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James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award

The highlight of the children’s literature calendar in Hull.

The James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award aims to:

  • Foster a love of reading by introducing young people to new writers and titles they might not normally pick up
  • Encourage reading outside of school and the number of young people using libraries
  • Encourage young people to share their opinions about the books they are reading, listen to the opinions of others and engage in positive debate about the titles
  • Provide an exclusive opportunity for young people to experience a large scale literature event and meet the writers of the books they are reading

Over the course of a year newly published titles, suitable for young people at Key Stage 2 and 3, are read by an army of volunteers. The volunteers review each title they read and score it. This information is then used to draw up a shortlist.

Between January and April of the following year the Hull Library Service donates copies of the shortlisted titles to participating schools for children to read. The writers of the shortlisted titles are also invited to the city to work with the young people.

There then follows two voting events in April and June where children are invited along to hear from the writers, share their opinions of the books and vote for their winning title. The votes are collated on the day and a specially commissioned artwork is presented to the winning writer.

Students can also achieve their Arts Award Discover by logging their thoughts and ideas in a special award diary.

James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award 2018 shortlist

KS2 Shortlist: KS3 Shortlist:
  • The Matilda Effect - Ellie Irving / * WINNER *
  • Kid Normal - Greg James & Chris Smith
  • Martha Mayhem and the Witch from the Ditch - Joanne Owen
  • Spy Toys - Mark Powers
  • Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure - A.L.Kennedy
  • All the Things That Could Go Wrong - Stewart Foster / * WINNER *
  • The Island at the End of Everything - Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Welcome to Nowhere - Elizabeth Laird
  • Evie’s Ghost - Helen Peters
  • The Incredible Billy Wild - Joanna Nadin
2017 Winners // KS2: The War Next Door - Phil Earle // KS3: The Best Medicine - Christine Hamill

James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2018

James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2017

Photos by Jerome Whittingham -

📝 The 2019 BBC National Short Story Award is open for submissions – with a first prize of £15,000 💶