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James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2020

20th January 2020

The shortlist features the must-read children’s books for 2020, with the winner chosen by Hull's young people.

The award, which began 13 years ago, aims to foster a love of reading by introducing young people to new writers and titles they might not normally pick up.

Providing inspiration to parents, teachers and children, a delivery of these titles will be distributed to schools signed up to Hull Schools' Library Service this week, with author visits planned for the coming months. Children will then be invited to attend this year's award ceremony as part of the Big Malarkey Festival, where they will vote for their favourite story to decide who should be crowned the winner.

Separated into two age categories, the KS2 shortlist includes: D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer, Storm Hound by Claire Fayers, Charlie Changes into a Chicken by Sam Copeland, The Magic Place by Chris Wormell and Mr Tiger, Betsy and The Sea Dragon by Sally Gardner.

The KS3 shortlisted entries include: Pog by Padraig Kenny, Lost by Eve Ainsworth, Can you see me? by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott, The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods by Samuel J Halpin and Where the River Runs Gold by Sita Brahmachari.

Christine Hill, Principal Librarian at Hull Libraries, explained: “We’re delighted to announce the shortlisted entries for The James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award which is now in its 13th year.

“Over the course of last year, newly published titles, suitable for young people at Key Stage 2 and 3, were read by our army of volunteers, who reviewed each title and gave it a score. This information was then used to draw up our shortlist, with the winners announced at the Big Malarkey Festival.

“I believe we are the only library service to run a book award where it is a live vote by the children on the day. Encouraging young people to share their opinions about books and to engage in a positive debate is a great experience and one we’re extremely proud of.”

“The award also gives children the opportunity to meet the writers of the books they are reading, and to vote for their favourite, at The Big Malarkey Festival - which is an incredible experience and one that will help to foster a love of reading.”

All of the shortlisted books are available to borrow for free at Hull’s libraries.

Save the date for the fourth Big Malarkey Festival which takes place in East Park in Hull on 27 and 28 June 2020 for more information visit

For further information contact [email protected]