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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 award ceremonies 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.

  • Shortlist for the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2020 announced - January 2020
  • KS2 Voting ceremony (7-11 year olds) - The Big Malarkey Festival - Tuesday 23 June 2020 *
  • KS3 Voting ceremony (11-14 year olds) - The Big Malarkey Festival - Wednesday 24 June 2020 *

* PLEASE NOTE - due to restrictions now affecting us all, some changes have had to be made to this year’s James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award. The KS3 Book Award will reconvene when the secondary schools return, whilst the KS2 event is turning digital! Click here to find out more >*


KS2 Shortlist: KS3 Shortlist:
  • Charlie Changes into a Chicken – Sam Copeland

  • D-Day Dog – Tom Palmer *WINNER*

  • The Magic Place – Chris Wormell

  • Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Sea Dragon – Sally Gardner

  • Storm Hound – Claire Fayers  

  • Can you see me? – Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott

  • Lost – Eve Ainsworth

  • The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods – Samuel J Halpin

  • Pog – Padraig Kenny

  • Where the River Runs Gold – Sita Brahmachari

2019 Winners // KS2: The Creakers - Tom Fletcher // KS3: Night Speakers - Ali Sparkes / Armistice Runner - Tom Palmer
2018 Winners // KS2: The Matilda Effect - Ellie Irving // KS3: All the Things That Could Go Wrong - Stewart Foster 
2017 Winners // KS2: The War Next Door - Phil Earle // KS3: The Best Medicine - Christine Hamill

James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2019

James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2018

James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2017

Photos by Jerome Whittingham -

Join one of six amazing artists in the free Young Explorers taster sessions with @hull_libraries via Zoom starting……