PUPILS at a primary school received a visit from the top judge in a national book awards scheme.

Year 8 students at The Education Village in Darlington have been reading all of the books shortlisted for the 2014 Carnegie Medal.

Their studies will culminate in a vote for who they think should win the top prize and today (Friday, June 13) they welcomed the chair of the judging panel, Helen Thompson, into their classroom.

Ms Thompson, who has described this year’s Carnegie shortlist as “superbly strong”, spoke to the children about the pleasure of reading.

Previous winners of the coveted Carnegie Medal include CS Lewis and Arthur Ransome, and the Darlington schoolchildren will have to wait until June 23 to find out whether their choice for this year’s winner matches the judges’.