UKLA members discussed their reading in WhatsApp groups led by members of the UKLA Book Award team.
The shadowing teachers chose the same 3-6+ winner as the judges in 2021 – Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola for their debut title Look Up! (Puffin). Teachers loved the ways in which children related to the central issues of the book, poured over the wonderful illustrations and enjoyed discovering ‘real facts’.
There are joint shadowing winners for the 7-10+ category: Check Mates by Stewart Foster (Simon & Schuster) which the judges also selected as their winner in this category, together with The Highland Falcon Thief written by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgeman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli (Macmillan)
Check Mates is a page turner, funny and real, and the relationship between Felix and his grandfather just beautiful
The Highland Falcon Thief is the complete package for me. It is a brilliant class read, offers huge potential in terms of exploring character motivations and stereotypes, there are some great descriptions that could form great springboards for writing and the enthusiasm for trains is infectious!
The 11-14+ shadowing winner is Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Hot Key)
Clap When You Land was a really great read as it took you to places/experiences that were new. A great verse novel
And finally, in the Information Books 3-14+ category, the teacher shadowers once again chose the same winning book as the judges- The Undefeated written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Andersen Press) and commented:
The Undefeated is a hands down winner. It is written and illustrated with passion. Words, image and design work together to create an effective, affecting work of art that can’t be forgotten.