Bookworm Tom wins county-wide book competition

Tom Hamner receives his prize from Tony Brown, chairman of Suffolk Libraries' Board. ANL-151105-170837001
Tom Hamner receives his prize from Tony Brown, chairman of Suffolk Libraries' Board. ANL-151105-170837001

A Great Cornard school has won a county-wide book knowledge competition – for the second year running.

Thomas Gainsborough School student Tom Hamner, 13, won the final of the Suffolk Book Mastermind competition.

After studying Skulduggery Pleasant, Playing With Fire by Irish author Derek Landy – who has written a series of teenage horror books – he was tasked with answering a series of questions about the novel.

He also answered general knowledge questions – just like the TV version of Mastermind – in the final of the competition, which saw him compete against eight other Suffolk school students.

Last year, Thomas Gainsborough student Emily Mowles, also 13, walked away with the top award after proving she know the most on her set book, Eclipse by American author Stephenie Meyer.

Tom won £200 of books for his school, as well as a book token. He will also keep the winner’s shield at the school for a year.

The competition is organised by the Suffolk Schools Library Service, which is part of Suffolk Libraries, and is supported by the Suffolk Book League.

It saw 28 schools competing to find the county’s best-read pupils, whittled down to eight students for the final.

Students were cheered on by fellow pupils and, in the afternoon, they were entertained by children’s author Philip Ardagh and illustrator Axel Scheffler.

Philip is best known for the Eddie Dickens books, while Axel created the illustrations for the well-loved children’s Gruffalo books.

The Schools Library Service aims to support children’s literacy and reading for pleasure.