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James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2021

27th January 2021

The shortlist for James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2021 is announced as books continue to provide escapism.

This year’s shortlist features ten varied titles, from fantasy to realism, featuring books that respond to the current mood.

The award, which began 14 years ago, aims to foster a love of reading by introducing Hull’s 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 once again be distributed to schools signed up to Hull Schools' Library Service, with virtual author visits planned for coming months.

In a normal year, children would decide the winning stories in a live vote at the Big Malarkey Festival; however, this year the vote will take place virtually, as plans for the Big Malarkey are being finalised.

Separated into two age categories, the KS2 shortlist includes:

  • The Highland Falcon Thief, M G Leonard & Sam Sedgman
  • Troofriend, Kirsty Applebaum
  • My Headteacher is an Evil Genius, Jack Noel
  • Pests, Emer Stamp
  • Granny Magic, Elka Evalds

The KS3 shortlisted entries include:

  • Orphans of the Tide, Struan Murray
  • Nothing Ever Happens Here, Sarah Hagger-Holt
  • The Boy with the Butterfly Mind, Victoria Williamson
  • Orion Lost, Alastair Chisholm
  • After the War, Tom Palmer
JRHCBA SHORTLIST KS2 2021
JRHCBA SHORTLIST KS3 2021

Cllr Marjorie Brabazon, Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure Board, explained: “With everything that’s going on we’re even more delighted to announce the shortlisted entries for The James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award. Books continue to provide the perfect escapism for both children and parents. This award has been running for 13 years, so we didn’t want to let Covid stop us from running it this year. As we enter a third lockdown, the awards will provide a timely escape from long winter days at home.”

Over the course of last year, newly published titles, suitable for young people at Key Stage 2 and 3, were read by Hull Libraries’ army of volunteers, who reviewed and scored each title. This information was then used to draw up the shortlist.

Marjorie continued: “While the voting will take place virtually this year, the winners will still be decided by the children of Hull as we encourage young people to share their opinions about books. Participating in a positive debate is a great experience and one we want to continue to promote. The award will also give children the opportunity to engage with writers of the books they are reading. However, this year instead of bringing the children to the authors, the sessions will be streamed live into the classroom.”

All of the shortlisted books will shortly be available to borrow for free at Hull’s libraries via the ‘Select and Collect’ service.

Hull’s School Library Service has continued to work throughout lockdown, providing vital support in what was an incredibly challenging year for staff and students. Since students returned to school in September, it experienced its busiest term ever, with over 1,300 boxes of resources distributed to schools across the city. It has also continued to deliver 32 virtual author visits in its ‘An Author a Month’ programme, as well as revamping three school libraries.

During this third lockdown, the service is continuing to provide resources, curriculum support and other exciting opportunities to promote a love of reading in its member schools.

For further information contact [email protected]