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Coventry Inspiration Book Awards

Posted By Isobel Powell, 06 July 2019
I thought I would tell you about the Celebration Event that we had last week for the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards. This was held at the Ricoh Arena with thanks to the Wasps Rugby Club whose sponsorship makes this possible. It is a great afternoon when the schools who have taken part get to meet the winning authors. and illustrators and present them with their awards. There are 5 categories, each starting off with 8 shortlisted books that get whittled down week by week as the books with the least votes get knocked out until we have our winner. What's the Story (ages 4-7) was won by Jim Whalley and Stephen Collins for the hilarious picture book Baby’s first Bank Heist. Telling Tales (ages 7-9) was won by the brilliantly comic Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T. Smith. Next was out transition category, Hooked on Books (ages 9-12), which crosses over from the top end of Primary into the first couple of years of Secondary was won by the fantastic House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson. Our final 2 categories are for Secondary Schools only with the winner of the Simply the Book category (13+) being the amazing Sycthe by Neal Shusterman. lthough Neal couldn’t be here for the celebration event as he lives in America many of our students were lucky enough to meet him back in December when he came to Coventry as part of a very short UK visit. Our final category is for all those teenagers who are short on time, Rapid Reads, quick read books for ages 11-16. This was won by Ann Evans for her scary book A Little Secret. It was a brilliant afternoon with a wonderful buzz of excitement and enthusiasm as a room full of students of all ages talked about their favourite books and checked out new recommendations. It is hard work running the book awards on top of all our usual School Library Service work and we have already announced out shortlists for next year so it is a year round operation! However, it is all worth it when you read the comments left by the students at the Celebration Event. Here are a couple of my favourites; “Every Book was amazing and has inspired me to read”, “I loved this event and look forward to more in other years” and “The Book Awards has drawn me more into reading”. As children's librarians it is important to remember that what we do is important and can have a real impact on children's lives so we should shout about it more often and loudly. If you are lucky enough to have a local children's book awards then find out how you can get involved as together with National Book Awards like the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals they are a wonderful way of introducing children and young people to a wide range of wonderful books which they might not come across on their own. By doing so you increase the chances of them finding the book that speaks to them and switches them on to reading with pleasure. This is how you help to create lifelong readers which is something all librarians aspire to.

Tags:  awards  book awards  children's books  Children's Literature  libraries  Reading for Pleasure  school libraries 

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The Slovene Book Fair - Book Awards and Criteria

Posted By Jacob Hope, 06 July 2019
Updated: 06 July 2019
The Slovene Book Fair was eye-opening, it was incredible to see the levels of engagement and enthusiasm it generated among the public with schools, families and individuals attending to hear talks, meet with authors, peruse exhibitions of illustration and buy books.  Slovenia was under a Socialist regime as part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Books and the arts played a key role in helping to preserve the national identity of the country and it feels there remains a great sense of pride and loyalty towards books.  Despite this there are concerns about the future.  The proportion of books published from the United Kingdom, combined with other media in spoken and written English leads to anxieties about the long-term impact on the Slovene language.

Alongside public engagement, one of the notable elements was the support mainstream media gave to the events with television and radio both present.  Sessions provoked lively discussion and attendance and involvement from publishing students meant there were clear succession lines for the industry contributing to an impressively well-structured and sustainable base for the countries publishing and book trades.

The talk I was involved with looked at the role of criteria in book awards, how those are articulated and applied and the impact these have in terms of selection of books.  As well as exploring some of the major children's book awards in the UK - the Costa, the Blue Peter, the Federation of Children's Book Groups and the proliferation of regional book awards that take place across the country and are aimed at empowering young people through enabling them a platform for their views and a vote.

Looking at the CILIP Carnegie medal gave pause for thought and the opportunity to think back to the Library Association review of children's literature in 1932 which described 'a few admirable books, submerged in an ocean of trash.'  The medals were set up to lobby for change.  

During the trip to Ljubljana, an interview took place with a publishing student.  One of their questions  was what differentiates the CILIP Carnegie Medal.  It's a question that has led to much reflection.  One of the many answers is the transparency of its processes and criteria.  Following on from the Diversity Review for the awards which happened in 2018, this is something that is being evaluated with thanks to the University of Central Lancashire.  As one of the last public speaking engagements for 2018, talking at the Slovene Book Fair served was a genuinely upbeat, inspiring and uplifting occasion and one that has certainly given considerable food for thought around the role of book awards and their increased relevance as part of an array of models for recommending and profiling books, stories and information.  It was fascinating to be part of the Fair and learn more about how Slovenia's award works and the impact that criteria has upon selection.
 

Tags:  Book Awards  Carnegie  Children's Books  Controversy  Reading 

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Children's Book Awards 2019 Shortlist

Posted By Jacob Hope, 25 February 2019

The Children's Book Awards run by the Federation of Children's Book Groups and the only National awards where the judging is done entirely by children, have announced their shortlists.  We congratulate all authors and illustrators on the lists.

Books for Younger Children

MIXED, written and illustrated by Arree Chung, published by Macmillan Children’s Books
The Last Chip: The Story of a Very Hungry Pigeon, written and illustrated by Duncan Beedie, published by Templar
The Wondrous Dinosaurium, written by John Condon and illustrated by Steve Brown, published by Maverick
What Do You Do if Your house is a Zoo, written by John Kelly and illustrated by Steph Laberis, published by Little Tiger Press

Books for Younger Readers

Funny Kid Stand Up, written and illustrated by Matt Stanton, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Mr Penguin and The Fortress of Secrets, written and illustrated by Alex T Smith, published by Hodder Children’s Books
The Dog Who Lost His Bark, written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by PJ Lynch, published by Walker Books

Books for Older Readers

Armistice Runner,
written by Tom Palmer, published by Barrington Stoke
The Light Jar, written by Lisa Thompson, published by Scholastic
The Storm Keeper’s Island, written by Catherine Doyle, published by Bloomsbury  

Vote online here - http://www.childrensbookaward.org.uk/

Sarah Stuffins, Children’s Book Award Coordinator says ‘Last year saw the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ 50th year, and more children than ever engaging with the Children’s Book Award. This year’s shortlist really does have something for everything and shows the incredible breadth of talent in the children’s book world. We are in a golden age of children’s publishing - something to be celebrated - and access to books has never been more important. We congratulate all our Top Ten authors and can’t wait to find out who is the children’s choice this year. We’re thrilled to have BookLife on board again this year as our sponsors – many thanks to them and all the publishers who submit books for their support of the award.’

Tags:  book awards  reading  reading for pleasure 

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