A Tale of Friendship: The Girls

August 24th, 2018

A beautiful tale of female friendship, The Girls is a tale that follows four young girls as they grow into women. Written by Lauren Ace and Illustrated by Jenny Lovlie, this is a brilliant debut book for readers aged 3+ to 5+ and their parents.

The story begins as four girls meet under an apple tree and form a bond that will last a lifetime. Throughout their lives all of the girls go through their own ups and downs, sharing secrets, dreams and fears with each other. This perfect book shows the friendships as they flourish and the girls grow up.

This books was read and reviewed by one of our Editorial Experts, Andrea Reece, who loved the uplifting story line and beautiful illustrations:

In just 32 pages we get to know the girls really well … we follow the ups and downs of their lives with real interest. The book’s message about the comfort, joy and support friends provide is delivered with real charm and this is a story which will reassure all young readers about what they can achieve and which will inspire them for their futures.

If you want to read Andrea’s full review of Lauren Ace’s debut book, then follow the link to the LoveReading4Kids book page.

The Girls has been published by Caterpillar books, an imprint of Little Tiger Press Group and we included it a one of our Books of the Month in July. The Girls is also one of our Summer Reading Highlights. This charming book is perfect for reading at bedtime, at the weekend. The Girls is also ideal ahead of September, with changes afoot – whether it’s moving classes or starting school, this book has an amazing story, perfect for inspiring and reassuring young readers about what’s ahead and what they can achieve.

Announced: Wicked Young Writers Awards

June 26th, 2018

The 2018 Wicked Young Writer Awards, presented in association with the National Literacy Trust took place on the 21st June 2018. This year’s winners were announced at a ceremony that involved the 117 shortlisted finalists and their families. The Wicked Young Writer Awards ceremony was held at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, the home of the magical, award-winning musical WICKED.

The Awards encourage people aged 5-25 years to use writing as a way of expressing themselves. The result? Unique and original pieces of poetry. This year there were more than 4,500 submissions, with an increase i the number of entries from both individuals, primary schools in the 8-10 age category and from the 15-17 age category.

Among the finalists’ entries this year were stories, poems and non-fiction writing. The Shortlisted pieces were compelling and intense, often with dark themes and dramatic twists. In the older categories, issues such as gender discussions regarding the female roles, and stories connected to LGBTQ+ activism and gun control issues in the United States of America. A theme that features across all age categories was the awareness of an ageing population, with stories about dementia and old age. These important subjects were dealt with maturely and with respect.

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall is the patron and champion of the Wicked Young Writer Awards. The judges for this year’s Awards were:

Ed Balls – writer, broadcaster and former secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.
Caleb Femi – writer and first Young People’s Laureate for London
Head Judge Cressida Cowell – Author and Illustrator of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’
Jonathan Douglas – Long-standing judge of the awards and Director of the National Literacy Trust
Michael McCabe – Executive Producer (UK) of WICKED
Guest Judge Nicky Cox MBE – Editor and Chief of First News (a joint sponsor of the Award prize for the ‘FOR GOOD’ category

Hosting this year’s award ceremony was Greg James, Recently announced as the new presenter of BBC Radio 1’s flagship Breakfast Show. The prizes were presented by Head Judge Cressida Cowell and the panel of prestigious judges.

Check out the Winners and runners-up for each category below:

5-7 Age Category:

Winner: Fern Brindle, 7, from Derbyshire, for “The Man on the Street”
(This is a heartfelt and compassionate poem about homelessness. It is thoughtful, emotive and reflective.)

Runner-up: Daniel MacAlpine, 7, from Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, for “A Bumpy Trail”
(A compelling story about rescuing a wounded otter with colourful descriptive language.)

Runner-up: Isabella Watson-Gandy, 7, from London for “Naughty Sam and the Tooth Fairy”
(An imaginative and funny story of a naughty boy who tries to trick Santa for presents, The Easter Bunny for more chocolate eggs and even the tooth fairy with his grandpa’s dentures.)

8-10 Age Category:

Winner: Robyn Blunden, 8, from Kendal for “The Snow Leopard”
(A magical fantasy story about an ancient guardian spirit watching over and protecting a village.)

Runner-up: Isobel Pitney, 10, from Essex for “The Lazy Farmer
(A potentially grisly but humorous tale about a farmer who should have been more careful about what he wished for.)

11-14 Age Category:

Winner: Freya Hannan Mills, 14, from Merseyside, for “Mushy Peas and Battered Bits
(A poignant and very mature account of an old man’s past reflections at the moment of death.)

Runner-up: Annie McCrory, 12, from County Antrim for “An Ode to War
(A chilling and intense poem written as The God of War exalting its continuing role to ruin and destroy.)

Runner-up: Ben Howarth, 13, from Edinburgh for “A Ghost Visits
(A clever, contemporary and imaginative take on Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.)

15-17 Age Category:

Winner: Kashif Chowdhury, 16, from Ilford for “All Quiet on the Western Front
(Sophisticated, rhythmic storytelling with subtleties and nuances of a very mature writer.)

Runner-up: Tiegan James, 17, from Dorset for “Redemption
(A sad yet forgiving and moving story of a grieving father seeking redemption.)

18-25 Age Category:

Winner: Imogen Usherwood, 18, from Hampshire for “Last Chance
(An unsettling and expressive story of familial dominance and of the young person’s yearning to be free to leave and study.)

Runner-up: Lottie Carter, 20, from Buckinghamshire for “Digging
(A discomfiting, atmospheric grisly tale with a dramatic twist.)

Runner-up: Anna Roisin Ullman-Smith, 22, from Lanarkshire for “Red Horizon
(An exciting story of survival and rebellion with expressive and graphic descriptive writing bringing the words to life.)

FOR GOOD Category:

Winner: Emer O’Toole, 23, from Northern Ireland “Dear Baby Girl
(An empowering message for a baby girl about sisterhood and the importance of self-belief and self-assurance as she grows up into womanhood.)

Runner-up: Jenny Pavitt, 19, from Essex for “Friendship” (“Friendship is a shapeshifter”, great phraseology and a powerful comment on the subtleties of the strong personal bond and relationship of mutual affection between people.)

Winning schools:

Devonshire House School, Hampstead,

Moulsham Junior School, Essex

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, Essex

CLiPPA 2018 Winner Announced

June 26th, 2018

The Hip Hop artist and debut poet Karl Nova has been announced as the winner of CLiPPA 2018. Karl Nova created his debut, Rhythm and Poetry in order to bring poetry to children and young people through rap.

Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2018 Judges, Grace Nichols, had this to say about the winning book:

This book really stood out for me with its refreshing use of the rap genre, its musicality, its immediacy and thoughtful reflections on the creative process. Karl Nova’s poems ring true with a sincere charm that children and young people can relate to and that may inspire their own writing.

Karl’s win has come during a time where poetry is being embraced in to the mainstream – a trend that has been reflected in children’s poetry. The popularity has also helped to raise the profile of CLiPPA. This Award is the CLPE’s flagship event in their work all year-round championing poetry. The CLPE’s Power of Reading project works with teachers and with poets in order to understand how to make poetry engaging and impactful in the classroom. As a part of this scheme, 350 free copies of the shortlisted books will be sent to teachers nationally.

CLiPPA grows year on year, with an increase in submissions of nearly 70% this year alone. The trickle-down effect of this success is being seen throughout children’s poetry. Louise Johns-Shepherd, the Chief Executive of the CLPE has said:

At CLPE, we are determined to celebrate the very best children’s poetry by involving more schools, producing more resources and getting more poetry books into schools. We promote it, we research it, we help teachers to use it in schools – we are poetry because poetry is the gateway to literacy.

Karl Nova received the CLiPPA and a cheque for £1000 in front of a packed audience, filled with poets, educators, publishers, shadowing school children and media at an event held a The National Theatre. At the ceremony, all the shortlisted poets performed on stage alongside children from the CLiPPA Shadowing Scheme, whose winning performances were selected from hundreds of competition entries.

Rising Stars by Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme and Amina Jama is a poetry collection by poets and performers from under-represented communities. This shortlisted entry was also highly commended at the CLiPPA ceremony. You can view the entire shortlist in our special poetry category.

The CLPE have thanked ALCS, Siobhan Dowd Trust and St Olave’s Funds for their generous support of CLiPPA.

Discover a New World with Jonathan Litton’s new Book

June 22nd, 2018

Jonathan Litton, author of Journeys, The Earth Book and Touch-and-feel 123 is back! This time we will be exploring burrows, boreholes, Cavities and Canyons. This is a fascinating book that looks at all of the different types of holes, from household to human.

Holes: Discover a Hidden World is a fascinating new book of discovery. Learn what’s going on, underground, and inside these man made and naturally occurring spaces. Jonathan Litton has written a number of books using both prose and verse. Holes (and many of his other books) have stemmed from Jonathan’s science background. Whether it’s sea creatures or sinkholes, Jonathan Litton tells brilliantly interesting stories about how our world is shaped.

From Jonathan Litton

“I’ve wanted to write about holes for as long as I can remember. I loved digging them as a child, whether in sand or soil, and enjoyed daydreaming about what I might find – a T. rex tooth, Roman coins, or a passage to New Zealand. I savoured the mud, sweat and sometimes blood of digging (yes, I was one of those kids!), and sometimes I was fortunate enough for my excavations to unearth real treasures – an ammonite the size of my head and an air raid shelter were two particular gems.

Decades passed, with limited digging. Then several years ago, I began hollowing out a huge hole, and a secret one at that. One in which I could squirrel away and hoard ideas. I placed all sorts of holes in there – black holes, white holes and wormholes, arrow holes, keyholes and sieve-holes, subways, tunnels and escape holes, sinkholes, geysers and lava tubes, caves, crevasses and caldera, groundhogs, snakes and spiders, xylem, phloem and lotus flower seed pods, sponge-holes, plugholes and sewers, mouths, bottoms and tear ducts, mathematical holes, philosophical holes and religious ones.

I waited until an opportune moment and then lured my publisher into the trap. Holes is the result of all this squirrelling and hoarding. And lots of new research too. The net was cast very wide as to what constituted a hole, and then came a sieving process and categorisation of the contents in collaboration with the editor and illustrator. Some of my most fascinating findings were of ‘true voids’ in space — huge ‘holes’ of nothingness — lizards which dug corkscrew burrows, a road tunnel which loops around six times in a spiral-like fashion as it climbs up the inside of a Norwegian mountain, the 50 million holes a woodpecker might make in a lifetime, and ingenious holes in the roofs of some Senegalese houses which funnel rainwater for family use.

But perhaps most fascinating of all is the philosophy of holes. I’m studying for a degree in Eastern & Western Philosophy and love wrangling with deep thoughts from different angles. Thus, a philosophical interlude begged to be included in this book, which begins by inviting the reader to think of a hole in a sock. It can be counted – there is one hole in this sock. Or are there two? What about the intentional hole for the foot? Or are there thousands? Think of the gaps between the threads where air and water can get in, and pungent smells can escape! The hole can grow bigger. But what if the hole becomes so big that there’s no sock left at all? What happened to the hole? Does it still exist? Did it swallow the sock? Or did it disappear in a puff of smoke when all the thread disappeared?

I hope readers will look at holes in a whole new light.”

Holes: Discover a Hidden World was published on the 14th June and is published by 360 Degrees, a new imprint of the Little Tiger Press Group. This non-fiction imprint publishes books that uniquely deal with a range of topics to make nonfiction more accessible to younger readers. The books available from 360 Degrees are filled with fun activities, high quality pictures and easy to understand presentation – great for making learning more interesting. Take a look at our 360 Degrees category for more books and information.

Dougal Dixon’s New Dinosaur Collection

June 14th, 2018

Dougal Dixon has released four fantastic new books, each of which focus on a different prehistoric creature. The first four in this brilliant new series are amazingly in-depth and look at some of the most fascinating animals in history, from the towering Titanosaur to the Massive Megalodon.

The Publisher, Ruby Tuesday Books Ltd, love this brilliant new series. Publisher Ruth Owen had this to say about the creation of this fascinating new collection:

‘I love science and I love dinosaurs – so it was a fantastic opportunity to work with author and paleontologist, Dougal Dixon, to create and publish our new series. It was also fascinating to work with the artists, from around the world, who created the life-like 3D artworks of the animals featured in the series.’

The first four books in the series were published on the 30th April and are filled with up to date information ideal for devout Dino fans! Our Editorial Expert Andrea Reece has read each of the four fascinating titles. Andrea’s full reviews and the publisher’s piece of passion can be found on each book’s pages.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex

Our June 2018 Non-fiction Book of the Month, Tyrannosaurus Rex- King of the Dinosaurs (7+ / 9+) provides a fascinating look at one of the most terrifying predators to ever walk the prehistoric earth. The latest research and scientific discoveries have been compiled in an exceptionally educational book. Find out more about this iconic dino’s behaviours and learn about the fascinating new use of technology in order to create CGI reconstructions of these awesome animals.

‘it explains how the study of ‘muscle scars’ on T.rex bones dramatically changed our understanding of how the animal stood and moved; it includes photos of fossilised scaly skin from an adult T.rex discovered only in 2017 … Full colour throughout and with a useful glossary, this will inspire young palaeontologists.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert



The Megalodon

Megalodon – The Largest Shark That Ever Lived (7+ / 9+) contains everything you could possibly want to know about this enormous prehistoric predator. The book explores how it used to hunt down whales. How did one of the most powerful predators in the sea became extinct? Was there a bigger fish? This richly illustrated book is filled with everything that is known about the earth’s first sharks.

‘Everyone loves a shark, and they don’t come bigger (18 metres) than Megalodon. This new book, part of the Prehistoric Beasts Uncovered series, doesn’t just give the known facts about Megalodon, awesome as they are, it also explains how we know what we do, and how scientists deduce information.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert



The Triceratops

Triceratops – The Dinosaur Built to do Battle (7+ / 9+) looks at how these interesting prehistoric animals fought to take control of their herds. Fossils and scientific breakthroughs have led to discoveries about this Dinosaur’s huge frill. Dougal Dixon’s expertise as a paleontologist, writer and book editor to bring to life one of the most popular dinosaurs to ever walk the earth.

‘Now scientists can look for Triceratops fossils in whole new areas, and new discoveries will certainly be made. Other pages show how modern technology has revealed new information about Triceratops eating habits, but that scientists learned lots too by recreating battles between Triceratops using plastic models. Full colour throughout and with a useful glossary, this is an inspiring information book.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert


The Titanosaur

Titanosaur – The Giant Earth Shaking Dinosaur (7+ / 9+) looks at all things large. From the latest scientific discoveries about the Dreadnoughtus, the largest dinosaur to ever live, to the discovery of thousands of Titanosaur eggs, and how new scientific developments has led to groundbreaking discoveries about these prehistoric giants.

‘As of 2018, about 50 species of Titanosaurs have been discovered but the amount we know about these giant creatures is expanding all the time thanks to the work of paleontologists around the world. This new book, part of the Prehistoric Beasts Uncovered series, is filled with fascinating information and some wonderful photographs of Titanosaur bones but its descriptions of the detective work that goes on in the laboratory will also inspire young readers.’ Andrea Reece, Editorial Expert

The advances in research has led to us knowing more than we ever thought possible about this amazing prehistoric animals. A brilliant collection of books that will bring STEM to life for young readers and is a great read for children fascinated by dinosaurs!

Older Not Wiser by Sophy Henn

May 22nd, 2018

Older not Wiser and Sophy Henn

Sophy Henn, author of Almost Anything, Playtime with Ted, Bedtime with Ted, Edie and Pom Pom Gets the Grumps is back with a brand-new book! Older Not Wiser is out on the 31st May and tells the story of Jeanie’s up-to-no-good Grandma.

At what age are you old enough to know better? 10? 15? 20? Older? Jeanie’s Grandma is always getting into mischief and, although it can be embarrassing for Jeanie sometimes, it is really fun when she gets involved in her Grandma’s tricks.

This gorgeously illustrated Bad Nana book is the first in a brand-new series, with 8-year-old Jeannie sharing her Grandma’s latest exploits. This mischievous little book is aimed at readers aged 6 and above. Perfect for making little mischief-makers gasp in shock and laugh your socks off!

Andrea Reece’s View

This fabulously fun book has been reviewed by Andrea Reece who thinks this is a great book for ‘fans of Lauren Child and her Clarice Bean stories’. Here is a little more from Andrea Reece:

‘Children are fascinated by the way old people have a license to misbehave, and they will be delighted by Bad Nana’s exploits which break all the rules of good behaviour … This lovely, hugely appealing book is one to recommend to fans of Lauren Child and her Clarice Bean stories in particular.’

If you want to read the Andrea’s full review, head over to the Older Not Wiser book page on the LoveReading4Kids site.

This bright and colourful book, illustrated by Sophy Henn is a brilliant start to a new series that will be perfect for children starting to read on their own, and will bring laughter and fun to story times or assisted reading.

Older Not Wiser will be published by HarperCollins on the 31st May, meaning it’s not long until we can enjoy the exploits of Bad Nana!

How to Write a Love Story by Katy Cannon

May 14th, 2018

Katy Cannon is the author of Love, Lies and Lemon Pies as well as Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines, both of which are perfect for teenage readers. Her latest YA novel, How to Write a Love Story is based on one family who are “obsessed” with love. The main character, Tilly Frost has grown up reading the bestselling romance novels written by her grandmother. Tilly knows them so well that when Beatrix Frost is taken ill, she is able to finish her latest one for her.

The 16-year old Tilly must navigate the difficult ground of school crushes and relationships while also working out how to write a convincing and enjoyable romance novel when she’d never been in love. This touching book shows that love never quite happens in the flawless ways depicted on paper.

What Our Editorial Expert Thought

Our Editorial Expert Joanne Owen read and reviewed this book for us. Here is a glimpse at what she had to say:

‘In a Nutshell: A feel-good feast of romance, writing and one glorious gran … “When your whole family is obsessed with Love and Romance it sets some pretty high expectations, believe me”, explains 16-year-old Tilly, the witty narrator of this bright and breezy book … Delightful on the everyday dramas of family life, first love and fiction’s edifying allures, this is perfect for aspiring writers and fans of funny contemporary YA.’

The see the full review from Joanne, go to the How to Write a Love Story book page.

A Bit More About the Book

How to Write a Love Story was published on the 3rd May and is our Weekly Staff Picks this week on LoveReading4Kids (10th-17th May). The story of Tilly’s introduction to writing, her grandmother’s illness and her trials and tribulations as she decides to fall in love for real are all heart-warming and touching. This marvellous new YA novel by the incredibly talented Kay Cannon has is bound to have you falling in love with it.

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

April 17th, 2018

What’s The House With Chicken Legs About?

The House with Chicken Legs is the debut novel written by Sophie Anderson. This story is told by Marinka with Slavic folklore and stories of the Baba Yaga interwoven into the story to tell a remarkable story of a house that, two or three times a year, stands up and walks away from where Marinka and her family have been living.

All Marinka wants is for her house to stay in one place long enough for her to make some friends. Unfortunately, the house has other ideas and the only people that Marinka gets to know are the dead. Her Grandmother, Baba Yaga guides the dead through The Gate between this world and the next. With warnings against venturing too far in to the world of the living, and a destiny to become a Yaga, Guardian of The Gate, like her Grandmother, Marinka’s frustration could lead to her risking it all for the chance to make friendships that last more than one night.

This intriguing new story is a fantastic debut for Sophie and wonderfully combines coming of age themes and frustrations that are entirely relatable, with the supernatural and a developed interpretation of the Baba Yaga stories.

This story is great for those reading 9+ books and will be released on the 3rd May. Sophie Anderson’s book has also been read by one of our experts and our Reader Review Panel.

What the LoveReading4Kids Reader Review Panel Thought

Grace Phelan, age 10 – ‘Wow-just wow! What an enchanting read that was!

Seren Daly, age 11 – ‘This book was really good, and I enjoyed it a lot…It is about finding your own destiny and never giving up.’

Ellen Cox, age 11 – ‘This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The House with Chicken Legs is one of my favourite stores now and I hope Sophie Anderson writes more stories like this.’

What our LoveReading Expert Thought

Joanne Owen – ‘This sparkling debut weaves the captivating folklore of Baba Yaga with the thrills of a classic venturing-out-into-the-world quest, replete with primal conflicts, tantalising twists and an unforgettable protagonist that readers will truly root for […] ideal for fans of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. Older readers might also enjoy Circus of the Unseen, which offers an alternate re-working of Baba Yaga’s infinitely enthralling Slavic folklore. Radiant with wonder and wisdom, this is an exceptional debut.’

A chat with Guy Bass, bestselling children’s author

March 27th, 2018

1. Can you describe Noah Scape Can’t Stop Repeating Himself in 5 words?

When Noah doubles there’s trouble.
When Noah doubles there’s trouble.
When Noah doubles there’s trouble.
When Noah doubles there’s trouble.
When Noah doubles there’s trouble.

2. What was the inspiration for writing the book?

The name was the starting point. I wanted to write a “be careful what you wish for” story, with Noah deliberately deciding to start doubling but it soon spirals out of control to become a situation he can’t escape. There is something appealing about the idea of there being one more of you, or four of you, or eight, or a hundred … but when everyone’s the same, it’s a sadder world. At the beginning of the story, Noah’s so set in his ways that he rejects other people’s ideas and opinions but the more he duplicates, the more he realises that difference makes life interesting. Difference and dinosaurs.

3. You could say that Noah is a bit of a difficult student… What were you like at school? Were you as demanding as Noah?

I wish I had been – demanding, not difficult. I was really quiet at school. So quiet that I’m pretty sure I could have turned invisible and I pretty sure no one would have noticed. Which is just one of the two hundred super powers I wished I’d had as a child. I spent every school assembly daydreaming about floating into the air and out of the window. My memory’s hazy but i’m almost convinced it never actually happened.

4. We love Steve’s artwork and he’s said he just might have broken the record for drawing the same character again and again and again! What version of Noah is your favourite?

It’s an impressive record! My favourite’s one of the (many) Noahs on page 51. He’s far off in the background, holding a balloon and looking strangely sinister. Thanks to horror films it’s now impossible to hold a balloon and not look evil.

5. Noah loves nothing more than talking about dinosaurs and eating spaghetti with tomato sauce. What two things do you wish everyone loved as much as you do?

Comic books and cheese fondue.

6. Finally, we’d love to see the spot where all your characters come to life. Can you show us a picture of where you write?

I should point out that my main problem with writing books is the isolation. As you can see, I found a solution – you’re never alone with a thousand lifeless painted eyes staring down at you. Oddly, the toys on my shelves seem to have doubled recently. Maybe that’s where the real inspiration for Noah Scape came from.

Noah Scape: Can’t Stop Repeating Himself by Guy Bass and illustrated by Steve May is published by Barrington Stoke, the leading publisher of books for struggling and reluctant readers including dyslexia friendly books.

Noah Scape loves dinosaurs and spaghetti with tomato sauce. But Noah doesn’t always get what he wants and when school doesn’t revolve around dinosaur facts and lunch isn’t always his tried and tested favourite, well… enough is enough! It’s time for him to stop wishing and to decide on exactly what he needs; a world full of Noahs!  But, getting what you want isn’t always what you need in this laugh-out- loud comedy from one of the fastest-rising stars of the children’s book world Guy Bass.

Noah Scape: Can’t Stop Repeating Himself  is particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+.


The UKLA Shortlist for 2018 has been announced!

March 26th, 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.


The UKLA is a registered charity that works to improve and advance education in literacy. The UKLA is completely focused on promoting good practice in literacy and language teaching and research nationally and internationally. The UKLA 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.


The UKLA 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 UKLA 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 Nord. Frogkisser! 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.





LoveReading.co.uk Privacy Policy Disclaimer