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  Private Peaceful wins top award
Updated 12 June 2004, 19.42
Lea Morpurgo accepts the winning trophy on behalf of her Granddad, Michael
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo has won the Red House Children's Book Award 2004, the only book award judged purely by children.

It saw off stiff competition from Jacqueline Wilson's Lola Rose and Garth Nix's Lirael to take the overall winner title at the swanky ceremony in London.

A whopping 93,000 votes were cast this year from kids all over the UK who tried and tested a total of 702 books.

Michael Morpurgo described the event as "a celebration of children's writing".

Michael could not be there so his 15-year-old granddaughter, Lea accepted the award on his behalf.

Lea and her younger sister Eloise
Lea and her younger sister Eloise

In her speech she told the audience: "I know how absolutely thrilled Michael would have been to be here to receive such an amazing, significant prize.

"At the end of the day knowing his book is enjoyed by children makes it so worthwhile. He'll be extremely honoured."

When asked what it's like to be the granddaughter of an award winning children's author, Lea told Newsround: "It's no different to a normal granddaughter relationship except for doing things like this!"


Private Peaceful is a very emotional story set in the trenches of World War One.

Rachel Hunter, nine, from Lewes, liked the way the book talks about a period in time not many other children's books do.

She said: "It makes me think how things like that would never happen now."

Sarah, left and Rearner
Sarah, left and Rearner

The awards are a great way of getting kids interested in reading. Two of the voters, Sarah Goss, 13, and Rearna Ackord, 14, were at the ceremony, after being rewarded for their involvement in the voting process.

They told Newsround how they got involved through the book club at their school - Monks Walk in Welwyn Garden City.

Pupils who are interested at the school spent an entire year selecting their favourite book from a choice of 150.

So to win this really is quite an achievement!

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More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutOur guide to book awards
ChatChat about your fave reads!
WinWin SIGNED award winning book
ClubI helped choose the Children's Laureate


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Kids' books battle for top prize
New Children's Laureate: 'I hate SATs'
Top kids' author gets book record
Kids' novel scoops top book award



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