The unique UKLA Book Awards are the only awards to be judged entirely by teachers. Their choice of winning books which, according to the criteria, can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning” clearly demonstrates the fresh perspective that class teachers bring to the judging of book awards. They are able to share the books with their classes and discover what genuinely works with young readers in each of the three age categories.
As well as endorsing the brilliance of Frances Hardinge’s overall Costa Winner, The Lie Tree for 12-16’s, their 7-11 winner reflects once again the importance of illustration to this age group. The Imaginary by A.F Harrold was double Greenaway medal winner Emily Gravett’s first foray into illustrating a full length novel. The 12 judges who made up the final panel showed the strength and depth of the three shortlists by also Highly Commending books in both the 7-11 and 3-6 categories with Alex. T Smith’s vividly illustrated and wittily diverse twist on a familiar nursery tale, Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion,winning the 3-6 category.
For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new quality 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. As Awards Chair, Lynda Graham said:
“I am so impressed by the level of commitment shown by teacher judges from Bristol this year. Work in classrooms based around our shortlisted books has been thoughtful, imaginative, creative and in many instances, quite stunning. It was very moving to hear them describe how being involved in this judging process has had a real impact in their schools and upon their pupils’ enthusiasm for reading”.
This makes these awards particularly useful for co-sponsor Peter Crawshaw, Director and Co-founder of Lovereading4kids, who said:
“Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids are delighted to support the UKLA Book Awards. The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents looking for books their children will enjoy.”
The Award winners for the book categories 3 to 6, 7 to 11 and 12 to16+ years will be announced and presented at a wine reception at the UKLA International Conference at the Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel and Spa in Bristol on 8 July.
Andrew Lambirth, President of UKLA said “I am delighted that the UKLA Book Awards continue to highlight some of the best children’s literature available to children and young people. I’m proud that the process of selection of the winners is undertaken within a real spirit of community, involving so many people from within education. Congratulations to all the winners and runners up this year”
For more information contact Lynda Graham firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the Notes to Editors PDF for more details about UKLA and the sponsors for the Awards.