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Teacher's novel UK hit

GEORGE GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014
Novel
AWARD FINALIST: The Twins, the Ghost and the Castle by Waiheke teacher Paul Mason is one of four novels on the shortlist in the Shorter Novel Category of the Portsmouth Book Award in the UK.
Paul Mason
AUTHOR: Paul Mason

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A book written by an island author is being lauded as a good read for young children in the South of England.

The Twins, the Ghost and the Castle by Waiheke Primary School teacher and author Paul Mason has been shortlisted for the Portsmouth Book Award 2014.

It is one of just four other novels to be selected for the Shorter Novel Category.

Paul's book was first published by UK publishers A&C Black last year. It has been chosen from a long list of books by a selection panel made up of staff from the Portsmouth School Library Service and the public library, and junior school teachers.

Thirty schools in the Portsmouth region buy copies of the shortlisted books and the pupils become the judges of the awards.

The Twins, the Ghost and the Castle will be judged by 1755 year 5 children from the 30 different schools, and the winner will be announced in July.

Paul says the news came out of the blue.

"I wasn't expecting it at all. I'm thrilled about it, particularly because it's being judged by children so if I were to win it, it would be very special," he says.

His book is based at Walmer Castle in Kent, run by English Heritage.

Paul sent English Heritage a copy and it is now being sold in the castle shop.

"From having walked around the castle and coming up with the story to having the story sold in the bookshop is quite fun," he says.

The Twins, the Ghost and the Castle is on sale at Take Note Waiheke and other outlets.

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