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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 16:29 GMT
Children vote for favourite books
Little Lost Cowboy book
Little Lost Cowboy was the winner of the younger readers' category
Almost 3,000 children from 160 schools across the country have been voting for their favourite books, written by Scottish authors.

Little Lost Cowboy by Simon Puttock and Caroline Jayne Church won the 0-7 years category of the Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children's Books.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling came first in the 8-12 years category.

Roxy's Baby by Catherine MacPhail won the 13-16 age group.

Simon Puttock and Jayne Church share 1,500, while JK Rowling and Catherine MacPhail win 1,000 each.

Listening to Scottish school children talk about, argue and enthuse over the books in the last few months has been an exceptionally rewarding experience
Anna Gibbons

Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson MSP presented the winning authors with their awards at a ceremony at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh.

The competition was organised by Braw (Books Reading And Writing), the Scottish children's books arm of the Scottish Book Trust.

The shortlisted titles - all of which were published last year by authors or illustrators born or resident in Scotland - were chosen by a panel of literature and education experts.

The books chosen were read by young people in reading groups at schools, libraries and bookshops. The children then voted for their favourite.

Speaking about Little Lost Cowboy, Charlie Duffy, 11, from St Brigid's Primary School, Glasgow, said: "When we read Little Lost Cowboy to Primary 3 they loved it.

"They could not stop laughing. I thought they were going to explode."

'Exceptional response'

A book review competition for children was also held which received more than 500 entries.

Anna Gibbons, manager of Braw, said: "What is most important about these awards is that it is the children themselves who have been responsible for the final verdict.

"Listening to Scottish school children talk about, argue and enthuse over the books in the last few months has been an exceptionally rewarding experience."

Catherine MacPhail
Catherine MacPhail penned one of the winning books

Julie Morrison, from the Royal Mail, said: "The response from children across Scotland has been quite exceptional and is a real tribute to all the schools and the teachers who encouraged their pupils to get involved.

"Not only is good literacy vital for society in general, it is crucial to the future of our business that the next generation can read, write and send letters, cards and postcards."

Gavin Wallace, head of literature at the Scottish Arts Council, said: "The enthusiasm we have seen from the young readers is testimony to the quality of children's literature in Scotland and demonstrates the excitement and inspiration which literature can instil in young people."

The culture minister said: "By taking an active role in these awards, more children have been encouraged to read, helping them develop a love of reading which encourages creativity as well as building vital literacy skills."

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