Last year Sarah Crossan won the 12-16 category with her verse novel, We Come Apart, co-authored with Brian Conaghan. Her debut novel, Weight of Water won the award in 2013 and this year Moonrise is shortlisted possibly making her the first triple winner in the history of the awards. Translated books are also feature with The Murderer's Ape by Swedish author Jakob Wegelius and Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais both shortlisted. There is also a strong field from the independent publishers with titles from Nosy Crow, Andersen Press, Two Hoots and Faber & Faber.
All three age categories continue to demonstrate the fresh perspective that teachers can bring from their classrooms to add to the judging process in their search for books which can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”, as required by the criteria. This makes them particularly useful as co-sponsor Deborah McLaren, Director of Lovereading4kids said:
“What a gorgeous selection of books on the UKLA’s 2019 shortlist. The UKLA’s selection committees and teacher judges do it again. A perfect selection of quality texts and engaging reads to inspire students. LoveReading4Kids and LoveReading4Schools continue to be proud to partner with the UKLA in helping engender that lifelong love of reading in children”
The judges for these unique book awards, now in their 11th year and the only awards judged by active classroom teachers, will enjoy the challenge of reading a diverse range of exciting texts from debut authors and small imprints, as well as from more established authors and publishers, selected for them by an experienced panel of past teacher judges, ex-teachers, librarians and consultants.
This year the teacher judges come from the Midlands region around Sheffield, with the 2019 UKLA International Conference, at which the eventual winners are announced, being held at Sheffield Hallam University. There are 10 groups of judges in total covering the three age categories and they have until mid-March to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils. All groups will then meet together for the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of 6 books in each category.
Headteachers welcomed the opportunity to receive new books for their schools and for their teachers to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles. For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of 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.
UKLA are grateful for the continued support of the award sponsors, which help the awards to grow and develop each year. Capita Reading Cloud, Lovereading4schools and Lovereading4kids, recognise the value of the judging experience for schools and teachers:
“LoveReading4Schools and its sister site LoveReading4Kids are delighted to again support the UKLA Book Awards in 2019. Under new ownership the brand has been re-launched and the sites are being re-designed to bring them bang up-to-date and will continue to develop further to further support our mission to promote a love of books and reading by offering the tools, advice and information needed to help our members and browsers to find their next favourite book.
The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives these Awards huge credibility and trust so that schools know the books will be in turn loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents looking to support the school environment and further engender a love of reading at home.” Deborah Maclaren Director of Lovereading4Kids
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.
For more information on the UKLA Awards visit www.ukla.org/awards or @UKLA