AN award-winning children's author has set up a new children's book awards after learning about the cancellation of others.

Christina Gabbitas, author of the 'Felicity Fly' series, set up the Children's Literature Festival Book Awards, after learning about the cancellation of some key awards such as the Blue Peter and Costa Children's book awards.

Christina founded the Children's Literature Festivals charity in 2019 to provide children from deprived areas with free literature festivals.

She said: "I thought this was such a sad day, as we need to be promoting children’s literature, reading and books to instil a love of reading in children. This is the time to capture them.

"I don’t hail from a privileged background; my parents couldn’t afford to buy books for my three siblings and I, but we always used to visit the local library each week to take books home.

"If it wasn’t for our library, I wouldn’t be where I am today as an author.”

The awards will see children cast their vote and give their thoughts about 68 of the latest titles, from picture books to older readers.

Christina has chosen all the participating libraries and schools from some of the most deprived areas of England, including Selby, Hull, and Middlesborough.

Children have until April 15 to cast their votes, followed by a shortlist in each category and the overall winners will be announced on May 14.

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