The judges for these unique book awards, now in their 11th year and the only awards judged by active classroom teachers, will enjoy the challenge of reading a diverse range of exciting texts from debut authors and small imprints, as well as from more established authors and publishers, selected for them by an experienced panel of past teacher judges, ex-teachers, librarians and consultants.


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The judges for these unique book awards, now in their 11th year and the only awards judged by active classroom teachers, will enjoy the challenge of reading a diverse range of exciting texts from debut authors and small imprints, as well as from more established authors and publishers, selected for them by an experienced panel of past teacher judges, ex-teachers, librarians and consultants.

This year the teacher judges come from the Midlands region around Sheffield, with the 2019 UKLA International Conference, at which the eventual winners are announced, being held at Sheffield Hallam University. There are 10 groups of judges in total covering the three age categories and they have until mid-March to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils. All groups will then meet together 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. For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number 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. Capita Reading Cloud, Lovereading4schools and Lovereading4kids, recognise the value of the judging experience for schools and teachers:

“LoveReading4Schools and its sister site LoveReading4Kids are delighted to again support the UKLA Book Awards in 2019. Under new ownership the brand has been re-launched and the sites are being re-designed to bring them bang up-to-date and will continue to develop further to further support our mission to promote a love of books and reading by offering the tools, advice and information needed to help our members and browsers to find their next favourite book.

The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives these Awards huge credibility and trust so that schools know the books will be in turn loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents looking to support the school environment and further engender a love of reading at home.” Deborah Maclaren Director of Lovereading4Kids

“Capita Reading Cloud are delighted again to be supporting these prestigious and unique children’s book awards as co-sponsors. It is wonderful to see so many dedicated teacher judges working with the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books to spread the joy of reading with their pupil groups and beyond – which is something very much in the spirit of the Reading Cloud where pupils can review, recommend and share their love of reading through a variety of exciting tools and features”

The UKLA Selection Panel, chaired by outgoing Chair Lynda Graham, whittled down the 372 publisher submissions to arrive at a set of longlists, which excitingly feature books in translation, poetry, verse novels and stunning nonfiction titles too. They were pleased to highlight exciting debut authors as well as established and familiar names in children’s literature. Of particular note is the success of small publishing houses like Sweet Apple Publishing, Laurence King, Pushkin Press, Barrington Stoke, Otter-Barry Books, Gecko Press and Tiny Owl. The new Chair of the awards Chris Lockwood says: “the quality of the record number of submissions this year was of a particularly high standard and the panel had no easy task, but we are confident that the teachers and schools involved in the judging will benefit enormously from the impact of these quality texts in their schools” All of the books exemplify the award criteria of writing which offers language rich in layered meanings, imaginative expression and exciting vocabulary. Where present, high quality illustration is also an important feature of the chosen texts.

Longlist 3-6

Do Not Lick this BookIdan Ben-BarakJulian FrostAllen & Unwin
Luna Loves Library DayJoseph CoelhoFiona LumbersAndersen Press
After the FallDan SantatAndersen Press
The New NeighboursSarah McIntyreDavid Fickling Books
The Old ManSarah VClaude DuboisDaniel HahnGecko Press
Here We AreOliver JeffersHarperCollins
The Last WolfMini GreyJonathan Cape
Bob’s Blue PeriodMarion DeucharsLaurence King
StardustJeanne WillisBriony May SmithNosy Crow
This Zoo is Not for YouRoss CollinsNosy Crow
The Squirrels Who SquabbledRachel BrightJim FieldOrchard Books
The Big Book of the BlueYuval ZommerThames & Hudson
The DrumKen Wilson-MaxCatell RoncaTiny Owl Publishing
I Am BatMorag HoodTwo Hoots
The Wolf, the Duck and the MouseMac BarnettJon KlassenWalker
Baby Goes to MarketAtinukeAngela BrooksbankWalker
We Travel So FarLaura KnowlesChris MaddenWords & Pictures

Longlist 7-11

The Chinese Emperor’s New ClothesYing Chang CompestineDavid RobertsAbrams Books for Young Readers
The ExplorerKatherine RundellHannah HornBloomsbury
The Children of Castle RockNatasha FarrantFaber
Running on EmptyS. E. DurrantRob BiddulphNosy Crow
NevermoorJessica TownsendBeatriz CastroOrion
Ghost BoysJewell Parker RhodesOrion
Riding a Donkey BackwardsSean Taylor and Khayaal TheatreShirin AdlOtter-Barry Books
Overheard in a Tower BlockJoseph CoelhoKate MilnerOtter-Barry Books
Sky DancerGill LewisOxford
The Wild RobotPeter BrownPiccadilly
Boy 87Ele FountainPushkin Press
The Murderer’s ApeJakob WegeliusPeter GravesPushkin Press
All the Things That Could Go WrongStewart FosterSimon & Schuster
The MuslimsZanib MianSweet Apple Books
KickMitch JohnsonUsborne Publishing
The House with Chicken LegsSophie AndersonElisa PaganelliUsborne Publishing
Three Cheers for Women!Marcia WilliamsWalker

Longlist 12-16

Things a Bright Girl Can DoSally NichollsAndersen Press
RookAnthony McGowanBarrington Stoke
MoonriseSarah CrossanBloomsbury
We See EverythingWilliam SutcliffeBloomsbury
ThornhillPam SmyDavid Fickling Books
MikeAndrew NorrisDavid Fickling Books
The Poet XElizabeth AcevedoEgmont Electric Monkey
Long Way DownJason ReynoldsChris PriestlyFaber
The Colour of the SunDavid AlmondHodder
A Skinful of ShadowsFrances HardingeMacmillan Children’s Books
La Belle SauvagePhilip PullmanPenguin Random House/ David Fickling Books
PiglettesClémentine BeauvaisClémentine BeauvaisPushkin Press
After the FireWill HillUsborne Publishing
White Rabbit, Red WolfTom PollockWalker
Norse MythsKevin Crossley HollandJeffrey Alan LoveWalker Studio
Mary’s MonsterLita JudgeWren & Rook

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 Capita Reading Cloud

Sponsors Capita Reading Cloud have many years’ experience developing engaging software for schools and colleges and are currently delivering 21st century library automation solutions to thousands of schools worldwide. The Reading Cloud powered by Junior Librarian.net revolutionises the way children interact with books in our digital age. Providing a live, safe online reading community which supports the curriculum and is aimed at driving reading for enjoyment. Using innovative technologies the Reading Cloud’s tools and features support and empower pupils to become motivated independent readers and learners for life. To find out more visit capita-readingcloud.co.uk

About Lovereading4schools and Kids

Countless research shows the importance of good reading skills from an early age and a child’s future success in life. However, finding books to inspire children or authors that excite them, can be difficult; the choice is daunting and guidance rather thin on the ground. That’s where Lovereading4kids and its sister site Lovereading4schools can help.

Lovereading4kids is the leading book recommendation site for Children’s Books from toddlers to teens. It has been created using the experience the founders have as parents, book lovers and years of working in the book industry, to inspire children to read great books.

Unique features and services help parents and anyone who likes to buy books for children choose the best books for boys and girls of all ages … and best of all it is free to use.

  • Download and print off the Opening Extract of over 10,000 children’s books.
  • Read our exclusive online book reviews by children’s book experts including Julia Eccleshare (author and children’s books editor at the Guardian).
  • Explore reviews by members of our children’s reader review panel.
  • Discover new books recommended by humans not computer algorithms.

Lovereading4schools was created to help teachers and parents encourage children to love reading a variety of books throughout the school year. The website offers schools an easy, impartial and free way to create and share reading lists with their parents and pupils, offering age appropriate books as well as themed collections of titles.

Specially curated lists are arranged by school year, ranging from Reception to Year 9 and onwards through teenage years. There are also specialist categories for Reluctant and Dyslexic Readers that can make a real difference to those who struggle with their reading.

Lovereading4schools is endorsed by Jacqueline Wilson and all titles are selected by Julia Eccleshare MBE, the children’s book editor for The Guardian.

Visit the websites Lovereading.co.uk and Lovereading4schools.co.uk

Shortlist announcement w/b April 1st 2019

The winners will be announced on July 12th 2019, at Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield.

Enquires fao Chris Lockwood awards@ukla.org

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