her cubs.