Monday, July 03, 2017

UKLA Book Award Winners 2017


@The_UKLA  #UKLA17   #teachersbookawards

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.   

For the first time ever a picturebook has won the 7-11 category. The judges found that The Journeyby Francesca Sanna provoked a powerful response from children of all ages. This Kate Greenaway Medal shortlisted book has, of course, just been awarded the 2017 Amnesty CILIP Honour; and remarkably, due to differing dates for eligibility, the 2016 Amnesty CILIP Honour winner, There’s a Bear On MY Chair by Ross Collins has also won the UKLA 3-6 category demonstrating that human rights are a very current classroom topic. The ‘teachers’ Carnegie’ judges, like the librarian judges, also reflected a very transatlantic flavour in their choices this year with The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen by Canadian author Susin Nielsen winning the 12-16 category and American author and illustrator, Brian Selznick’s The Marvels being Highly Commended, further demonstrating that the power of pictures does not diminish as students get older.

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: It was very moving to hear the teacher judges, from all across Scotland, describe the impact within schools of their being involved in these awards. Not only did it open their eyes to the value of picturebooks for all ages but it galvanised 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 who cannot fail to be impressed by these excellent winners”

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 University of Strathclyde, Glasgow on June 30th.

Andrew Lambirth, President of UKLA said ‘We know that literature broadens the reader’s experience of the world and sense of the possible and thus should have a central place in classrooms and educational contexts. Children need access to a rich range of high quality literature and our awards highlight some of the very best literature currently available to children and young people in the UK.  We are proud to be celebrating these truly outstanding winners at our International Conference ‘

The winning book in the 12 to 16+ category is The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen by Susin Nielsen. Published by Andersen Press
‘A really good book changes the way you see the world’ and this book demonstrated that powerful effect in the judges’ classrooms. This is indeed a remarkable book: with a diary format that is a gift for engaging with reluctant readers and for creative writing; multi-faceted authentic characters that evoke empathy and provoke intense class discussions of relevant topics such as bullying, divorce and family breakdown; and yet is also warm, humane, sensitive and funny,
The judges also presented a Highly Commended award to The Marvels written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. Published by Scholastic
This beautiful and special book provides a unique experience for the reader and the judges wished to commend a unique method of telling the story: first through cinematic wordless pictures then by narrative text. With the immediately accessible images you create your own narrative and this engages the interest of even the most reluctant of readers in fiction and the power of story.
The winning book in the 7 to 11 category is The Journey written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna published by Flying Eye Books
The judges reported that this important book for our times was used throughout their schools and had impact and meaning for all ages and abilities. This story of a mother seeking a safe refuge for her family really demonstrated the power of pictures to inspire discussion, empathy and creative writing. The powerful simple language was both challenging without being intimidating and the whole book provoked such rich responses from children that it was truly outstanding
The winning book for the 3 to 6 category There's a Bear on MY Chair by Ross Collins published by Nosy Crow
A superb example of how interesting words and evocative pictures should work together and one which also demonstrates a very clever use of design; with differing font size and colour expressing tone, emphasis and volume. The clever rhyme reads aloud very well and the perfectly expressive and humorous illustrations really engage young children in discussing the story and the issues of restorative justice that it raises, providing a wonderful stimulus for dramatic re-telling.

The Shortlists in full
The Lion Inside written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field (Orchard Books)
There's a Bear on MY Chair written and illustrated by Ross Collins        (Nosy Crow)
A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster)
Grandad's Island written and illustrated by Benji Davies(Simon & Schuster)
Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)
The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln)
Little Bits of Sky written by S.E Durrant and illustrated by Katie Harnett (Nosy Crow)
Gorilla Dawn written by Gill Lewis(Oxford University Press)
Pugs of the Frozen North written and illustrated by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)
The Wolf Wilder written by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico (Bloomsbury)
The Journey written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)
Time Travelling with a Hamster written by Ross Welford (HarperCollins)
The Smell of Other People's Houses written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber &Faber)
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)
Orbiting Jupiter written by Gary .D. Schmidt (Andersen Press)
Railhead written by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)
The Marvels written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
Fire Colour One written by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)
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 MLS
Sponsors Micro Librarian Systems have over 25 years’ experience developing high specification library systems for schools and colleges and provide library automation solutions to over 15,000 schools worldwide. They provide cost effective and user friendly library systems which will revolutionise the way the library works, support the curriculum and encourage reading for pleasure and purpose.
They are committed to providing engaging technologies to foster a reading and information culture that promotes independent motivated readers and learners for life. For more information see
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 and
Past Winners
3-6: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex.T. Smith, ( Scholastic)
Highly Commended: On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies(illustrator), (Simon & Schuster)
7-11: The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett (illustrator), ( Bloomsbury)
Highly Commended: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, (David Fickling)
12-16+ : The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge( Macmillan)
3-6: The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt , Oliver Jeffers (illustrator)( HarperCollins
7-11: Oliver and the Seawigs, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, (Oxford University Press)
Highly Commended 7-11 Award: Us Minus Mum, Heather Butler, (Little,Brown)
12-16: Every Day by David Levithan, published by Egmont
3-6:  This is not my Hat, Jon Klassen (Walker Books)
Highly Commended 3-6 Award: Open Very Carefully, Nick Bromley, Nicola O’Byrne (Illustrator), (Nosy Crow)
7 to 11: The Story of the Blue Planet, Andri Snær Magnason, Julian Meldon D'Arcy, (translator), Áslaug Jónsdóttir (Illustrator), (Pushkin Press)
12- 16:  Now is the Time for Running, Michael Williams, (Tamarind Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
3 - 6 : Good Little Wolf, Nadia Shireen Rayner (Jonathan Cape)
7 - 11: The Weight of Water, Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
12- 16:  Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein (Electric Monkey)
3 - 6: Iris and Isaac, Catherine Rayner (Little Tiger Press)
7 - 11: Sky Hawk, Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press)
12 - 16: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay (Walker)
3-11:  Birdsong,Ellie Sandall (Egmont)
12-16: Out of Shadows, Jason Wallace ws (Andersen Press)
3-11: Then,Morris Gleitzman (Puffin)
12-16: The Graveyard Book,Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator) (Bloomsbury)
Special commendation:Tales from Outer Surburbia, Shaun Tan (Templar)
3-11: Archie’s War,Marcia Williams (Walker)
Highly commended 3-11: The Invention of Hugo Cabret,Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
12-16: Bog Child,Siobhan Dowd (David Fickling - Random House Children’s Books)
Picture book category: Penguin,Polly Dunbar (Walker )
Here Lies Arthur,Philip Reeve (Scholastic)
Full details of the Awards and the winners (from 7.15pm on 30th June), are on

For further information please contact:
Lynda Graham
Room 9
c/o VAL
9 Newarke Street