12 April 2021 Share
COVID-19 may have once again prevented the impact of each book being assessed in classrooms, but teacher judges have managed to maintain their enthusiastic reading and sharing. As Chris Lockwood, Chair of the Book Awards, said “The UKLA has been enormously impressed by the commitment and resilience of our teacher judges and group leaders for the 2021 Book Awards. Despite the difficulties of printing and distribution of our longlisted books during the pandemic, as well as school closures and home learning, they have kept in touch with each other and their pupils with skill and enthusiasm, and produced four varied, diverse and scintillating shortlists.”
The judging criteria call for the selection to be from a “wide and inclusive range” of publishers and for books which “recognise a broad range of perspectives, experiences and voices” and this is reflected in all four categories with themes of diversity, inclusion, empathy and inspiration all represented amongst books which have proved effective in engaging readers, even when shared remotely.
The shortlists have both past winners and dazzling debuts vying for the prizes, with the possibility of Morag Hood winning for an unprecedented third time and both Elizabeth Wein and Patrick Ness could join the ranks of double winners.
12 teachers nominated from the 70 involved in the shortlisting will now form the final judging panel and have the challenging task of reading all the shortlisted books in all categories. The winner’s announcement will take place at the Virtual UKLA International Conference on July 2nd but it is hoped that a live celebration and presentation of the awards will take place later in the year.
The Shortlists in full:
Find out more by visiting the UKLA website.