Book Club: Lancashire teenagers name their top read

The gripping tale of a young British medic on her first tour of duty in Afghanistan has won the coveted Lancashire Book of the Year award.

‘Torn’, by first-time author David Massey, tells the story of 19-year-old Ellie Nielson and her search for a mysterious girl who disappears after walking into a hail of bullets.

The book was chosen by a panel of Year 9 pupils, aged 13 to 14, from 12 Lancashire secondary schools including Erica Shaw from Ripley St Thomas CE Academy, Lancaster .

David who received a commemorative award and a cheque for £1,000 said: “What is extra special to me is that this award is chosen by readers from my target audience – it doesn’t get better than that.”

This year there were 97 nominations for the award.

In March the panel of 24 young people met to whittle the number down to a shortlist of 10.

Together with Dr Helen Day, a senior lecturer at UCLan who chaired the panel, they then assessed the shortlisted books before meeting again in May to agree the overall winner.

The 10 shortlisted books were:

‘Torn’ by David Massey, ‘Slated’ by Teri Terry, ‘Stealing Phoenix’ by Joss Stirling, ‘Mist’ by Kathryn James, ‘Night School’ by CJ

Daugherty, ‘Spook’s: I am Grimalk’ by Joseph Delaney, ‘The Medusa Project Hit Squad’ by Sophie McKenzie, ‘Doom Rider’ by David

Gatward, ‘The Prisoner’ by Robert Muchamore and ‘15 days Without a Head’ by Dave Cousin.