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Information Book Award 2017

2017 Winners

IBA 2017 CoversThe winners of the Information Book Award 2017 were announced on 22 November 2017 at Carmelite House in London.

The overall winner chosen by the judges was Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton, Zane Whittingham and Ryan Jones (Franklin Watts); whilst the Children's Choice winner was Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll (Hot Key Books).

The inaugural winner of the Hachette Children's Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books was Nicola Davies.

Tricia Adams, Director, School Library Association commented: 'The SLA was delighted to see the wonderful range and quality of books being submitted for the awards this year.  The winners represent the outstanding quality and high standard of information publishing on offer in a range of subjects – and we are delighted that so many publishers and authors and illustrators take part.'

Hilary Murray Hill, CEO, Hachette Children's Group commented: 'I am proud that Hachette Children's Group continue to sponsor the SLA Information Book Awards and now the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books. We are committed to publishing the very best information books – be that the engaging books from Franklin Watts and Wayland that support the curriculum; or the brave, diverse and authentic voices on Wren & Rook – and it is vital, now more than ever, that we support this important community of authors, illustrators and school librarians to raise their profile and provide young people with the best information books we can. I am thrilled for all who have been shortlisted for this year's awards and would like to congratulate the winning authors and illustrators on their thoroughly deserved achievements.'

Thanks to all the authors, illustrators and publishers who participated, and special thanks to our sponsor, Hachette Children's Books, who hosted the award ceremony at their London HQ.

View and download the full Press Release for the 2017 Information Book Award.

SLA Information Book Award 2017 winners

PDF file, 130 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

Paul Rockett's Speech at the Information Book Award Presentations

Welcome everyone to the SLA Information Book Awards. My name is Paul Rockett and I'm the Publishing Director of Franklin Watts and Wayland, two of Hachette Children's information book imprints. I am very honoured to be speaking on behalf of the Hachette Children's Group – who sponsor these awards – and also to be introducing awards that recognise and celebrate the importance of quality information books for children.

The School Library Association is now celebrating 80 years. 80 years with no sign of arthritis or senility – I think that deserves a round of applause.

80 years ago, this country was experiencing a period of depression – we're all far too young to remember, but this was around the time of hunger marches and the Jarrow crusade. It is during these bleak periods of social care that resistance movements spring up to defend what is right and important for the present but also as an investment in a better future.

The support the SLA has long-provided to school library provisions is a direct investment in the future and in a child's development.

The author and playwright Alan Bennett has called the closure of libraries child abuse, in that it hinders a child's development – an extreme turn of phrase perhaps, but the school library is often a foundational moment in a person's life-long exploration of knowledge, offering books that not only supplement curricular studies – but, possibly and more greatly – stimulate a wider curiosity about the world, helping to forge independent thinking,  feed creative imaginations and start a lifelong love of reading for pleasure.

Books that provide children with a trusted source of knowledge are incredibly important, and increasingly so in a time when Fake News pervades our media and the Internet offers up a wormhole of apocryphal information, shouty opinion, as well as areas that are likely to do more harm than good to impressionable young people.

At Hachette Children's Group we are committed to publishing the very best information books. Be it engaging books from Franklin Watts and Wayland that support the curriculum or the brave, diverse authentic voices on our new non-fiction list, Wren & Rook – it is vital, now more than ever, that we equip young people with the knowledge they need.

Knowledge is often perceived as dangerous – which makes the curators of knowledge – publishers – and custodians of knowledge – librarians – true subversives.  I was incredibly fortunate to attend the American Librarian Association conference earlier this year, and there was a real sense of spirited fightback against fears of misinformation and information censorship. Libraries offer a resistance to hard times and a space for questioning – something worth protecting, supporting and celebrating.

I'm in no doubt that you are all aware that these are not easy times for many schools and libraries in the UK, challenged as they are by funding. These challenges make it even more important that the books school libraries stock are of the highest quality in what they offer – there is no room for flim flam; every book has to matter, and that is very much our approach at Hachette Children's Group.

And in looking at the shortlist of titles for the SLA Information Book Awards, the selection this year is exceptional in what it offers children. From visual feasts of information, inspirational true stories, contents which encourages readers to ask big questions and to look at the world around us, and inside us – this is a rich and diverse list that does credit to the authors, illustrators and publisher involved in their making, but also for each library that stocks them. 

I'm extremely pleased to see so many of you here tonight to celebrate the SLA and information books. Thank you all for coming, and I hope you have an enjoyable evening.

Full Results

IBA 2017 Winners GroupThe winner in each category selected by the judges is as follows:

Under 7 Winner

  • My First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek ISBN 9781406359633 (Walker Books)

7-12 Winner

  • The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, Illustrated by James Weston Lewis ISBN 9780750298209 (Wren & Rook)

12-16 Winner

  • Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton, Zane Whittingham and Ryan Jones ISBN 9781445150444 (Franklin Watts)

Overall Winner

  • Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton, Zane Whittingham and Ryan Jones ISBN 9781445150444 (Franklin Watts)

The Children’s Choice winners are:

Under 7 Winner

  • Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, Illustrated by Salavatore Rubbino ISBN 9781406356205 (Walker Books)

7-12 Winner

  • The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, Illustrated by James Weston Lewis ISBN 9780750298209 (Wren & Rook)

12-16 Winner

  • Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll ISBN 9781471405310 (Hot Key Books)

Overall Children’s Choice Winner

  • Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll ISBN 9781471405310 (Hot Key Books)

Poster

An eye-catching poster to publicize the 2017 Award is available now as a PDF to download and print. It was also included in the Autumn 2017 (September) issue of The School Librarian mailed out to SLA Members.

IBA 2017 Poster

PDF file, 629 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

Shortlist for 2017

The School Library Association announces the shortlist for the seventh annual SLA Information Book Award.

Chair of the Judges Chris Brown said; “This is the 7th year of the Awards and it is an absolute delight to have received more brilliant, attractive and amazing books than ever. Inevitably that wonderful abundance has made judging and choices more difficult and this shortlist reflects the incredibly high standards publishers are achieving in producing information books for our young readers.”

From our sponsor, Hilary Murray Hill, CEO, Hachette Children’s Group commented: “On behalf of the Hachette Children’s Group I am delighted that we will are sponsoring this important award for a further year. School libraries are an essential part of the development of literacy for many thousands of children in this country and the SLA supports and promotes all that is best in children’s librarianship. The quality of this year’s submissions is higher than ever before and congratulations are due to the commitment, creativity and skill of all the editors, authors and illustrators whose books have made it to the 2017 shortlist.”

The shortlisted titles in each age category are as follows:

Under 7

  • A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek.  Walker Books, ISBN 9781406359633

  • Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino. Walker Books, ISBN 9781406356205

  • My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by Various. Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 9780241224939

  • The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer. Thames & Hudson, ISBN 9780500650677

7-12

  • The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, illustrated by James Weston Lewis. Wren & Rook, ISBN 9780750298209

  • RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, illustrated by Sarah Horne. Bloomsbury Children’s, ISBN 9781472913432

  • Hello World by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by L’Atelier Cartographik.  360 Degrees (Little Tiger), ISBN 9781848575035

  • Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson. Abrams Books for Young Readers, ISBN 9781419718724

12+

  • Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll. Hot Key Books, ISBN 9781471405310 

  • Who Are Refugees and Migrants? by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young.  Wayland, ISBN 9780750299855

  • Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton, Zane Whittingham and Ryan Jones. Franklin Watts, ISBN 9781445150444

The winners will be announced at an event at Hachette Children’s Group, Carmelite House, London, on Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Judges’ Comments on the Shortlist Titles

  • Under 7

A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek

Nicola Davies is a passionate advocate of the natural world and delights in introducing children to all its glories. Over fifty different animals, birds, insects and marine creatures are brought vividly to life through her words and the accompanying illustrations. Full of vibrant colour and detail, capturing movement and habitat with judicious use of colour, these enhance and extend the descriptive poems, transporting the young reader around the world.

Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

From the fluid and colourful pictures of dogs on the flyleaves, the stylish quality of illustrations is instantly recognisable. The story of a rescue dog becoming a family pet is interwoven with factual information, including training techniques.  This is the perfect book for any family considering the implications of getting a pet dog, a perfect balance of fiction and information.

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by various authors

A lovely bright layout, combining excellent photos and quirky illustrations offers an appealing setting for the text. There are plenty of facts on each page, laid out clearly and using simple, accessible language. There is something to interest everyone here, from dinosaurs to clouds, music to habitats. This is a lovely browser that offers something new every time it is picked up.

The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer

This engaging large format picture book is ideal for just dipping into or reading from cover to cover. More than an information book, it challenges the reader to spot the hidden fly fifteen times, while searching for other bugs along the way. Full of scientific facts about insects from all around the world, with every page a visual delight.

  • 7-12

The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, illustrated by James Weston Lewis

Changing the face of the city forever, the story of the Great Fire of London is one which has resonated throughout the past 350 years. In deceptively sparing detail, Emma Adams describes how it started, the efforts to quench the flames, how it was eventually defeated and the impact on the people of London. The bold, print style illustrations, in a limited palette of blazing orange and smoky blues and greys, give a haunting vision of a city ablaze.

Hello World by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by L’Atelier Cartographik

Make friendships across the world by learning basic greetings in around 150 languages from Moroccan Arabic to Ukranian and many others too.  Lifting the language flap reveals transliterations and interesting details; captions highlight information about aspects of life and history and simple maps show basic geographical information.  ‘Hello World’ will fascinate children interested in countries and in how people communicate.

RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, illustrated by Sarah Horne

Gardens are home to an amazing abundance of wildlife, from birds to butterflies and small mammals. This fascinating and accessible guide, illustrated with photographs, shows the plants and creatures which might be encountered, with tips for young naturalists on how to encourage visitors and where and when to spot them.

Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson

This is an inspirational story of female achievement which also highlights the importance of the imagination when it comes to scientific invention. Published two years after the 200th anniversary of the mathematician’s birth, this beautifully designed picture-book biography introduces the reader to Ada’s world and her pioneering work with Charles Babbage.  A truly empowering story.

  • 12+

Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll

Straightforward advice mixed with a healthy dose of humour make this an excellent book that all teenagers would do well to read. It approaches mental health issues and sources of help in a sensible, non-sensational way with plenty of detail. Correll’s illustrations are as always a delight, bringing a lightness to serious topics but never trivialising the subject.

Who are Refugees and Migrants? What makes people leave their homes? And other big questions by Michael Rosen and Annnemarie Young

Equipped with all the organisational features of a traditional information book, this also has a distinctive authorial voice which makes it highly readable. This timely book is designed to explain and inform, but also to challenge preconceptions and encourage the reader to develop their own opinions.  The topic is explored through a wide range of personal stories which combine many new voices with some of the more familiar ones.

Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton

A very moving and personal take on the Holocaust, describing children’s stories in their own words. The stark illustrations clearly convey the fear, anger and despair that they experienced and work well with the straightforward text. The timeline and ‘what happened next?’ sections tie the stories together and provide context, making this an unusual and compelling look at the subject.

Shortlist Press Release 2017

PDF file, 475 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

Longlist for 2017

The SLA Information Book Award received a wide range of submissions for consideration for the 2017 award. Chris Brown, the Chair of the judges commented ‘The submissions for the award this year include more really impressive very well created and presented books than ever before. Whilst this made the task of us judges somewhat arduous it has also been an exhilarating experience. Ultimately we had to make decisions recognising that we couldn’t include a number of books of a quality which meant they might well have made it onto our longlists if published and submitted in another year.

‘Then there are books for the youngest which, whilst outstanding in themselves, when judged alongside others the amount of actual information cannot compare. For example the DK Braille book Counting (978 0 2412 2834 0) is wonderful with amazingly varied tactile fingertip feeling to the objects to count (great for any child) as well as having numbers and phrases in both braille and print.’

(NB – Publishers submit books in age groups they define: judges reserve the right to move any titles to an alternative educationally appropriate age group.) 

The School Library Association Information Book Award longlist for 2017 is:

  • UNDER 7s

A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek. Walker Books, ISBN 9781406359633

Where do Babies Come From? by Kate Daynes, illustrated by Christine Pym. Usborne, ISBN 9781409598824

You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey, illustrated by Soyeon Kim. Wayland, ISBN 9780750296571

Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino. Walker Books, ISBN 9781406356205

Atchoo! How we Catch a Cold by Leon Read, illustrated by Sean Sims. Franklin Watts, ISBN 9781445146256

The Seashore (The Curiosity Box) by Peter Riley, illustrated by Krina Patel. Franklin Watts, ISBN 9781445146300

Refugees and Migrants (Children in our World) by Ceri Roberts, illustrated by Hanane Kai. Wayland, ISBN 9781526300201

Charles Darwin’s Round the World Adventure by Jennifer Thermes. Abrams Books for Young Readers, ISBN 9781419721205

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by Various. Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 9780241224939

The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer. Thames & Hudson, ISBN 9780500650677
 

  • 7 TO 12

The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, illustrated by James Weston Lewis. Wren & Rook, ISBN 9780750298209

The Kew Gardens Children’s Cookbook by Joe Archer and Catherine Craig. Wayland, ISBN 9780750298193

Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown. David Fickling Books, ISBN 9781910200537

RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, illustrated by Sarah Horne. Bloomsbury Children’s, ISBN 9781472913432

Hello World by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by L’atelier Cartographik. 360 Degrees (Little Tiger), ISBN 9781848575035

The Brontës by Mick Manning and Brita Granström. Franklin Watts, ISBN 9781445147314

London on Fire by John C Miles. Franklin Watts, ISBN 9781445146911

Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson. Abrams Books for Young Readers, ISBN 9781419718724

Fantastically Great Women – Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst. Bloomsbury Children’s, ISBN 9781408876985

The Book of Bees by Piotr Socha, text: Wojciech Grajkowski, translated by Agnes Monod-Gayraud. Thames & Hudson, ISBN 9780500650950

Staying Safe Online by Louie Stowell, illustrated by Nancy Leschnikoff. Usborne, ISBN 9781409597810

Knowledge Encyclopedia Animal! by Various. Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 9780241228418
 

  • OVER 12

Timelines of World History by Jane Chisholm et al. Usborne, ISBN 9781474903936

Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson, with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll. Hot Key Books, ISBN 9781471405310

The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill. Flying Eye Books, ISBN 9781909263833

Why is Art Full of Naked People? by Susie Hodge, illustrated by Claire Goble. Thames & Hudson, ISBN 9780500650806

Survivors by David Long, illustrated by Kerry Hyndman. Faber Children’s
ISBN 9780571316014

What is Poetry? by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Jill Calder. Walker Books, ISBN 9781844287635

Who Are Refugees and Migrants? by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young. Wayland, ISBN 9780750299855

The Dementia Diaries by Matthew Snyman and Social Innovation Lab, Kent. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ISBN 9781785920325

Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton. Franklin Watts, ISBN 9781445150444

Voices from the Second World War by Various/First News. Walker Books, ISBN 9781406360110

The shortlists will be announced in approximately 1 month.

Further Information

To find out more about the SLA Information Book Award, explore:

  • How the Award works
  • Resources to accompany the Award:
    Useful guides, lesson plans and templates to help schools and reading groups work with Information Books

Sponsors

The SLA Information Book Award is run entirely on sponsorship kindly donated by friends and supporters of the Award. No money is taken from the SLA budget so all staff time, the cost of the judging, prizes for the winners and the final award ceremony must be covered by the sponsors' donations.

Hachette GroupThe SLA Information Book Award is sponsored by Hachette Children's Group and is supported by Peters Books and Furniture.