Find out which books teachers think are the best! Find the all books shortlisted for the 2015 Awards - and the shortlist from 2014 too. The three winners, for each age category, will be announced on July 10th at the UKLA International Conference in Nottingham.
Winner of the UKLA Award 2015 in the 3-6 years category. Award-winning Oliver Jeffers and Drew Daywalt’s highly-entertaining new book means that colouring will never be the same again! When Duncan goes to take out his crayons one day he finds a stack of letters inside. Every crayon has something to say. The red crayon complains he is used too much – too many things such as fire engines and strawberries are red; the purple crayon is a neat minded soul and hates it that so much of Duncan’s drawing goes outside the lines; the black crayon hates just to be used for outlines – and so on! Saddest of all, the peach crayon has lost his wrapping – how can he come out of the box naked? In an attempt to satisfy them all, Duncan does a final drawing. Overall, a brilliant book for every age to enjoy. ~ Julia Eccleshare Winner of the Red House Children's Book of 2015. Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013.
Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Book Award 2015 Awarding-winning Chris Haughton tells a big story in stunning illustrations in his near-wordless picture book. The huntsmen are determined to capture the bird. Armed with nets they creep up on their prey…but they haven’t got every angle covered! How the littlest repeatedly sabotages the huntsmen’s plans is a wittily told story with a strong message about communication.
Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 Could it be that this little crocodile isn't a crocodile at all? He might just be a DRAGON! A funny, unique and uplifting story from a debut author-illustrator and perfect for giving a toddler confidence to get in the water.
An empowering picture book which will encourage all young readers to be bolder and braver than they ever thought they could be. The Yes loves his soft and comfy home. But he has other places to go and other things to do. Gradually, the Yes builds up confidence and the enrichment of his life as he does so is brilliantly reflected in Satoshi Kitamura’s illustrations which move from emptiness reflecting loneliness to absolute fulfilment.
Brilliant fun in this alphabet book with a difference! Zebra is determined to get every letter of the alphabet matched to the right animal in the new A-Z he is creating. After all, it can’t be that hard, can it? All goes well except that moose is a little bit impatient! Barging in on E he scuffles with Elephant who wants none of him on his page and then tries to find himself a corner on H, I and J! Poor Moose! Luckily M is not far off now…Young readers will love the joke about the alphabet in this wonderful collection of illustrations which will make it forever memorable.
Winner of the UKLA Award 2015 in the 7 - 11 years category. Award-winning Philip Reeve spins a hugely original yarn encompassing moving islands, a short sighted mermaid, a stuck-up boy by the name of Stacey de Lacey and his private army of cheeky, smelly green sea monkeys and a charming hero Oliver whose search for his parents brings him into contact with all of the above. Sarah McIntyre’s ebullient illustrations capture the quirky nature of this adventure perfectly. A Piece of Passion from Clare Whitston, Editor, Oxford University Press I love this book! Created by two inspirational voices in the Children’s book world, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (pictured right), it is simply a joy to read. Full of humour and eccentricity – ‘Oliver and the Seawigs’ is beautifully written – read it out loud to revel in the language which flows off the page. The illustrations are stunning too – you could happily get lost for hours in one Sarah’s pictures – of underwater worlds and amazing creatures. The book is a great adventure story about a boy called Oliver who is searching for his missing parents. An adventure story, with AWESOME seawigs. ‘But what’s a seawig?’ I hear you cry. Well, it’s a wig made up of things found in the sea. Rambling Isles collect old shipwrecks and the odd Narwhal to construct their wigs and then have a competition to judge whose is best – naturally. There’s also a slightly overweight, short-sighted mermaid with a terrible singing voice. Her name is Iris and she’s the best friend you could wish for. Then there’s a little island called Cliff with self-esteem issues. What he needs is a really good seawig to cheer him up but also friends like Iris and Oliver. Oh, and there’s also a grumpy Albatross called Mr. Culpeper (what good is an adventure without a grumpy old albatross along for the ride?) And that’s not even all. I still haven’t told you about the Sea Monkeys. They are my favourite characters in a children’s book, possibly ever. But not everyone finds them as easy to love as I do, illustrated by the following conversation that Jo (the designer on the book) and I have had on many occasions: Me: ‘EEP! I really, really want a Sea Monkey!’ Jo: ‘Are you insane? Sea Monkeys are pesky, greasy little critters. And you can’t have just one Sea Monkey anyway. You’ll have an army before you know it and then they’ll destroy you.’ Me: ‘Ooooh, an army of Sea Monkeys . . .’ Not only will this book be a favourite of mine for many years to come, it has also changed the way I look at flotsam and jetsam washed up on the beach (great seawig potential) and seaweed fronds, ripe for popping (my chance for a Sea Monkey army of my very own). Please let me know what you think about this book by contacting me on twitter (@CWhitston) or you can send your comments direct to our Children’s Books team (@oupchildrens). In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Oliver And The Seawigs a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'An absolutely brilliant adventure.The myriad of weird and wonderful creatures were really funny and the illustrations fitted them perfectly. I tore through this in one sitting. Fantastic!.' Scroll down to read more reviews...
Shortlisted for the 2015 UKLA Book Awards 7-11 years Features six magical stories to thrill and enchant you. This title helps you watch Blackberry Blue rise from the bramble patch; follow Emeka the pathfinder on his mission to save a lost king; join Princess Desire as she gallops across the Milky Way on her jet-black horse.
Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2015 - Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Best Fiction Award 2015 5-12 age category Growing up on the embattled Mawr Estate in South Wales, all Gemma sees are burglaries, muggings, sadness and boredom. With a dad in prison and a mum who has given up hope, she, like everyone around her, is holding on to memories of the times when happiness wasn't so hard to find. When her search for the scene of a perfect childhood day takes her up into the surrounding hills, Gemma is forced into a meeting with the legendary Cowgirl. Everyone at school knows she's a weirdo: six foot tall and angry, the only conversations she has are with the twelve cows on her dad's farm. But with her abrupt arrival in Gemma's life, everything starts to look different. And with her only friends in mortal danger of the abattoir, it turns out she and Gemma have a mission on their hands.
Winner of the Little Rebels Book Award 2015 - Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal - Gill Lewis is renowned for her stories about powerful and beneficial relationships between animals and children. Scarlet Ibis is an emotional story about how befriending birds can help to heal Red, a little boy with complex difficulties. In Scarlet’s troubled life only one thing matters; keeping her little brother Red safe. But that’s easier said than done as Red is hard to manage and Scarlet’s mum is no help. When disaster strikes their fragile family, Scarlet and Red are separated. As Scarlet grows stronger in a new environment she finds a way of making sure Red is safe forever. ..................................... Scarlet Ibis has won the Little Rebels Book Award 2015. The award, which is for children’s fiction for readers any age up to 12 that promotes social justice, went to Scarlet Ibis because it “raises awareness of the care system, mental health issues and the challenges facing young carers”, said the judges. Kim Reynolds, professor of children’s literature at Newcastle University, and a judge of the award, said: “All the judges agreed that Scarlet Ibis stands out as a book that not only fulfils the criteria for the award but is also excellently crafted. Birds, especially the scarlet ibis, weave the book’s multiple storylines together and provide a moving backdrop for a story that celebrates the often overlooked courage, loyalty and competence of children.”
Shortlisted for The Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2014 Best-selling John Boyne gives a poignant insight into the First World War as seen through the eyes of a young boy whose father goes away to fight and returns shell shocked. Alfie is only five when his father signs up as a soldier. Left to be the man of the house and to take care of his mother, Alfie soon suspects that something terrible has happened to his father. Working as a shoe-shine boy to earn much needed money to keep the family afloat, Alfie uncovers the truth about his father and also learns about the terrible cost of the war on everyone around him. John Boyne’s naïve narrator will feel familiar to all those who loved The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Shortlisted for the 2015 UKLA Book Awards 12-16 years Amina’s family is forced toflee as refuges from an obsessive regime. Even in a harsh refugee camp, Amina and hersister Jenna’s situation is enhanced by the power of the imagination and storytelling. Though Looking at the Stars certainly doesn’t avoid any depictions of the harshness of life for people in conflict zones, this beautifully written book leaves with a feeling of hope.
Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2015 - Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal - One of our Books of the Year 2014 Heartbreak is made bearable by humour in this gripping and touching story of sixteen year old Pearl, struggling to keep going after the death of her mother. Pearl’s mum dies after giving birth to The Rat as Pearl designates her tiny, newborn sister. How can Pearl ever forgive The Rat for all the grief she has caused? Locked into her own sadness and refusing to let anyone help her, Pearl knows that only her mum can help her. What would she say if she turned up and knew what Pearl was thinking? How Pearl grieves for – and with – her mother is a tragic tale beautifully told. A Piece of Passion from Ingrid Selberg, Publisher, Simon & Schuster Clare Furniss has that rare ability only the very best writers have: to provoke an authentic emotional response. Clare describes grief that cuts to the bone at the same time as making you smile wryly at life’s unpredictability...If you’re a daughter you can’t help but immediately want to pick up the phone to your mum after reading this… Teens love to read and in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - May 2014 Debut of the Month A touching story shot through with warmth and humour this tells of one girl’s journey to find herself. Willow’s view of the world is unusual. She is a genius with a special skill at numbers and exceptional knowledge of medical conditions but without much skill of any kind in dealing with people. When Willow’s life is turned upside down, she suddenly has to learn how to find the people who can help her. Willow’s journey of self-discovery and the cast of interesting characters who help to is totally absorbing as, largely through instinct, Willow finds the ways she needs to relate to others. A Piece of Passion from Brenda Gardner, Publisher, Piccadilly Press We published Holly Goldberg Sloan's Just Call My Name for YA in 2012, and we all fell totally in love with her writing. She is evocative, tender, precise, humorous her writing is lyrical and beautiful. I heard early last year that Counting by 7s was a knockout book, and her US publisher was very excited about it. And they were right! Fourteenyear old Willow is a unique character, and all the characters she befriends and who become her 'family' are unforgettable. Tragedy has struck Willow's life, but the book is about hope and life. It is one of the most uplifting books you will have read. It certainly comes out at the top of my best books ever! If you like the sound of Counting by 7s you may also like to read R.J. Palacio's fantastic novel, Wonder.
Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2013 | Highly praised for Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein’s Rose Under Fire is an equally gripping story of a young female pilot’s struggle for survival in desperate conditions after she is forced down deep behind the enemy lines in Germany. Rose, a young American over in England as an ATA pilot, records her early days in the UKas she trains and forms strong friendships with the other girls. But Rose wants more action! Flying to France looks like her big break but nothing prepares her for the horrors ahead. Incarcerated in a fearsome German detention camp, Rose uncovers hidden atrocities and tests her own courage to its limits. __________________________________ The Costa Book Awards honour some of the most outstanding books of the year written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. The full shortlist for the Children's Book Award is... Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door by Ross Montgomery. The Hanged Man Rises by Sarah Naughton Goth Girl: and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein Keep up to date with the Costa Book Awards @CostaBookAwards
Winner of Picture Book category Waterstone's Children's Prize 2014 Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - Highly Commended in the UKLA Book Awards 3-6 age category 2014. - Brave readers will love to dive into the wide open jaws of the hungry crocodile on the cover of this book! And courage is needed to continue when it becomes clear that the crocodile is furious because he has fallen right out of one book and right into another! Readers are challenged to peek inside and see what is bothering the crocodile…Can they do it without letting the cross croc escape? An entertaining book with lots to talk about. The UKLA Book Awards are held annually and are the only UK children’s book awards that are voted for by teachers. The Judges praised Open Very Carefully for its “potential to delight and scare you at the same time”.
Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 | Possibly destined to be THE TOP PICTURE BOOK of 2013. Bestselling Lemony Snicket gives an original, delightful and empowering take on the familiar theme of being scared of the dark. Laszlo is afraid of the dark. He knows that the dark lives in the same house as him but luckily they don’t usually share the same space in the house. One day, Laszlo goes looking for the dark. It’s a scary journey of discovery. Down in the basement he and the Dark have an interesting conversation; the Dark explains why he is so necessary. It is a great explanation and Laszlo finds he never has to be frightened again. Jon Klassen’s illustrations are a perfect match for this outstanding picture book. This is a stand-out picture book unlike any other this year.
Winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 for the funniest book for children aged six and under. Bold images brilliantly convey this witty story about how much trouble one monkey nut can cause! One nut; two friends. The friends find a monkey nut can be a bench, a drum or a boat – in fact, there seems no end to the things a monkey nut can do. But, who will get to play with it? When the friends fight it looks as if they’ll both lose the nut. Luckily, there is a simple solution... Simon Rickerty said his win was a big surprise. “It won’t sink in until tomorrow,” he told The Bookseller. “You want to win but when they call your name out it’s still a shock.”
Winner of the UKLA Book Awards 7-11 category 2014 | A whimsical fairy tale that will appeal to fans of Maurice Sendak, Dr Seuss and Hans Christian Andersen, The Story of the Blue Planet is a critically acclaimed global hit being published in the UK for the first time. It's the story of two children who live on a planet inhabited only by children who never grow old but in other ways it's a world not unlike our own. There's a powerful underlying message about caring for our environment whilst at the same time telling a wonderfully entertaining story that is combined with bright, magical illustrations.
Overall Winner and Winner of Fiction for 5-12's category 2014 Waterstones Children's Book Prize Winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2014 - Best Story Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 Abandoned as a baby, Sophie’s determination to find her missing mother leads her to Paris where she meets Matteo, living off the local pigeons, washing in rainwater and travelling unseen across the great roofscape of Paris. With Matteo’s help Sophie learns the tricks of roof-top living and also how to break into buildings and bamboozle officials – exactly the trick she needs to find her mother. An exciting, tender and original adventure. Shortlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
The first book in the Kingdom of Silk series. Griffin has a secret in his heart that nobody else knows - until he meets Layla., a princess with a daisy-chain crown. Once I had read the book, I was utterly smitten. I could not get hold of the rest of the series quickly enough PLAYING BY THE BOOK.
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 & Winner of the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize | Award-winning Rebecca Steed tells a wonderfully touching story with great sensitivity within an exciting and dramatic adventure. Georges (his unusual name is part of his problem) has just moved to a new apartment block and he immediately gets caught up in a game with Safer, a boy who lives on another floor. Safer’s spying game seems fun and his family, sister Candy and brother Pigeon provide an interesting and supportive alternative home for Georges while things in his own family are out of kilter. But then Georges begins to have his doubts… Gradually everything he has been protecting himself from spins out of control and the reader discovers the sad truth he has been hiding himself from. A very special story that is not to be missed.
Shortlisted for the Little Rebel Children's Book Award 2013. In an entertaining adventure that is also full of charm and whimsy, best-selling author John Boyne champions the right of children to be different. Barnaby Brocket’s parents want only thing – to lead an utterly normal life. But when Barnaby, their third child is born, they know at once that he is very far from normal. The problem is, Barnaby cannot stay on the ground; he floats ever upwards unless weighted down or restrained. Embarrassed by their problem son and the attention he may attract, Barnaby’s parents let him go…Now a free spirit and travelling in many different ways, Barnaby’s adventures take him across the world where he meets all kinds of people who, just because they are not exactly what their parents want them to be, have been similarly disowned by their parents. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Winner of the UKLA Book Awards 12-16 age category 2014. Micheal Williams' is a masterful storyteller who pulls you along the journey of a lifetime. Deo and Innocent's journey is a universal story of hope in the face of despair, and the search for a better life.
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - May 2013 Debut of the Month A thrilling debut novel explores tribal behaviour and the dangerous consequences of it in an action packed story of two competing monkey tribes. A troop of aggressive Langur monkeys make a savage raid on the Rhesus monkeys killing them mercilessly. For one young Langur, the brutality is a step too far. Mico is appalled by the violence and steps in to help the surviving Rhesus. But crossing the tribal line is a dangerous act. What seemed like the right action to Mico sets him at odds with his own corrupt leadership and the secrets they are so keen to defend. His fight for survival is tense and compelling.
Winner of the Carnegie Medal 2014. | This is a hard-hitting novel which has divided opinion since winning the 2014 Carnegie Medal. Whilst having great literary merit, in Lovereading's view it is unsuitable for younger teenagers. The Bunker Diary is award-winning, young adult writer Kevin Brooks' pulse-pounding exploration of what happens when your worst nightmare comes true - and how will you survive?
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 Award winning Geraldine McCaughrean spins a brilliantly fanciful yarn in the magical setting of a disused theatre. Every night amazing things happen in the theatre but no one except the resident ghosts can see them. But then Gracie comes along; Gracie can see the ghosts. At first, it is a bit of a shock for Mikey the Mod, Jim and Joanie the twins, the wonderful Miss Melluish and the rest but soon they understand that Gracie maybe just who they need to save the theatre. Geraldine McCaughrean has a rare ability to bring to life a huge and varied cast of fascinating and unusual characters in a story that brings ghosts vividly to life. A personal message from the author to Lovereading4kids and our readers: In 2011 I got a phone call from The Theatre Royal, Margate - not just a glorious theatre but a great force for good in its locality. They suggested a book that would show towns like Margate as places with a cheerful future as well as a powerful past. In short they asked me to attempt a sort of literary Tracey Emin! This needed to be a family book, enjoyable not just to children but to anyone who fondly recalls seaside holidays when the sky was always sunny, the candyfloss sticky and there were donkeys on the beach... oh and to anyone who likes theatre or a good read. I hope to goodness I've succeeded, because it matters. A proportion of the proceeds from this book will go to The Theatre Royal, Margate - Margate's greatest asset - except of course, for its inhabitants." ---------------------------------------------------------------- The Positively Last Performance is an ideal book for a Reading Group, perfect for years 5,6,7 and 8. Download a Reader's Guide, from the right hand column, with notes to help you explore the novel, extra information about the book and ideas for talking points.
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - Longlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize A moving and thought provoking story which will encourage readers to question divisions in society. Joshua lives safely on one side of the Wall. When he finds a tunnel under the Wall he can’t help wanting to explore. Meeting a family on the other side reveals to him what the Wall hides and makes him question all he has previously been told. Joshua learns the enormity of living under repression as well as what kindness, despite its attendant dangers, really means. He also learns how nature can heal other ills as he sets out on his own journey of discovery. ........... The Wall is a novel about a boy who undertakes a short journey to another world, to a place where everything he knows about loyalty, identity and justice is turned upside down. It is also a political fable that powerfully evokes the realities of life on the West Bank, telling the story of a Settler child who finds there are two sides to every story.
One of our Books of the Year 2013. Winner of the two most prestigious children's book awards - the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 and the Children's Costa Award 2012. And Longlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize | Sally Gardner tells a story that is rich in drama and ideas as Standish Treadwell, an unlikely hero, takes on the vicious forces of the repressive motherland in a novel set in a bleak world that is redeemed only by the very human qualities of some of the survivors. Standish and his remarkable grandfather keep going, eking out a living after the disappearance of Standish’s parents. Standish struggles at school and is the victim of relentless bullying. But then he finds a friend in the newly arrived Hector. When Hector is taken, the only hope lies in Standish…Luckily, Standish has just the qualities that are needed.
Lovereading4kids is pleased to feature the UKLA Book Awards this year. Run by the UK Literacy Association, what makes these awards so unique is that they are the only awards judged entirely by active classroom teachers, who are able to share the books with their classes and genuinely discover what works with young readers.
“A great opportunity to read an exciting range of new literature and then to share ideas with other teachers” Kaye Wilson, teacher judge.
This year, seventy-seven teachers have been selected from schools in Nottingham, Derbyshire, Leicester, Coventry and Birmingham to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils.
Then they had the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of six books in each category! Which you can see here along with the 2014 shortlisted books.
For more information on the UKLA Awards visit www.ukla.org/awards
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