For the first time ever the judges for these unique book awards, which are the only awards judged by active classroom teachers, will come from Scotland, with the 56 judges spread right across the country from Aberdeen to Renfrewshire!
There are 3 groups of judges for each age category and they have until the end of February 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.
Teachers welcomed the opportunity 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. Micro Librarian Services, Lovereading4schools and Lovereading4kids, recognise the value of the judging experience for schools and teachers:
‘Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids is very excited and proud to be a co-sponsor of the UKLA Book Awards 2017. The way UKLA work with schools and pupils complements Lovereading’s approach of using book experts and children reviewers to provide good, trusted guidance for teachers and parents that can be hard to find. We are looking forward to sharing the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books with all the parents and schools who use our websites.’ Peter Crawshaw – Co-Founder and Director of Lovereading Ltd
The UKLA Selection Panel, chaired by Lynda Graham, whittled down the 398 publisher submissions to arrive at a set of longlists, which excitingly feature books in translation, nonfiction titles, poetry and debut authors as well as established and familiar names in children’s literature. Lynda Graham says:“the quality of submissions this year was overwhelming 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 ” 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.
Shortlists will be announced w/b 6 March 2017
The winners will be announced on June 30th at the UKLA International Conference, University of Strathclyde
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