Tuesday, September 09, 2014




·         Diverse shortlist: from a tapir who is lost for words, to giant robot chickens and a young boy tending an olive grove in a warzone


·         Recurring themes include robots, wild animals and friendship


·         All Primary 1 pupils to receive a free copy of the three shortlisted picture books during Book Week Scotland 2014



The Scottish Children’s Book Awards shortlist has been announced today, Thursday 28 August, celebrating the most popular children’s and young adult books by Scottish authors or illustrators.


The shortlist, featuring nine books which will be read and voted on by tens of thousands of Scottish children, includes one internationally renowned Scottish author, two former SCBA winners, the youngest published author in Scotland and three books by one Scottish independent publisher. The shortlist is split into three age categories: Bookbug Readers (3-7 yrs), Younger Readers (8-11 yrs) and Older Readers (12-16 yrs).


Popular subjects which recur in the six books from the younger categories include robots, wild animals and adventure, while the theme of friendship dominates the storylines of the three Older Readers books.


Run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland, and voted for entirely by children, these are Scotland’s largest book awards, with a total prize fund of £12,000. Shortlisted authors and illustrators receive £500 per book, and the three winning books receive £3,000 each.




Bookbug Readers (3-7 years)


-          Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten by Alison Murray (Nosy Crow)

-          Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Ross Collins (Andersen Press)

-          Lost for Words by Natalie Russell (Macmillan)


Younger Readers (8-11 years)


-          Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion by Alexander McCall Smith (Birlinn)

-          Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens by Alex McCall (Kelpies)

-          Pyrate's Boy by E.B. Collin (Kelpies)


Older Readers (12-16 years)


-          Dark Spell by Gill Arbuthnott (Kelpies)

-          The Wall by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)

-          Mosi’s War by Cathy MacPhail (Bloomsbury)


Scottish Book Trust will give a free copy of the three Bookbug category books to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland. The books will be gifted in the Bookbug Primary 1 Family Pack, funded by the Scottish Government and Education Scotland, and are intended to encourage P1 children, who are just beginning their learning journey, to discover the joy of reading. The pack will also serve as a link between schools, homes and libraries and will help support children in reading for pleasure.    


Over the next five months, children the length and breadth of Scotland will be reading the three shortlisted books in their age category and voting for their favourite. The three winning books will be announced at a special award ceremony on 4 March 2014.


This is the eighth year that Scottish Book Trust has been running the awards. Voting numbers have increased dramatically year on year, with over 38,000 children voting last year. With five months to read the books and vote, this year’s awards are likely to be the biggest ever in terms of children participating.


Jasmine Fassl, Head of Schools at Scottish Book Trust said:


“The Scottish Children’s Book Awards are much more than a celebration of Scottish literature – they are about expanding children’s horizons far beyond their physical boundaries and barriers. By simply reading just one of the shortlisted novels in their category, a 5 year old can imagine what it’s like to have rampaging robots as babysitters, a 10 year old can hop aboard a pirate ship, and a 15 year old can be transported into the mind of a teenager in a war zone. We hope that children, teachers, parents and librarians across Scotland will take this journey with us and get lost in these 9 wonderful stories.”

Jenny Niven, Portfolio Manager for Literature at Creative Scotland, commented:


“Literacy, and access to books for Scotland’s children and families is absolutely critical for our capacity to learn, to develop and to imagine. The work of Scottish Book Trust is fundamental in this. The next step beyond access is to provide the means for children and young people to develop an independent love of books and reading, and the Scottish Children’s Book Awards play an enormous role in making this possible.


“By voting for their own reading choices they are taking steps in their journeys as independent readers – steps which will have an impact on their education, their wellbeing and their imaginations far into the future. Creative Scotland is delighted to support this work, and is encouraged to see such a strong shortlist of Scottish books for our voters to choose from.”


The Scottish Children’s Book Awards also encourage budding authors or journalists to put pen to paper: the popular Book Review Competition offers pupils the chance to win book tokens for themselves and an author visit for their school.


Budding film makers can enter the book trailer competition to entice their peers to read the books too and win book tokens for their school. Scottish Book Trust provides extensive learning resources for teachers on how to create book trailers.


The Bookbug Primary 1 Family Pack is part of Bookbug, Scotland’s national book gifting programme, funded by the Scottish Government and run by Scottish Book Trust.


CALL Scotland has again worked with Scottish Book Trust and the authors and publishers to create accessible digital versions of the nine shortlisted books for children and young people with physical, visual and reading or dyslexic difficulties, who can’t read the paper books. The accessible digital versions of the shortlisted books are available free of charge from CALL Scotland. You can request books by going to http://www.callscotland.org.uk/Home/.








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