|My Mum swiped this large cardboard star from the local WH Smiths.|
Many years ago, when I was about ten or eleven, I wrote a review of a book. If you follow this website, you know I often review, but on this occasion, I was critiquing to win the chance to judge the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Books Prize.
This was an award for children's books with a gimmick - the judges were all aged between ten and twelve, so had authentic young-person opinions. I entered, using Microsoft Publisher to put an attractive border on my review and the title in bendy WordArt at the top of the page. The book in question was Redwall by Brian Jacques - a book which I already listed as big in my influences a few months back - and thanks to my advanced critical faculties, not to mention an amazing pun about walls painted red, I won!
Which meant I got to judge the prize, read a stack of books and enjoy more media attention than my tiny mind was ready for. Keep reading to discover how that went and see some frankly horrifying pictures of pre-teen Nick Bryan. I was cleaning out my old bedroom at my parents' house the other day, you see, and stumbled upon a whole trove of this stuff.
Be Warned: there will be spoilers for the outcome of the 1995 Mind-Boggling Books Award.