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UKLA Book Awards 2022

Find out which books teachers think are the best! The shortlists for the UKLA 2022 Awards, sponsored by LoveReading4Kids, LoveReading4Schools and Reading Cloud, have been announced. Find those that made the shortlist, and the full longlist, below in 3-6, 7-10 and 11-14 age ranges plus the Information Books category.

Jump to:
3-6
7-10
11-14
Information Books 3 - 14+

UKLA Book Awards 2022: 3-6

Winner: The Invisible

This is a vital picture book for society today – with an emphasis on family and belonging.     Isabel is a small girl who lives with her family, and though they have little they have each other, so life is happy. Then disaster strikes and they have to leave their home to move ...

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Winner: Barbara Throws a Wobbler

A brilliantly funny and sensitive way to understand and deal with tantrums.

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Shortlisted Books

What Happened to You?

James Catchpole

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Freedom, We Sing

Amyra Leon

Hardback

In Stock

£10.79 £11.99

Pip and Egg

Alex Latimer

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

I'm (Almost) Always Kind

Anna Milbourne

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

Longlisted Books

Luna Loves Art

Joseph Coelho

Hardback

Not Available

What We'll Build

Oliver Jeffers

Hardback

In Stock

£13.49 £14.99

Books Make Good Pets

John Agard

Paperback

In Stock

£6.29 £6.99

Stuck Inside

Sally Anne Garland

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

Fred Gets Dressed

Peter Brown

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

I Can Catch a Monster

Bethan Woollvin

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Too Much Stuff

Emily Gravett

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Taking Time

Jo Loring-Fisher

Hardback

In Stock

£10.79 £11.99

Clean Up!

Nathan Bryon

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

It's Only Stanley

Jon Agee

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

UKLA Book Awards 2022: 7-10

Winner: October, October

Raw, lingering and stirringly lyrical, October, October had me hooked from opening to end.  Conjured in language that crackles and smoulders like an autumn bonfire, this is a book of bones and bark, of frost and flame, captivating in the manner of Skellig

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Shortlisted Books

The Valley of Lost Secrets

Lesley Parr

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Front Desk

Kelly Yang

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

A Kind of Spark

Elle McNicoll

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

When Life Gives You Mangoes

Kereen Getten

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Longlisted Books

Voyage of the Sparrowhawk

Natasha Farrant

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

The Barnabus Project

Eric Fan and 2 more

Paperback

In Stock

£8.99 £9.99

Moo

Sharon Creech

Paperback

In Stock

£6.29 £6.99

Starboard

Nicola Skinner

Hardback

Not Available

Noah's Gold

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

The Incredible Record Smashers

Jenny Pearson

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Brand New Boy

David Almond

Hardback

In Stock

£9.89 £10.99

I Am Every Good Thing

Derrick Barnes

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Across the Risen Sea

Bren MacDibble

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Stars With Flaming Tails

Valerie Bloom

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

The Soup Movement

Ben Davis

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

The Elephant

Peter Carnavas

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

UKLA Book Awards 2022: 11-14

Winner: Punching the Air

Co-written by award-winning novelist Ibi Zoboi and Dr Yusef Salaam, a prison reform activist, poet and one of the Exonerated Five, Punching the Air is a timely, heartachingly powerful free verse novel. Through its shatteringly succinct lyricism, Amal’s story is a mighty call to action that rouses readers to question the deep-rooted and damaging consequences ...

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Shortlisted Books

Cane Warriors

Alex Wheatle

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

The Short Knife

Elen Caldecott

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

Tsunami Girl

Julian Sedgwick

Paperback

In Stock

£8.99 £9.99

When The World Was Ours

Liz Kessler

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

Longlisted Books

The Silent Stars Go By

Sally Nicholls

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

The Great Godden

Meg Rosoff

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Cardboard Cowboys

Brian Conaghan

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Esme's Rock

Simon Philip

Paperback

In Stock

£6.29 £6.99

The Wolf Road

Richard Lambert

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

The Acrobats of Agra

Robin Scott-Elliot

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

The Swallows' Flight

Hilary McKay

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

Boy, Everywhere

A. M. Dassu

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

The Girl Who Became a Tree

Joseph Coelho

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

I Am The Minotaur

Anthony McGowan

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

The Supreme Lie

Geraldine McCaughrean

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

Talking to Alaska

Anna Woltz

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

The Rules

Tracy Darnton

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

UKLA Book Awards 2022: Information Books 3 - 14+

Winner: Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small

This exciting non-fiction picture book introduces young readers to the fascinating (and cutting-edge) science of the very, very small. Everything is made from something - but the way we make things, from the materials we use to the science and technology involved, is changing fast. Nano offers a fascinating narrative introduction to this cutting-edge area of STEM, better known ...

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Shortlisted Books

Fourteen Wolves

Catherine Barr

Hardback

In Stock

£13.49 £14.99

What's the T?

Juno Dawson

Paperback

In Stock

£9.89 £10.99

Ultimate Gamer: Career Mode

Craig Steele

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

Longlisted Books

Who Makes a Forest?

Sally Nicholls

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

Fox

Isabel Thomas

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

How Do Bridges Work?

Roman Belyaev

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

Fossils from Lost Worlds

Damien Laverdunt

Hardback

In Stock

£13.49 £14.99

Kay's Anatomy

Adam Kay

Paperback

In Stock

£8.09 £8.99

I Am Not a Label

Cerrie Burnell

Paperback

In Stock

£8.99 £9.99

Cash

Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Paperback

In Stock

£8.99 £9.99

Question Everything!

Susan Martineau

Paperback

In Stock

£5.39 £5.99

Escape One Day We Had to Run . . .

Ming & Wah

Hardback

In Stock

£11.69 £12.99

Making A Baby

Rachel Greener

Hardback

In Stock

£10.79 £11.99

Fashion Conscious

Sarah Klymkiw

Paperback

In Stock

£7.19 £7.99

LoveReading4Schools and LoveReading4Kids are proud to be award sponsors.

Meeting in real life for the first time in the process, because of the ongoing impact of COVID 19, the current teacher judges relished the challenge of whittling down the longlists to find the very best books for their category and revealed that they now looked at books in ‘a completely different way’. As Chris Lockwood, Awards Chair said “In such a difficult year for schools, it was wonderful to see first-hand and in person the commitment and passion of our teacher judges. At the beginning of the day, every teacher commented on the richness of the four excellent longlists and the difficulty of their task of whittling them down to six books in each category. They have done a brilliant job."

The judging criteria call for the selection to be from a “wide and inclusive range” of publishers and for books which “recognise a broad range of perspectives, experiences and voices” and this range is certainly demonstrated in all four categories. It is notable that once again it is small publishers such as Andersen Press, Flying Eye, Knights Of, Guppy Books, Pushkin, Faber and Thames & Hudson who dominate the lists.

In the 3-6 age category we have this year’s one and only author to have been a previous winner. Nadia Shireen won with her debut picturebook, Good Little Wolf in 2013 and now appears again with Barbara Throws a Wobbler, an empathetic tale which helps us to reflect on the universal impact of a bad day. Anna Milbourne’s I’m (Almost) Always Kind follows immediately upon her 2021 shortlisting success with I am not (very) afraid of the Dark and similarly successfully relays an important message to young readers. In this case about the necessity to see things from another’s perspective which is a strong theme across this list. In Tom Percival’s haunting tale, The Invisible, he sensitively confronts the issue of being excluded by poverty, while James Catchpole and Karen George’s What Happened to You? gives us the positive viewpoint of a child with a missing limb but no shortage of imagination. Alex Latimer and David Litchfield’s Pip and Egg is a gentle story of friendship, nature and the circle of life and the final book in this group is the inspiring Freedom We Sing by Amyra and Molly Mendoza, published by Flying Eye, which poetically explores what freedom really means and looks like.

The 7-10+ category features no less than four exciting debut authors and for the very first time a graphic novel. When Stars are Scattered written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson with Omar Mohamed, tells the story of Omar and his brother Hassan and topically depicts the harsh reality faced by refugees. When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten , a stunning debut from Pushkin, tells an evocative tale of memory loss, family and friendships. Bloomsbury have two titles on the list. Lesley Parr’s debut novel, The Valley of Lost Secrets, a powerful story of wartime evacuation to Wales, and the Carnegie shortlisted October, October by Katya Balen. Knights Of also have two books in this category. Front Desk the debut novel from Kelly Yang which draws on her own experiences of moving from China to America, and the Blue Peter and Waterstones award winning debut from Elle McNicholl, A Kind of Spark.

Three Carnegie shortlisted titles go head-to-head in the 11-14+ category. Tsunami Girl by Julian Sedgwick and Chie Kutsuwada, from small press Guppy, found favour for its prose and manga mash-up, telling the tale of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. The verse novel Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam also relates a powerful true story of wrongful imprisonment and Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle is another story based on a real event; the slave uprising led by Tacky against British slavers in Jamacia 1760. Three unique teacher choices complete this category. The Short Knife by Ellen Caldecott is the second title from Andersen Press and tells how two sisters fight against the patriarchy in post Roman Britain. The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud was relished for its skilful genre blending mix of dystopian fantasy and western adventure. When the World was Ours by Liz Kessler also had its roots in a true family history powerfully telling three intertwined stories of World War 2.

Judges of the category of Information Books 3- 14 particularly seek creative non-fiction from a “diverse range of voices and perspectives” which “emanates from the writer’s passion about a subject rather than an obvious curriculum objective”. The judges’ selections span a range of subjects from Catherine Barr’s stunning story of rewilding in Fourteen Wolves; to life on The Great Barrier Reef explored by Helen Scale; to life in miniature skilfully explained by Dr Jess Wade in Nano. Modern Art Explorer by Alice Harman can genuinely help a reader move from confusion and scepticism to understanding and appreciation and Ultimate Gamer- Career Mode by Craig Steele offers inspiration to both aspiring gamers and participants. What's the T? written by Juno Dawson offers really well reasoned advice and defines a myriad of labels and identities to make this important book as inclusive as possible.

The fact that these shortlists are judged by class teachers and can be heartily recommended to their peers makes them particularly useful as co-sponsor Deborah McLaren, Director of Lovereading4kids said: “Wow, what a stunning selection of books. Some of my personal faves from my recent reads and many sit on our LoveReading4Kids Star Books list. This is a cracking shortlist of children’s books that deserve to be celebrated. The only awards to be judged entirely by teachers, the UKLA Awards are a special thing, ensuring that the teacher judges can share the books first-hand with their students, all with the aim of encouraging reading for pleasure. We are excited to see which books shine through this year, but they are all stars!"

Co- sponsor Reading Cloud are “really delighted to support these worthwhile and unique children’s book awards as co-sponsors again this year. We are always heartened to see so many dedicated teacher judges all over the UK working with the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books to inspire a love of reading in their pupil groups and beyond. Encouraging reading for enjoyment and improving literacy are very much at the heart of Reading Cloud and through our platform, pupils can review and recommend books, sharing their enthusiasm for reading through a variety of accessible and engaging tools and features.”

For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read high quality 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.

12 teachers nominated from the 85 involved in the shortlisting will now form the final judging panel and have the challenging task of reading all the shortlisted books in all categories.

The winner’s announcement will take place at the UKLA International Conference in Birmingham on July 1st.

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contact fao Chris Lockwood awards@ukla.org

You can find the winners, shortlists and longlists for UKLA Book Awards 2021 here.

For more information on the UKLA Award visit  www.ukla.org/awards or @UKLA