UKLA Book Award Winners 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

UKLA Book Award Winners 2015: Impact, originality and illustration are key to teachers' winners

The unique UKLA Book Awards are the only awards judged entirely by teachers. Their choice of winning books which can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning” clearly demonstrates the fresh perspective that class teachers bring to the judging process.   They are able to share the books with their classes and genuinely discover what works with young readers. As well as endorsing the popular appeal of Red House winner, The Day the Crayons Quit they have selected an international author not previously recognised in the UK, a debut author not afraid of difficult topics and echoed the new Children’s Laureate in his emphasis on the importance of illustrated books in creating reading enthusiasm.

David Reedy, President of UKLA said ‘We know that literature broadens the reader’s experience of the world and sense of the possible and thus should have a central place in classrooms and educational contexts. Children need access to a rich range of high quality literature and our awards highlight some of the very best literature currently available to children and young people in the UK.  We are proud to be celebrating these truly outstanding winners at our 51st International Conference ‘

The Award winners for the book categories 3 to 6, 7 to11 and 12 to16+ years will be announced and presented at a wine reception at the UKLA International Conference at the National College for Teaching and Leadership, Nottingham on July 10th 2015

The winning book in the 12 to16+ category is Every Day by David Levithan, published by Egmont.

Every day, A wakes up in a new body and has to live that person’s life doing no harm to the host. However, when A falls in love, lives are changed and hosts become aware of what is happening to them. This is a highly original book which is handled with real integrity. Levithan offers readers glimpses of some of the quandaries of teenage life, but never offers superficial answers. Teacher judges described Every Day as ‘a brilliant and important book’.


The winning book in the 7 to 11  category is Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, published by Oxford University Press

Judges loved Oliver and the Seawigs because it truly ‘captures the joy of reading.’ When Oliver’s parents go missing, he searches for them, gradually gathering an eccentric group of new friends including a wandering isle called Cliff.  Though the combination of words and pictures make Oliver and the Seawigs a perfect book for children who have developed little stamina as readers, it has been written and illustrated with such wit and so many highly original ideas that, as one of the judges said, ‘it reaches out to everyone.’

For the first time ever the judges also presented a Highly Commended 7-11 Award to

Us Minus Mum by Heather Butler, published by Little,Brown

Us Minus Mum is, as you’d expect from the title, a book about bereavement. The story follows George’s mum from her diagnosis to her death. What makes it a ‘brilliant, brilliant book’ is that Heather Butler creates a very happy, completely believable family who mourn mum, but honour her life through happiness as well as sorrow. There isn’t a shred of sentimentality in this ‘honest, powerful and insightful novel.’


The winning book for the 3 to 6 category is The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, published by HarperCollins

Fed up with the way they are misused, Duncan’s crayons each write him a letter of complaint. The Day the Crayons Quit is a very funny book which encourages children to be adventurous and creative. Like all the very best picture books, there is plenty here to delight adults as well as children. The theme of our responsibility for the happiness of others is explored in remarkable ways. As one of the judges said: ‘I don’t know how you could do more in so few words and so few pages.’ 

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contact fao Lynda Graham

Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Safari app by Nosy Crow wins the UKLA Best Digital Book Award 2015.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Safari app by Nosy Crow wins the UKLA Best Digital Book Award 2015.

UKLA is delighted to announce that the winner of the pilot UKLA Digital Book Award (in partnership with Book Trust, and sponsored by The Open University) is the app, Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Safari, published by Nosy Crow.

This award, covering apps suitable for the 6-8 year age group, is the only national Digital Book Award judged by teachers.  

The Flip Flap Safari app is beautifully produced and appealing and can easily be incorporated into guided reading sessions. Children have great fun creating their own animals and playing guessing games and the ‘read to me’ feature is a useful tool enabling all children to enjoy the book. Teacher judges appreciated the rich vocabulary and thought the poetry examples inspired further poetry activities in class.

Dr Natalia Kucirkova, Chair of the Digital Book Award, commented: ‘There are many apps for this age group which either replicate non-digital activities or provide an add-on experience. The choice of Flip Flap Safari as the winner shows that teachers appreciate when digital books can integrate and complement current best practice.’

Book Trust, Chief Executive, Diana Gerald said: ‘It’s time to start looking at apps and digital reading materials with the same critical eye that we use to appraise children’s reading books. We’re still looking at how best this can be done, but getting teachers-the experts on the ground-to assess these apps after using them with children in a classroom, has to be a really good starting point. Congratulations to Axel Scheffler, Flip Flap Safari is a worthy and engaging winner.’

In addition, the app Dino Tales by Kuato Studios is Highly Commended. Digitalisation offers an innovative way to enrich children’s experience of story by combining games with digital books. Dino Tales crosses into the territory of non-fiction, and teaches a range of digital skills in addition to traditional literacy. It takes aspects of game and yet keeps a strong storyline, with advanced customisation options. The children loved the app and could engage with it for extended periods of time.

For more information on the award please contact

Notice of AGM 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

From the Hon Sec. Roger McDonald

We look forward to welcoming members to the Association’s AGM which will be held at the National College for Teaching and Leadership, Triumph Road, Nottingham.

Saturday 11th July at 17.05 in the Auditorium

The Agenda and details will be available on the UKLA website nearer to the event

Notice of election 2015

There will be election for the Association’s Trustees who work as Officers (President and President Elect, both for one year only, secretary, and treasurer) and for convenors of sub committees.

Trustees take on a variety of work for the Association.  As a trustee you will serve on the Executive Committee. The duties and eligibility of trustees are set out in the Charity Commission Website.

Officers , the President who leads with the support of the President-elect and the Vice-President, the treasurer, who deals with money, and the secretary who sees that we are supported administratively.  Trustees also convene and manage the work of our sub-committees; Publications, International, Conference, Website, Membership & Awards, Research, Website and CPD, each of which are convened by a Trustee.

The final list off vacancies will be published on the website as soon as decisions have been made in good time for the closing date for nominations.  Trustees are elected annually, except to ensure the Association’s continuity, for those officers who are exempt under our rules.

To be elected you must be a UKLA member in good standing, nominated and seconded by members also in good standing.

If you are interested in standing for election and would like further information about what is involved or help in gaining nomination please contact, David Reedy, UKLA General Secretary at

Regional Representatives normally serve on National Council, support and initiate activity in the Regions and are eligible to serve on UKLA sub-committees, helping to develop and sustain the Association’s object of ‘Promoting Literacy’.

To share the work, Regions may be represented by two members. They normally serve for two years (i.e. 2015-2017). A regional activity will normally take place once each year.  National Council meets in London twice a year.

Sub-committees may meet more frequently but also conduct some work via email.

If you are interested in standing for election as a Regional Representative for 2015 – 17 and would like further information about what is involved in regional activity, please contact Tony Martin who coordinates regional activities at



UKLA Response to the Call For Evidence for a New National Reading Strategy

Friday, June 12, 2015

UKLA has sent its response to the call for evidence for developing a new national reading strategy in England for the ‘Read On, Get On’ campaign to get every child  reading well by the age of 11

On behalf of the Read On Get On coalition in England, the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce) has been commissioned to develop a national reading strategy for England.  This work will provide analysis of the problem, identify key objectives and set out the strategic action needed over the next decade to achieve the following target goals for 2020 and 2025:


1.   All children achieve good early language development by age five by 2020

2.   Every child is able to read well by the age of 11 by 2025, with good progress made so that we are at least halfway towards this goal by 2020


You can download UKLA’s submission below

Read the UKLA Response

Nominations Sought for UKLA Book Awards 2016

Monday, May 18, 2015

All UK based publishers of books for children and young people are invited to submit nominations for the 2016 Book Awards- the only awards to be judged by teachers.

To be eligible books must have been published between 1 June 2014 and 31st May 2015. Publishers may submit up to three books in each age category: 3-6, 7-11 and 12-16+ and in addition may submit up to an additional three books from authors and illustrators shortlisted in the previous three years.

Nominate a book or find out more

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Bev Barnes

Bev Barnes
Primary Consultant
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