EWA 2012 winner: “Unforgettable”
Book on the Terezín Ghetto wins the Educational Writers’ Award.
4 December: Ruth Thomson with Ed Vaizey who presented her with the prize.
Picture credit: © Matt Crossick
Ruth Thompson was awarded the 2012 Educational Writers’ Award last night for her book Terezín: A Story of the Holocaust, a book that judges described as: “One of the finest children’s non-fiction books for many years”.
Published by Franklin Watts, it is an outstanding reference book for children of 11+, which tells the story of the Terezín/Theresienstadt fortified ghetto in occupied Czechoslovakia during the Second World War, where the Nazis imprisoned thousands of Jews, and from where they subsequently sent many to their deaths. Copiously illustrated, the book features first-hand accounts of life in the town, as well as many moving works of art from some of the artists who were incarcerated there.
This year’s judges - writer and former publisher, Simon Adams, secondary school modern languages teacher, Louise Trevelyan, and school librarian, Jenny Berggren – were unanimous in their praise for the winning title:
A quietly impressive and unforgettable book which shows exactly what good non-fiction writing should be about. Striking images from Terezín are powerfully combined with first-hand accounts from those who lived there, to tell a remarkable and harrowing story few us knew much about before. By investigating life inside one camp, the author lays bare the horrors faced by everyone caught up in the Holocaust. This is an exemplary winner, which packs a massive emotional punch. We’d go as far as to call this one of the finest children’s non-fiction books for many years.
Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, presented the award to Ruth Thomson on behalf of the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and The Society of Authors, which was held at the All Party Writers Group (APWG) Winter Reception at the House of Commons last night. Mr Vaizey said:
My congratulations to the winner of the Educational Writers' Award, Ruth Thomson, and indeed to all the shortlisted authors on their outstanding writing for young people. I'm very pleased to support this ALCS & Society of Authors award which celebrates inspiring educational writing and encourages a spirit of enquiry in young people.
What the Dickens? Changing attitudes toward copyright
Also during the night the results of the evaluation of the ALCS copyright educational programme 'What the Dickens?' were unveiled, which, in conjunction with the National Schools Partnership, celebrated the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth. The aim was to raise awareness of the concept of copyright and its importance to the economic impact on writers and their ability to continue writing.
Attitudes of students taking part in this initiative were measured before and afterwards, and at the 2012 Educational Writers’ Award on 4 December we were pleased to launch the results of the programme.
Overall the results showed that 72% of children taking part learned something about copyright that they didn’t know before. However, knowledge about which websites you can legally download content from and those you can’t did not change among those surveyed. 70% believed downloading from some websites to be legal.
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