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2018 UKLA Awards Shortlist Announced!

By Charlotte Walker on 26th March 2018

It is that time of year again to announce the Shortlist for the 2018 UKLA Book Awards. This year, the judges for these unique book awards will come from Wales. The UKLA Awards are the only awards that are judged solely by active classroom teachers.

About the UKLA

The UKLA is a registered charity that works to improve and advance education in literacy. The charity is completely focused on promoting good practice in literacy and language teaching and research nationally and internationally. The Awards prides itself on being the only national book awards which are judged by teachers. UKLA understands how important it is to encourage children to read and to promote the place that books hold for young people across all educational settings. The Association works to promote this outlook from nursery all the way though to key stage 4. Supporting their hard work and co-sponsoring this year’s awards alongside Micro Librarian Systems (MLS) are our very own LoveReading4Schools and LoveReading4Kids. One of our Directors, Deborah Maclaren says:
LoveReading4Schools and its sister site LoveReading4Kids are delighted to again support the UKLA Book Awards in 2018. 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. We can't wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply wonderful.
These literacy awards are judged by 8 groups of judges across three different age ranges, before coming together to decide the shortlists for each category.

More Information about the UKLA Awards

The titles that are celebrated through the UKLA Awards are titles that teachers can and do share with their pupils as a part of their regular classroom experience. It is great to highlight the diversity in children’s literature and using high quality and enjoyable books throughout education is a great way to get more children reading for pleasure. The titles that already feature in the UKLA 2018 longlist have been highlighted for their ability to inspire an extended dialogue about the books. Whether this is a wider discussion of the book and its themes, a creative interaction with the topic or a better understanding of the wider curriculum. The association also want to make sure that the books they celebrate in the awards work to enhance all aspects of literacy learning as well as literary study. The choices made by the judges as a part of this awards programme reflect the teachers’ preference for the diversity and quality of reading material offered by small independent publishers such as Andersen Press, Barrington Stoke, Gecko Press, David Fickling Books, The Bucket List, Two Hoots and Words & Pictures, who all feature on the shortlist.

The Shortlist

Now that the shortlist has been announced, the next stage for the judges will be to narrow the books chosen down even further, and eventually choose a winner. The winner of the 2018 UKLA Awards will be announced on the 6th July at the UKLA International Conference. The shortlist for the 2018 UKLA has been announced today, keep reading to see which books managed to make the cut for each category. The books that feature in this shortlist have the unique guarantee that they have been tried and tested in the classroom. Past winner Jason Wallace has proven to be a hit once again. Jason won the 12-16 category in 2011 with Out of the Shadows, his debut novel. This year, his second novel is featured in this year’s shortlist. Featuring alongside him in the shortlist are the Current Carnegie medal shortlistees Geraldine McCaughrean with Where the World Ends and Marcus Sedgwick with Saint Death. Past winner Sarah Crossan co-authored We Come Apart with Brian Conaghan, a verse novel also featuring on the shortlist. 2018 sees the first graphic novel featuring on the UKLA Awards shortlist with Alpha: Abidjan to Gare du NordFrogkisser! By Garth Nix completes the line-up for the 12-16 category. The 7-11 category features a book in translation from Gecko Press publishing with Megumi Iwasa’s Yours Sincerely, Giraffe which goes up against the powerful refugee story written by Elizabeth Laird, Welcome to Nowhere. The brilliant debut novel from Maria Farrer Me and Mister P. and the gorgeously illustrated The White Fox by Jackie Morris also feature in this category alongside two information books: Lesser Spotted Animals by Charlotte Gullian and The Street Beneath My Feet by Yuval Zommer The final category, focuses on titles aimed at children aged 3-6. This category sees Eric and Terry Fan, or The Fan Brothers pitted against themselves, as they have illustrated two of the titles on the shortlist: The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield and The Night Gardener. The brothers will be competing to win this category with two English Association award winners including the inaugural winner of the Margaret Mallet Award for Children’s Non-Fiction Laura Knowles (It Starts With a Seed) and the 2017 4-7 picture book category winner Oi Dog by Kes and Clair Gray and Jim Field. Also competing in this category is the debut from Morag Hood Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea and Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph.