@The_UKLA #UKLA23 #teachersbookawards The only national children’s book awards to be judged by teachers continues to attract record levels of submissions.

UKLA Book Awards Logo 2022

The summer reading challenge for the initial selection panels (composed of experienced past teacher judges, ex-teachers, librarians and consultants) was to read the combined total of 494 submissions, across the four categories of these awards. Publishers can submit up to three titles in each category and for the first time we have publishers who have had all three of their submitted titles longlisted. Nosy Crow in the 3-6+category, Firefly Press in the 11-14+ and Andersen Press in both the 7-10+and 11-14+ categories. Bloomsbury is the only publisher who had books longlisted in every category, which is yet another remarkable achievement.

Awards Chair, Christine Lockwood, said “This is always an exciting but difficult job.  The longlisting team were challenged to select from a very rich and varied list of submissions this year and they have come up with four sparkling longlists.  It was a joy to meet the majority of our committed, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic longlisters in person, rather than via digital platforms.  I would like to thank them for their hard work over the summer.  The longlists will now pass to our teams of teacher judges and their group leaders in the West Country, and I can’t wait to share these books with them over the next year.” 

The longlists published today exemplify the award criteria’s aim of encouraging teachers’ knowledge of high-quality children’s books, that can reflect all identities and promote diversity and although the lists do have well established and prizewinning authors and big publishers, it is very often the small independent publishers and the extraordinary debuts that stand out from the crowd. There are 36 publishing houses, and even more imprints, represented in this list which is a testament to the strength of children’s publishing, even after the pandemic years.

This year there are just over 100 judges covering the four categories and they have until mid-March to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils. All the groups will then meet, hopefully in person, for the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of 6 books in each category.

Headteachers welcomed the opportunity to receive new books for their schools and for their teachers to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles. 53 schools in total will be impacted by this injection of quality texts to inspire learning and reading for pleasure.   For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a selection of new children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do.

UKLA are grateful for the continued support of the award sponsors, which help the awards to grow and develop each year. Reading Cloud, Lovereading4schools and Lovereading4kids, recognise the value of the judging experience for schools and teachers:

The UKLA continues to do what it does best, engaging with and supporting teachers across our nation. This is another incredible longlist for the 2023 UKLA Awards; what an outstanding selection of books that deserve to be celebrated and shouted from the rooftops. We are delighted to again support the UKLA Awards and all that the UKLA does to engage, delight, educate and inspire our teachers to become reading teachers. The awards are equally valuable for parents looking for book recommendations to encourage reading for pleasure. Congratulations to everyone longlisted, we can’t wait to find out the winners, but whatever takes the trophies, these children’s books are all stars.” Deborah Maclaren Managing Director of LoveReading4Kids 

Reading Cloud are really delighted to support these worthwhile and unique children’s book awards as co-sponsors again this year. We are always heartened to see so many dedicated teacher judges all over the UK working with the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books to inspire a love of reading in their pupil groups and beyond. Encouraging reading for enjoyment and improving literacy are very much at the heart of Reading Cloud and through our platform, pupils can review and recommend books, sharing their enthusiasm for reading through a variety of accessible and engaging tools and features.”

Longlist 3-6+

We’re Going to Find a Monster  written by Malorie Blackman and illustrated by Dapo Adeola (Puffin)

Eye Spy written and illustrated by Ruth Brown (Scallywag Press)

Ergo written by Alexis Deacon and Illustrated by Viviane Schwarz (Walker)

It Fell From The Sky written and illustrated by Eric and Terry Fan (Frances Lincoln)

A Cat Called Waverley written and illustrated by Debi Gliori (Otter- Barry Books)

Who are you? written by Smriti Halls and illustrated by Ali Pye (Farshore)

Be Wild Little One  written by Olivia Hope and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus (Bloomsbury)

Flooded written and illustrated by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Frances Lincoln)

There’s A Ghost in This House written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers,(Harper Collins)

The Visible Sounds written by Yin Jianling and illustrated by Yu Rong (Uclan), translated from Chinese by Filip Selucky

The Cat, The Rat and the Hat written by Em Lynas and illustrated by Matt Hunt (Nosy Crow)

Small’s Big Dream written by Manjeet Mann and illustrated by Amanda Quartey (Harper Collins)

The Friendship Bench written by Wendy Meddour and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus(Oxford)

Frank and Bert written and illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (Nosy Crow)

Four Bad Unicorns written and illustrated by Rebecca Patterson (Andersen)

How to Count to One written by Caspar Salmon and illustrated by Matt     Hunt (Nosy Crow)

Yes You Can, Cow! written by Rashmi   Sirdeshpande and illustrated by Rikin  Parekh (Faber)

The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water written and illustrated by Steve Small ( Simon & Schuster)

The Planet in a Pickle Jar written and illustrated by Martin Stanev (Flying Eye)

Saving Mr Hoot written and illustrated by Helen Stephens (Alison Green)

Stella and the Seagull written by Georgina Stevens and illustrated by Izzy Burton(Oxford)

The Comet written and illustrated by Joe Todd- Stanton (Flying Eye)

Longlist 7-10+

The Light in Everything written by Katya Balen and illustrated by Sydney Smith,(Bloomsbury)

My Brother Ben written by Peter Carnavas (Pushkin)

One Time written by Sharon Creech and illustrated by Sharon Horne (Guppy Books)

Ollie Spark and the Accidental Adventure written by Gillian Cross and illustrated by Alan Snow (David Fickling)

The Girl Who Talked to Trees written by Natasha Farrant and illustrated by Lydia Corry (Zephyr)

Dragon Skin written by Karen Foxlee (Pushkin)

Like A Charm written by Elle McNichol(Knights Of)

No Mans Land written by Joanna Nadin and illustrated by Lucy Mulligan   (Uclan)

Major and Mynah written by Karen Owen illustrated by Louise Forshaw(Firefly)

Stuntboy, In The Meantime written by Jason Reynolds illustrated by Raul the Third (Knights Of)

The Elephant in the Room written by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Piccadilly)

The Children of the Quicksands written by Efua Traoré (Chicken House)

All to Play For written by Eve Ainsworth illustrated by Kirsty Beauman (Barrington Stoke)

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths written by Maisie Chan and illustrated by Anh Cao(Piccadilly)

The Secret of Splint Hall written by Katie Cotton(Andersen)

When the Sky Falls written by Phil Earle (Andersen)

Wished written by LissaEvans (David Fickling)

Alte Zachen written by Ziggy Hanaor illustrated by Benjamin Phillips (Cicada)

The Colour of Hope written by Ross McKenzie (Andersen)

The Chime Seekers written by Ross Montgomery(Walker)

The Lion Above the Door written by Onjali Q Raúf (Orion)

Little Light written by Coral Rumble illustrated by Shih-Yu Lin (Troika)

Longlist 11- 14+

All That’s Left in the World written by Erik J Brown (Hodder)

The Song that Sings Us   written by Nicola Davies,and illustrated by Jackie Morris (Firefly)

Read Between The Lies written by Malcolm Duffy (Zephyr)

The Climbers written by Keith Gray,(Barrington Stoke)

Mark My Words written by Muhammed Khan (Macmillan)

The Crossing written by Manjeet Mann(Penguin)

Tremendous Things written by Susin Nielsen(Andersen)

Grow  written by Luke Palmer(Firefly)

The Ivory Key written by Akshaya Raman (Hot Key)

Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep written by Philip Reeve  (David Fickling )

When I Was the Greatest written by Jason Reynolds illustrated by Akhran Girmay(Faber)

Hide and Seek written by Robin   Scott –Elliot (Everything with Words)

The Summer We Turned Green written by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)

In the Wild Light written  by Jeff Zentner (Andersen)

Adam-2 written by Alistair Chisholm (Nosy Crow)

Ellie Pillai is Brown written by     Christine Pillainayagam (Faber)

Truth Be Told written by Sue Divin(Macmillan)

When Our Worlds Collided written by Danielle Jawando,(Simon & Schuster)

Splinters of Sunshine written by Patrice Lawrence (Hodder)

The Cats We Meet Along the Way written by Nadia Mikhail, illustrated by Nate Ng (Guppy Books)

Julia and the Shark written by Kiran Millwood Hargrave illustrated by Tom de Freston(Orion)

The Blue Book of Nebo written by Manon Stefan Ros, translated from Welsh by the author (Firefly)

Kemosha of the Caribbean written by Alex Wheatle (Andersen)

Longlist Information Books 3-14+

How Was That Built? written by Roma Agrawal illustrated by Katie Hickey(Bloomsbury)

From Shore to Ocean Floor written by Gillian Arbuthnot illustrated by ChrisNielsen (Big Picture Press)

Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs written by Jeffrey Boakye,illustrated by Ngadi Smart(Faber)

The Story of Afro Hair written by K.N Chimbiri illustrated by Joelle Avelino (Scholastic)

Amazon River written by Sangma Francis illustrated by Rômolo D’Hipólito (Flying Eye)

It’s Our Business to Make a Better World written by Rebecca Hui illustrated by Anneli Bray(Magic Cat)

Talking History written by Joan   Lennon and  Joan Dritsas Haig illustrated by André Ducci (Templar)

Everything Under The Sun written by Molly Oldfield (Ladybird)

Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers about Racism written by Jordan Akpojaro illustrated by Ashley Evans (Usborne)

A Different Sort Of Normal written by Abigail Balfe,(Puffin)

You are 25% Banana written by Susie Brooks and Josy Bloggs(Red Shed)

How to Make a Book written by Becky Davies illustrated by Patricia Hu (Little Tiger)

Rescuing Titanic written and illustrated by Flora Delargy,(Wide Eyed Editions)

Here and Queer written by Rowan Ellis and illustrated by Jacky Sheridan (Frances Lincoln)

The Greatest Show on Earth written and illustrated by Mini Grey(Puffin)

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue written and illustrated by William Grill (Flying Eye)

I am the Subway written and illustrated by Kim Hyo-eun, translated from Korean by Deborah Smith (Scribble)

How Fast was a Velociraptor? written and illustrated by Alison Limentani (Boxer Books)

Black and British – an Illustrated History written by David Olusoga and illustrated by Jake Alexander & Melleny Taylor(Macmillan)

This Is a Dictatorship written by Equipo Plantel and illustrated by Mikel Casal, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel (Book Island)

I am an Artist written and illustrated by Kertu Sillaste, translated from Estonian by Adam Cullen (Graffeg) 

Nina: a story of Nina Simone written by Traci N Todd and illustrated by Christian Robinson (Scribble)

Notes to Editors

About UKLA

 UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy. UKLA is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally in literacy and language teaching and research. The Association was founded in 1963 as the United Kingdom Reading Association. In 2003 it changed its name to the United Kingdom Literacy Association, to reflect more accurately its wider range of focus and interest.

UKLA especially supports the development of approaches to literacy learning and teaching which underpin these understandings. The Association recognises the significance for effective language and communication learning of literature, drama, the visual media, non-fiction texts and information technology, as well as welcoming approaches to teaching which draw on the resources of a wide range of cultures and which are informed by a detailed understanding of how literacy and language work.

About Reading Cloud

Sponsors Reading Cloud have over 30 years’ experience providing feature rich innovative software for schools and 6th form colleges. Our intuitive & flexible library systems support several thousand schools with managing their libraries and reading resources. Engaging their students in reading, supporting independent learning, promoting reading for pleasure and in improving literacy, with a growing 4.5 million active borrowers worldwide.

Reading Cloud provides all the tools and functionality needed for day-to-day school library management as well as a safe online student reading community to ensure all students are able to develop long lasting positive attitudes to reading.

To find out more visit www.ess-readingcloud.co.uk 

About LoveReading4Kids

The LoveReading family exists because reading matters, and books change lives. 

LoveReading4Kids is the UK’s leading book recommendation brand for children’s books: reading, reviewing and shouting about books right across the age ranges. 

Since 2005 families across the nation have relied on LoveReading4Kids to help them find their next favourite book.

They’ve had a busy year! In July 2022, they relaunched as a bookstore with social purchase.

Buy from their bookstores, get 10% off RRPs and 25% of the cover price will be given to a school of the customer’s choice to buy more books.

In September 2022, LoveReading4Schools, merged into LoveReading4Kids creating a reading for pleasure hub to make it easier for them to support schools across the UK.

LoveReading4Schools is now a portal within LoveReading4Kids creating a one-stop shop for reading for pleasure. Book recommendations, reading lists, develop wishlists, buy books and share the love – because 25% of every book bought on LoveReading and LoveReading4Kids can be allocated to your school. So every penny you spend and your community spends gives you money back to buy more books.

Visit www.lovereading4kids.co.uk

Sign up the LoveReading4Schools portal https://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/school/dashboard

Email schools@lovereading.co.uk if you have any questions

Past Winners


3-6+ (Joint Winners)

Barbara Throws a Wobbler written and illustrated by Nadia Shireen (Puffin) 

The Invisible written and illustrated by  Tom Percival ( Simon & Schuster)


October, October written by Katya Balen  Illustrated by Angela Harding (Bloomsbury)

Highly Commended

Front Desk written by Kelly Yang (Knights Of)


Punching the Air written by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (HarperCollins)

Highly Commended

Tsunami Girl written by Julian Sedgwick and illustrated by Chie Kutsuwada( Guppy Books)

Information 3-14+



Look Up! Written by Nathan Bryon, illustrated by Dapo Adeola, Dapo (Puffin)


Check Mates   written by Stewart Foster (Simon & Schuster)

Highly Commended

Owen and the Soldier written by Lisa Thompson, illustrated by Mike Lowery (Barrington Stoke)  

11-14+ (Joint Winners)

Run Rebel written by Manjeet Mann (Penguin)

The Last Paper Crane  written by Kerry Drewery, illustrated by Natsko Seki (Hot Key)

Information Books 3-14+

The Undefeated written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Andersen Press)



Mixed  written and illustrated by Arree Chung (Macmillan)


The Eleventh Trade written by Alyssa Hollingsworth (Piccadilly Press)

11- 14+

No Fixed Address written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)

Information Books 3-14+

Counting on Katherine written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruck  (Macmillan)

 Highly Commended

A Child of St.  Kilda written and illustrated by Beth Waters (Child’s Play)



After the Fall written and illustrated by Dan Santat  (Andersen Press)


The Explorer written by Katherine Rundell illustrated by      Hannah Horn (Bloomsbury)

Highly Commended

Running on Empty written by S. E. Durrant   illustrated by Rob Biddulph (Nosy Crow)


Long Way Down written by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Chris Priestly (Faber)

Highly Commended

The Poet X written by Elizabeth Acevedo (Egmont Electric Monkey)


3-6:  Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea written and illustrated by Morag Hood (Two Hoots)

7-11: (Joint Winners) Lesser Spotted Animals written and illustrated by Martin Brown (David Fickling Books)

Welcome to Nowhere written by Elizabeth Laird and illustrated by Lucy Eldridge (Macmillan)

12-16: Come Apart written by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury)


3-6:  There’s a Bear on MY Chair written and illustrated by Ross Collins(Nosy Crow)

7-11: The Journey written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)

12-16: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)

Highly Commended: The Marvels by Brian Selznick ( Scholastic)


3-6: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex.T. Smith, ( Scholastic)

Highly Commended: On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies(illustrator), (Simon & Schuster)

7-11: The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett (illustrator), ( Bloomsbury)

Highly Commended: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, (David Fickling)

12-16+ : The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge( Macmillan)


3-6: The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt , Oliver Jeffers (illustrator)( HarperCollins

7-11: Oliver and the Seawigs, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, (Oxford University Press)

Highly Commended 7-11 Award: Us Minus Mum, Heather Butler, (Little,Brown)

12-16: Every Day by David Levithan, published by Egmont


3-6:  This is not my Hat, Jon Klassen (Walker Books)

Highly Commended 3-6 Award: Open Very Carefully, Nick Bromley, Nicola O’Byrne (Illustrator), (Nosy Crow)

7- 11: The Story of the Blue Planet, Andri Snær Magnason, Julian Meldon D’Arcy, (translator), Áslaug Jónsdóttir (Illustrator), (Pushkin Press)

12- 16:  Now is the Time for Running, Michael Williams, (Tamarind Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)


3 – 6: Good Little Wolf, Nadia Shireen Rayner (Jonathan Cape)

7 – 11: The Weight of Water, Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)

12- 16:  Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein (Electric Monkey)


3 – 6: Iris and Isaac, Catherine Rayner (Little Tiger Press)

7 – 11: Sky Hawk, Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press)

12 – 16: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay (Walker)


3-11:   Birdsong, Ellie Sandall (Egmont)

12-16: Out of Shadows, Jason Wallace (Andersen Press) 


3-11:  Then, Morris Gleitzman (Puffin) 

12-16: The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator) (Bloomsbury)

Special commendation: Tales from Outer Suburbia, Shaun Tan, (Templar)


3-11: Archie’s War, Marcia Williams (Walker)

Highly commended 3-11: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick  (Scholastic)

12-16: Bog Child, Siobhan Dowd  (David Fickling – Random House Children’s Books)


Picture book category: Penguin, Polly Dunbar (Walker )

Here lies Arthur, Philip Reeve, (Scholastic)

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