Frances Hardinge, AF Harrold, Emily Gravett and Alex T Smith have been revealed as the winners of the 2016 UKLA Book Awards.
The awards are run by the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) and are judged entirely by teachers (this year by teachers from Bristol) who are asked to look for titles that “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”.
Hardinge won the 12-16+ award for The Lie Tree (Macmillan Children’s Books), which also won the Costa Book of the Year in January, whilst Harrold and Gravett were given the 7-11 prize for The Imaginary (Bloomsbury Children's). The winner of the 3-6 category was Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T Smith (Scholastic).
This year the judges also gave out two highly commended mentions; one to The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (David Fickling) in the 7-11 category, and the other to On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies (Simon & Schuster) in the 3-6 group.
Lynda Graham, chair of the awards, said: “I am so impressed by the level of commitment shown by teacher judges from Bristol this year. Work in classrooms based around our shortlisted books has been thoughtful, imaginative, creative and in many instances, quite stunning. It was very moving to hear them describe how being involved in this judging process has had a real impact in their schools and upon their pupils’ enthusiasm for reading.”
Peter Crawshaw, director of Lovereading4kids, which sponsors the award, said: “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 looking for books their children will enjoy.”