Sunday, June 11, 2017

CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2017

§  Announcement of shortlist for the Award
§  Launch of Schools Shadowing Scheme
§  15th anniversary of CLiPPA to be celebrated at National Theatre

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is delighted to announce the 2017 shortlist for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award (CLiPPA). Established in 2003, CLiPPA encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry published for children. 2017 is the 15th anniversary of the award, which remains the only annual award in the UK for published poetry for children.

This year’s shortlist truly celebrates the breadth and depth of poetry for children being published in the UK. From the early years appeal of Zim Zam Zoom! by James Carter to the verse novel for older readers, Booked by Kwame Alexander; from Kate Wakeling’s debut collection for children Moon Juice, to Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots by long-time favourite and previous CLiPPA winner Michael Rosen; and from single poet collections to the celebratory anthology Wonderland, Alice in Poetry edited by Michaela Morgan.

Throughout the 15 years of CLiPPA, CLPE has continued to shine a light on poetry for children as a fundamental element in the development of children’s literacy. Commitment to poetry through the educational resource websitePoetryline and CLPE’s Power of Poetry training for teachers, combined with the profile and prestige of CLiPPA, have contributed to the number of publisher submissions for the poetry award increasing by 50% from 2016 to 2017. 

The full shortlist is:
·        Kwame AlexanderBooked, Andersen Press - A free verse novel, written in the voice of 12 year old soccer-loving boy.
·        James Carter: Zim Zam Zoom!, illustrated by Nicola Colton, Otter-Barry Books - Perfectly pitched for the young listener or early reader with plenty of opportunities for joining in.
·        Michaela Morgan (editor): Wonderland; Alice in Poetry, Macmillan - Anthology celebrating the spirit of Wonderland with each poet bringing their own refreshing spin.
·        Michael RosenJelly Boots, Smelly Boots, illustrated by David Tazzyman, Bloomsbury - Quirky, clever poems from those that involve humorous misunderstandings to thoughtful and more intimate musings.
·        Kate WakelingMoon Juice, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa, The Emma Press - A debut collection of poetry that presents magical, strange and unlikely events in a confident and persuasive way.

Rachel Rooney, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2017 Judges commented: “Judging was made a challenge by the spread of books that were submitted as the CLiPPA is open to published poetry books for a diverse and changing readership, from the pre-schooler to the early teen. Writing poetry for children can appear easy but writing powerful poetry that is accessible and appealing to children is considerably more difficult to achieve. In their own particular way, all the shortlisted books did this.” Watch Rachel announcing the shortlist

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “This year we celebrate 15 years of the Poetry Award with the largest number of submissions for many years and an award show where we will have more than 1000 children in the audience. We are delighted that the power of the poetic form is being recognised so widely by schools and by publishers and that thousands of children will discover the wonderful books on this shortlist through our Poetryline resources and our shadowing scheme.”

The judging panel is chaired by the poet and CLiPPA 2012 winner, Rachel Rooney along with Sarah Crossan, poet and CLiPPA 2016 joint winner for OneCaleb Femi, poet and the Young People's Laureate for London, Charlotte Hacking, CLPE Learning Programme Leader and Imogen Russell Williams, children’s book critic and editorial consultant. Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell, will live draw the Award Ceremony.

The winner of the 2017 Award will be announced on July 14th 2017 at a special ceremony celebrating 15 years of the CLiPPA Poetry Award in the 1000+-seater Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London.  The audience will enjoy poetry performances from children participating in the Shadowing Scheme, the shortlisted poets and special poet appearances. The winner of the Award will receive £1000 and a specially bound edition of their book created by the bookbinder Mark Cockram.

The free Shadowing Scheme to involve schools in the Poetry Award 2017 is now open.
In 2016 over 3900 children participated in the Shadowing Scheme and this year it is set to be even more successful with a record number of pre-registrations. The Shadowing Scheme gives children an opportunity to enjoy literacy with tremendous vigour and high expectations. Exploring and performing poetry demonstrates how children can work to high standards and still enjoy a thrilling experience that will remain with them for a long time. Watch Young Person’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi open the Shadowing Scheme

As part of the Shadowing Scheme, a competition will see children from winning schools invited to perform on stage at the Award Ceremony. Schools are also invited to apply for tickets to attend the Award Ceremony which will encompass a Poetry Show with all the shortlisted poets.  All schools, regardless of whether they are participating in the Shadowing Scheme, can take poetry into the classroom supported by free high quality resources including films of shortlisted poets performing and accompanying teaching resources; available on CLPE’s Poetryline website

For further information about the award, the shadowing scheme or the shortlisted books please visit For press, photography or logos contact Fatim Kesvani / 07450 854548

Brian Alderson donates rare children’s book collection to Newcastle University and Seven Stories

Brian Wouldhave Alderson, a Freeman of the City of Newcastle and a renowned children’s literature scholar, is donating his extraordinary collection of children's books to Newcastle University and Seven Stories:
The National Centre for Children’s Books. Believed to be the largest privately-owned children’s literature collection in the UK, it is made up of more than 20,000 books, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Works come from the United States, France, Germany and Britain, and the collection includes original illustrations and papers related to Brian’s diverse career.
Brian is a respected author, editor, critic, and scholar who has curated many exhibitions and is a former children’s books editor of The Times (1967 – 1996). He has collected books for more than 60 years, beginning when he was an undergraduate with cheap editions of work by the poets Ezra Pound and T.S.Eliot. His interest in children's books came later but soon became a passion.
The donation is a mark of Brian’s long-standing and ongoing support for both Newcastle University and Seven Stories. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University in 2016. He said: ‘With the University’s scholarly interests in children’s literature and historic children’s book collections, and with Seven Stories being the national home of contemporary children’s books, I am delighted to be able to augment the City's prominence in fostering interest in what is an unduly neglected subject.”
Jill Taylor-Roe, Acting University Librarian at Newcastle University, said: “The Alderson Collection enhances and extends the University Library’s unique and distinctive holdings in Children’s Literature, and together with Seven Stories’ holdings, will create an incredibly rich resource for anyone interested in the history and further development of children’s literature.”
Sarah Lawrance, Collections and Exhibitions Director at Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, said: “We are immensely grateful to Brian Alderson for the generous gift of his collection, which includes many rare and unique books – now to be made publicly accessible for the first time – and complements the holdings of Seven Stories and the Philip Robinson Library perfectly.”
The books will enhance the research of the Children’s Literature Unit, a research group within Newcastle University’s School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics. Kim Reynolds, Professor of Children’s Literature at Newcastle University, said: ‘We are all excited by this splendid donation. Thanks to Brian’s unique expertise, this collection is full of rare and unusual items, and it will be an invaluable contribution to the work of establishing Newcastle as a world-class centre for the study of children’s books.”
The transfer of the Alderson Collection to Newcastle has already begun and, in the future, it is expected that the whole collection will be available for research and teaching, and by members of the public. The material that has already been catalogued is available to view on Newcastle University’s Library Search. The donation of the Collection jointly to the two organisations is a key outcome of Seven Stories’ and Newcastle University’s Vital North Partnership, funded by Arts Council England. The two organisations are marking Brian’s generous donation with a free exhibition of some of the highlights from the Collection at Newcastle University’s Philip Robinson Library, opening in June 2017 and running throughout the summer. Brian Alderson will also be giving a free talk at the library about his collection, Every book has its own history: Reflections of a collector of children’s books, at 5.30pm on Wednesday 14th June. To find out more about Brian Alderson’s talk on 14th June, visit:

Lollies 2017 Shortlist


Michael Rosen, children’s novelist, poet and former Children’s Laureate, today announced the shortlist for the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies), a set of awards, now in its second year, created by Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, to celebrate the funniest children’s books.

Having long championed humorous books for children Rosen said of the shortlist:
“This is a collection of 12 whizzy, crazy, hilarious books. They are guaranteed to tickle. Parents and teachers wondering how to keep your children interested in reading, why not start here? And you can always start them off by reading them out loud - funny voices an' all!"

Rosen and his judging panel, consisting of Nicolette Jones, journalist and Sunday Times Children’s Book Editor and Katie Thistleton, presenter and host of the CBBC Children’s Book Club, were tasked with making the selected shortlist from over 130 books submitted by children’s publishers.

The Lollies are awarded in three categories: Best Laugh Out Loud Picture BookBest Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8s and Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13s. The shortlisted books in each category are as follows:

Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book
Oi Dog by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)
Eat Your People by Lou Kuenzler and David Wojtowycz (Orchard Books)
Prince of Pants by Alan Macdonald and Sarah McIntyre (Scholastic)
Danny McGee Drinks the Sea by Andy Stanton and Neal Layton (Hodder Children’s Books)

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8 year olds
Thimble Monkey Superstar by Jon Blake and Martin Chatterton (Firefly Press)
Hamish and the Neverpeople by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler (Simon and Schuster)
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up by Simon Cherry (Usborne)
Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms by Jim Smith (Egmont)
Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 year olds.
I Don't Like Poetry by Joshua Seigal (Bloomsbury)
The Best Medicine by Christine Hamil (Little Island Books)
My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord by David Solomons and Laura Ellen Anderson (Nosy Crow)
AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field (Harper Collins)

The winning book in each category will be decided solely by children’s votes, with schools and parents encouraged to help kids get involved and vote via the Lollies website,, or via the Scholastic channel on the PopJam app.

The winning books will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in January 2018.

The Lollies were created in response to findings from Scholastic’s Kids & Family Reading Report, ( which found that what two-thirds of children aged 6-17 looked for when choosing books for themselves were ‘books that make me laugh’.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Empathy Day 2017

London, UK, 15 May 2017: EmpathyLab today announces the launch of Empathy Day on 13 June 2017.
This is a platform to emphasise the importance of empathy in our divided world, and raise awareness of the power of stories to develop it.     

A new Read for Empathy guide for adults living and working with children aged 4-11 will be published on 13 June. It features 21 “must-reads” endorsed by The Sunday Times’ children’s book reviewer Nicolette Jones and is available free from

EmpathyLab is a new organisation with a mission to use stories to help us understand each other better.
It is led by Miranda McKearney OBE, founder of The Reading Agency. 

Miranda McKearney OBE, Founder: “We’re establishing an Empathy Day to shine a bright light on the importance of empathy in our divided world - new approaches to building this core life skill are badly needed with the recent dramatic rise in hate crimes.

Helping children learn about empathy lays strong foundations for resisting prejudice and intolerance and books are a potent tool. Neuroscience research shows that the emotions we feel for characters wires our brains to have the same sort of sensitivity towards real people. Our Read for Empathy guide for 4-11 year olds has great new book ideas, and we’re delighted to enjoy the support of high profile authors and illustrators including Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell. 
Authors are key figures in a drive for a more tolerant society because they are natural masters of empathy. On the Day authors will visit schools and take to social media in a #ReadforEmpathy drive.
About empathy
Our understanding of the complex mechanisms underpinning empathy is changing all the time, and psychologists, neuroscientists, sociologists and philosophers have different interpretations. Most agree on three elements:emotional/affective empathy where we literally resonate with someone else’s feelings; cognitive empathy or perspective-taking where we apply reason to working out how someone else feels and empathic concern, which is a powerful motivator for helping others, a force for social change.
Robin Banerjee, Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Sussex: “Empathy is a pivotal factor in children’s wellbeing – my research identifies its relevance to behaviour, mental health, and achievement at school.  Work to support it is relevant to all children, but especially those who are vulnerable. EmpathyLab’s strategy of focusing on the literacy domain as a context for supporting its development is particularly powerful and resonates with the findings from cutting-edge psychological research. I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction to the Day.”
Activities on 13 June 2017
Parents: a free Read for Empathy guide gives parents book recommendations and research-based tips for talking about books in ways which build children’s ability to understand others. Downloadable from

Schools: pilot schools will hold Empathy Award ceremonies to celebrate children’s choices of book characters showing exceptional empathy (e.g. Miss Honey from Matilda or Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon). Any school can get involved by creating book displays and joining in the social media campaign.
Authors and illustrators: author partners will be recommending the books which helped them understand other people better, using the hashtags #ReadforEmpathy and #EmpathyDay. Former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell has contributed a special illustration to be shared across social media. Authors running 13 June sessions in schools include BBC Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney, Cathy Cassidy, Jo Cotterill, Elizabeth Laird, Alan MacDonald, Ross Montgomery and CBBC presenter Katie Thisleton.
Libraries: a selection of libraries from Sheffield to Devon will run empathy-focused book promotions and activities. The Day is supported by The Society of Chief Librarians. 

Author supporters

Dame Jacqueline Wilson: “To be a successful human being, you need to be in touch with other people’s feelings. I’m fascinated by EmpathyLab, by its ideas, and by the way it’s drawing together the world of words with the fields of neuroscience and wellbeing. I’m delighted to see the launch of Empathy Day and it’s marvellous that schools with be holding special Empathy Award ceremonies on June 13.”
Neil Gaiman: “In reading, you get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.
Cressida Cowell: “Of all the many gifts that books and reading can give us, empathy is one of the most valuable. Reading forces you to look at the world through someone else’s eyes, and feel what it is to be them. Empathy is a skill, and books are the best, and most fun, way to learn it. I applaud EmpathyLab for fulfilling a much-needed role and hope teachers and parents will get involved on 13 June.”

For more information on Empathy Day, to download the ‘Read for Empathy’ book list and for ideas of how to get involved visit

Margaret Mallett Award for Children's Non-Fiction

Winner of the Inaugural Margaret Mallett Award for Children's Non-Fiction Announced

Winner of the Inaugural Margaret Mallett Award for Children's Non-Fiction Announced
We are pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural Margaret Mallett Award for Children's Non-Fiction
It Starts With a Seed by Laura Knowles, illustrated by Jennie Webber
words & pictures, 978190277171
The prize has been established by the English Association in memory of Margaret Mallett, a Fellow of the English Association and a long-serving member of the editorial board of our journalEnglish 4-11, who died after a short illness in March 2017.Margaret was a passionate advocate for high quality books for children, and in particular non-fiction books. She had a deep and wide-ranging knowledge of children's literature, and her reviews of new titles in Books for Keeps and the School Librarian were hugely admired. She was able to get to the heart of a book and deliver a perceptive judgement that was both just and generous.
The prize was announced on 26th April at a Memorial Service for Margaret in Richmond upon Thames and will be awarded at the English Association's Annual General Meeting on 24th May.
It Starts With a Seed is also shortlisted for the English 4-11 Picture Book Awards. You can read our review here

The shortlist for the 2017 Branford Boase Award

Seven debut authors shortlisted for award known as ‘the one to watch’

Stars of the future named on the shortlist for the award that singles out the most talented debut authors for children

Two from Chicken House on the shortlist including Waterstones Children’s Book Award winner Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Middle grade dominates on “particularly strong, varied and interesting list”

The shortlist for the 2017 Branford Boase Award is announced today (Monday 8th May 2017). TheBranford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

Now in its seventeenth year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an impressive record in identifying authors with special talent at the start of their careers. Previous winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan DowdMeg RosoffMal PeetPhilip ReeveFrank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness; last year’s Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge won with her debut novel Fly By Night in 2006. The shortlist for the 2017 award is as follows:

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl, edited by Rebecca Hill (Usborne)
We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd, edited by Niamh Mulvey (Quercus)
Little Bits of Sky by S.E. Durrant, edited by Kirsty Stansfield (Nosy Crow)
The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster, edited by Rachel Mann (Simon and Schuster)
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, edited by Rachel Leyson (Chicken House)
Beetle Boy by M G Leonard, edited by Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyson (Chicken House)
Riverkeep by Martin Stewart edited by Shannon Cullen and Sharyn November (Penguin Random House)

The rules for the Branford Boase Award state that the award is for the most promising book for children aged seven and up by a first novelist. The author may have published books in another genre but eligibility requires that this be their first novel for children. Two books longlisted for the 2017 award, Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan and Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence, were discovered to be ineligible and were withdrawn as the authors have previously written short novels for children.
This year the judges are Brenda Gardner, former children’s editor and founder of Piccadilly Press; Joanna Halpin, manager at Waterstones Trafalgar Square; Elizabeth McDonald, winner of the 2016 Public Librarian of the Year Award; and Horatio Clare, author of Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, winner of the 2016Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival.

Julia Eccleshare says: “Children’s publishing in the UK is an extremely healthy state and this is a particularly strong, varied and interesting list. There are moving contemporary stories that vividly depict modern family relationships; inventive and brilliantly imagined fantasy stories; stories that will move and inspire readers; and some to make them laugh. Any one of these seven authors would be a worthy winner and we are already excited about what they will write next.”

The winner of the 2017 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Wednesday 5th July at a ceremony in London. Frances Hardinge will present the winner with a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor will receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.
For further information please contact Andrea Reece on 07807893369 or

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Children's market up 3.5% in first three months of 2017

For the first 11 weeks of 2017, the Children’s market is up 3.5% in value, to £67.3m, compared to the same period a year ago. The growth is being driven by Children’s & YA Fiction, which has rocketed 4.95% in value for the year to date, following continuing strong sales for David Walliams’s Christmas number one The Midnight Gang and a World Book Day tranche that posted a 48% bump in volume year on year for their combined first week of sales.
A few years ago, the Children’s market was the only print category in growth. Now that print across the board is firmly back in the black, kids’ books have soared to even greater heights. The past three years have seen Children’s hit a record high in annual value terms three times in a row—in each of those years its growth has outstripped that of the overall market too—and it has decisively overtaken Adult Fiction as the market’s second-biggest category. Last year, more than one in three print titles purchased was a Children’s book, with 24p in every £1 spent on a print book going on a kids’ title.
In 2016, the market did have a little bit of help from one of its fantastic beasts: J K Rowling earned £29m, with roughly £28m of that coming from her Children’s stable. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child shifted a whopping 1.4 million copies, bringing in £15.9m, a hefty 10% of Children’s & YA Fiction’s total value for the year—which was its highest ever. The original Potter seven also enjoyed a jump, selling a combined 803,607 copies for £4.9m in 2016. Not bad for a series that’s a decade old. And let’s not forget Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which earned a further £3.25m in what surely must have been the best year for playscripts ever.
But Rowling wasn’t the only Children’s superstar: in the past three years, David Walliams has really come into his own. Surpassing US behemoth Jeff Kinney in sales on these shores in 2014, Walliams topped £10m earned in 2015—then blew it out of the water in 2016, bringing in £13.8m, a 26% jump year on year. Not only did his extra short-story collection, The World’s Worst Children, boost his total, but November release The Midnight Gang was his fastest-selling title to date, topping the Official UK Top 50 for seven straight weeks and clinching the Christmas Number One. All in all, Walliams’ blockbuster backlist has helped the Children’s & YA Fiction category increase 41% in value terms since 2013.
The Pre-school & Picture Books (PPB) category had a quieter 2016, after a rollicking 2015 in which Judith Kerr’s Mog’s Christmas Calamity was the first picture book to top the UK’s overall weekly chart, and the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” bumped up the Novelty & Activity Book sub-category. But though PPB in 2016 was £3.1m down on an exceptional 2015, it was still some 9.5% up on 2014’s total. Sub-category star Julia Donaldson’s empire grew by 4% year on year, making her one of the two biggest-earning authors for a sixth straight year.
Children’s Non-Fiction is having a harder time. In 2014, the popularity of Egmont’s Minecraft series boosted it to hitherto-unforeseen heights of £44.5m, a jump of £11.7m (+35%) on the year before. Though the sub-category has continued to hover above the £40m mark, it has struggled to replicate Minecraft mania—though Pokémon Go-related titles helped the category climb 3% in 2016.
School Textbooks & Study Guides continues to defy the print naysayers. Contravening the much-predicted digital migration, the sub-category has had its best three-year run on record: its 2016 total (£46.5m) was another record high.


The Barnes Children’s Literature Festival – May 2017

London’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival will be returning to south west London for the third year, on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May. The programme includes sixty events for children of all ages, including author talks, workshops, story time and craft sessions, music, film and much more.
There is an exciting mix of bestselling authors and illustrators, up and coming new writers, and household names. Highlights include the former Children's Laureates Michael Rosen and Anthony Browne, star author-artist Nick Sharratt and Horrid Henry creator Francesca Simon. They'll be joined by a few famous faces including comedians David Baddiel and Adrian Edmondson, popular television presenters Clare Balding and Lucy Worsley, and radio personality Christian O’Connell. Other authors and illustrators on the programme include Ed Vere, MG Leonard, Michelle Robinson, Lisa Stickley, Sophy Henn and Book Trust Illustrator in Residence, Sarah MacIntyre.
Special events this year include illustrator, Axel Scheffler appearing alongside Barnes Resident and Mog creator, Judith Kerr in an event called When Zog met Mog – not to be missed! Another exclusive is an interview with Little Princess creator and top illustrator, Tony Ross. You can also experience the interactive Harry Potter show, a new production of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes set to live music, and an exclusive screening of the short animation based on Jon Klassen’s award-winning I Want My Hat Back.
Tickets are on sale now at: where the full programme can be found.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Inclusive Minds: Is everybody in?

Inclusive Minds launch crowdfunding campaign to develop groundbreaking resource for book world

This World Book Day, Inclusive Minds urges everyone to help support real change and ensure authentic inclusion in children’s books.
An innovative crowdfunding project will give a voice to children and young people – the people who know most about what they want to see represented in books and how. It will enable them to share valuable experience with those who would like help ensuring authenticity.

The unique resource
Where real inclusion in books is concerned, thorough research is vital. Inclusive Minds will develop an extensive network of Ambassadors for Inclusion. These are young people of all ages with real experience of marginalisation who can share their unique expertise (covering all facets of diversity) with the book world.

Authors, illustrators and publishers will be able to contact Inclusive Minds with ideas, questions or manuscripts that they wish to discuss with relevant young people. These opportunities will be shared with the network and connections established. Ambassadors may also be available to speak at events and in response to news stories.

Opportunity for young people This groundbreaking project will offer many benefits to those who join the network of ambassadors. It will empower young people, giving them a powerful role and a real voice in changing the face of children's books. The opportunity will also represent valuable work experience that may lead to references and further work.

A successful pilot has proven the value of such a resource.

Robin Stevens, one of the authors who has already successfully used the pilot project, welcomed the news:

'It's important to research every aspect of your book, but sometimes research is no substitute for experience. I am so grateful to Inclusive Minds for putting me in touch with young readers from a British Hindu background, who helped me ensure that the portrayal of my detective George was not only accurate, but rang true.'

The goal

£4,000 will fund Inclusive Minds in expanding the pilot project by recruiting young people (up to the age of 30) from an extremely diverse range of backgrounds and cover the administration and promotion of the network for two years. The funding will enable the basic network service to be free of charge, but should relationships develop or lead to more official consultation or sensitivity reading, the network user and ambassador would be expected to introduce and agree fees.

How and why to be a part of the project
Inclusive Minds urge everyone who believes in the need for inclusion and equality in books to support the campaign on Indiegogo. Contributors have access to an exciting menu of ‘perks’ in return for their donations big and small. Perks range from high fives and thank you messages to character names and original book artwork. Absolutely anyone can contribute, giving whatever they can. Even £5 will help towards realisation of the project. Anyone who might be willing to donate a perk, is also encouraged to contact Inclusive Minds.

By all of us coming together in this way, Inclusive Minds is confident we will create a unique resource that can truly help change the face of children’s books.

To help Inclusive Minds realise the project (or just to find out more), visit

Inclusive Minds is the collective for all those interested in children’s books and diversity.

Inclusive Minds supports the children’s book world, working closely with writers, illustrators, publishers and families to ensure children’s books reflect the diverse society in which we live. Inclusive Minds believes books need to be aware of diversity in all its forms, including issues relating to culture, gender, disability, age, sexual identity, family structure and socio-economic background.
Crowdfunding is the practice of realising a project by raising contributions from a large number of people in return for perks. Inclusive Minds invites people, through donations large or small, to join them in achieving something very special.

Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding website founded in 2008, a Launchpad for entrepreneurial ideas. The Indiegogo mission is to empower people to unite around ideas

UKLA Book Awards shortlist

·         For the first time illustrated books in all three age categories
·         Past winner Philip Reeve shortlisted in two categories with Brian Selznick, Gill Lewis and Benji Davies each with potential second award
·         Debut authors challenge medal winning heavyweights in each category
@The_UKLA  #UKLA17   #teachersbookawards

For the first time ever the awards that come with the teachers’ guarantee that these are the books which get their classes reading, have an author shortlisted simultaneously  in two age categories. Philip Reeve’s creative partnership with Sarah McIntyre will be looking to repeat their2015 triumph in the 7-11 category. But they face stiff competition from another previous winner Gill Lewis who won with her debut novel, Sky Hawk in 2012. Debut authors Ross Welford and S.E.Durrant will see that as a very good omen. Completing the 7-11 list is the 2014 shortlisted author Katherine Rundell and the Kate Greenaway longlisted title The Journey by Francesca Sanna: a powerful picturebook which teacher judges described as “taking children to new experiences outside their own”.

Philip Reeve’s science fiction Railhead secured his second shortlisting in the 12-16 category but once again he is up against stiff competition with the previously Highly Commended Brian Selznick. They both face competition from a cosmopolitan list which features Selznick’s American compatriot Gary.D.Schmidt, Canadian Susin Nielsen and Alaskan Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Carnegie longlisted debut title. Joining Philip in representing home grown talent is previously shortlisted award winner Jenny Valentine .

The 3-6 category sees Benji Davies repeating his 2016 shortlisting and hoping to improve upon his Highly Commended award. He will be up against Greenaway winner Emily Gravett, the inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honour winner, Ross Collins, Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning Jim Field in a new partnership with Rachel Bright and impressive debuts from Lucy Ruth Cummings and David Litchfield.

All three age categories once again show the fresh perspective that class teachers can bring 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 Peter Crawshaw, Director and Co-founder of Lovereading4kids said:
“Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids are delighted to support the UKLA Book Awards. The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents. We can't wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply excellent”

The enthusiastic judging discussions revealed how much teachers welcomed the opportunity to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles and enjoyed talking together in order to decide which books would best match the criteria for the award:
There have been so many great spin-offs from that initial decision to get involved: seeing teachers who had never been big readers catching the reading bug, avid readers who found a whole new treasure trove of books to keep them up reading till the small hours, colleagues queuing up to borrow the books and so many children inspired to share this reading journey with them. Jess Anderson, Group leader

For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new quality 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. As Awards Chair Lynda Graham said:
Teacher judges in education authorities across Scotland clearly delighted in opportunities to discuss the best of newly- published, quality books with teacher colleagues and to share these books with children and young people in their classrooms. 

12 teachers nominated from the 55 involved in the shortlisting, who came from Aberdeen CityNorth Ayrshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Falkirk and Renfrewshire, will now form the final judging panel and have the challenging task of reading all the shortlisted books in all three age categories, which will mean nursery teachers reading fiction for teenagers and secondary teachers reading picturebooks!
The winners will be announced on June 30th at the UKLA International Conference, University of Strathclyde

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contact fao Lynda Graham
The Shortlists in full
The Lion Inside written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field (Orchard Books)
There's a Bear on MY Chair written and illustrated by Ross Collins            (Nosy Crow)
A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster)
Grandad's Island written and illustrated by Benji Davies(Simon & Schuster)
Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)
The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln)

Little Bits of Sky written by S.E Durrant and illustrated by Katie Harnett (Nosy Crow)
Gorilla Dawn written by Gill Lewis(Oxford University Press)
Pugs of the Frozen North written and illustrated by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)
The Wolf Wilder written by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico (Bloomsbury)
The Journey written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)
Time Travelling with a Hamster written by Ross Welford (HarperCollins)

The Smell of Other People's Houses  written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber &Faber)
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)
Orbiting Jupiter written by Gary. D. Schmidt (Andersen Press)
Railhead written by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)
The Marvels written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
Fire Colour One written by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)

About UKLA
UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy. UKLA is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally in literacy and language teaching and research. The Association was founded in 1963 as the United Kingdom Reading Association. In 2003 it changed its name to the United Kingdom Literacy Association, to reflect more accurately its wider range of focus and interest.
UKLA especially supports the development of approaches to literacy learning and teaching which underpin these understandings. The Association recognises the significance for effective language and communication learning of literature, drama, the visual media, non-fiction texts and information technology, as well as welcoming approaches to teaching which draw on the resources of a wide range of cultures and which are informed by a detailed understanding of how literacy and language work.
About MLS
Sponsors Micro Librarian Systems have over 25 years experience developing high specification library systems for schools and colleges and provide library automation solutions to over 15,000 schools worldwide. They provide cost effective and user friendly library systems which will revolutionise the way the library works, support the curriculum and encourage reading for pleasure and purpose.
They are committed to providing engaging technologies to foster a reading and information culture that promotes independent motivated readers and learners for life. For more information see

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.

•       Download and print off the Opening Extract of over 10,000 children’s books.
•       Read our exclusive online book reviews by children’s book experts including Julia Eccleshare (author and children’s books editor at the Guardian).
•       Explore reviews by members of our children’s reader review panel.
•       Discover new books recommended by humans not computer algorithms.

Lovereading4schools was created to help teachers and parents encourage children to love reading a variety of books throughout the school year. The website offers schools an easy, impartial and free way to create and share reading lists with their parents and pupils, offering age appropriate books as well as themed collections of titles.

Specially curated lists are arranged by school year, ranging from Reception to Year 9 and onwards through teenage years. There are also specialist categories for Reluctant and Dyslexic Readers that can make a real difference to those who struggle with their reading.

Lovereading4schools is endorsed by Jacqueline Wilson and all titles are selected by Julia Eccleshare MBE, the children’s book editor for The Guardian. 

Visit the websites and

Past Winners

3-6: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex.T. Smith, ( Scholastic)
Highly Commended: On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies(illustrator), (Simon & Schuster)
7-11: The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett (illustrator), ( Bloomsbury)
Highly Commended: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, (David Fickling)
12-16+ : The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge( Macmillan)
3-6: The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt , Oliver Jeffers (illustrator)( HarperCollins
7-11: Oliver and the Seawigs, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, (Oxford University Press)
Highly Commended 7-11 Award: Us Minus Mum, Heather Butler, (Little,Brown)
12-16: Every Day by David Levithan, published by Egmont
3-6:  This is not my Hat, Jon Klassen (Walker Books)
Highly Commended 3-6 Award: Open Very Carefully, Nick Bromley, Nicola O’Byrne (Illustrator), (Nosy Crow)
7 to 11: The Story of the Blue Planet, Andri Snær Magnason, Julian Meldon D'Arcy, (translator), Áslaug Jónsdóttir (Illustrator), (Pushkin Press)
12- 16:  Now is the Time for Running, Michael Williams, (Tamarind Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
3 - 6 : Good Little Wolf, Nadia Shireen Rayner (Jonathan Cape)
7 - 11: The Weight of Water, Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
12- 16:  Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein (Electric Monkey)
3 - 6: Iris and Isaac, Catherine Rayner (Little Tiger Press)
7 - 11: Sky Hawk, Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press)
12 - 16: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay (Walker)
3-11:  Ellie Sandall Birdsong (Egmont)
12-16: Jason Wallace Out of Shadows (Andersen Press)
3-11: Morris Gleitzman Then (Puffin)
12-16: Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator) The Graveyard Book (Bloomsbury)
Special commendation: Shaun Tan Tales from Outer Suburbia (Templar)
3-11: Marcia Williams Archie’s War (Walker)
Highly commended 3-11: Brian Selznick The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic)
12-16: Siobhan Dowd: Bog Child (David Fickling - Random House Children’s Books)
Picture book category: Polly Dunbar Penguin (Walker )