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We are delighted to sponsor the first Children's Literature Festivals Book Awards 2023

"The Book Awards is an opportunity for children to be exposed to a wide range of books. There is a selection of picture, children, young adults, and poetry books. I never like to put age ranges on books as all children are different and learn at differing stages."

 

While intended to be enjoyed for amusement and relaxation, stories also hold a much more vital societal role.

Stories can change lives; they are pivotal in expanding awareness of the world around us and representing a familiar world. For children and young adults, stories can develop a love of reading and writing, provide opportunities for the reader to see themselves reflected within the text, and offer a view of experiences and lifestyles outside their own. 

This is why we were delighted when the opportunity arose for us to sponsor the first-ever Children’s Festival Book Awards.

The Book Awards are organised by Author and Trustee Christina Gabbitas, who felt a gap was left in the market once high-profile book awards, such as the Blue Peter Book Awards and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, were no longer running. 

Christina is passionate about supporting disadvantaged children to have access to various books to inspire a love of reading. That’s why she chose several libraries and ten primary schools from deprived areas to facilitate the voting for the awards. She wanted children to vote for the best book rather than literacy experts. 

Children and young people can vote for their favourite children’s books by visiting one of the libraries. Libraries involved include:

  • Brixton.
  • Keighley.
  • Thorntree(Middlesbrough). 
  • Toxteth (Liverpool Libraries).
  • Oswaldtwistle (Accrington Lancashire, Lancashire Libraries).
  • Layton (Blackpool Libraries). 
  • Blackburn with Darwen. 
  • Selby (North Yorkshire Libraries). 
  • Freedom Centre. 
  • Hull.
  • Oldham (Greater Manchester).

 

Christina Gabbitas, Founder of the Children’s Literature Festivals Book Awards and author and trustee, said: “Growing up in a deprived area, I felt valued by my parents but not by the wider society. I felt judged, not for who I was, but because of where I grew up. 

“The Book Awards is an opportunity for children to be exposed to a wide range of books. There is a selection of picture, children, young adults, and poetry books. I never like to put age ranges on books as all children are different and learn at differing stages.”

Christina hopes that The Children’s Literature Festivals Book Awards grows to become an annual initiative that helps all children, particularly those who are disadvantaged.  

She continued: “The response so far has been amazing from children, teachers, authors and librarians who are all getting involved in helping spread a love of reading and words. We have over 1,000 votes to date.”

“Having Reading Solutions UK as a sponsor is very fitting with my messages of accelerating, developing and spreading the love of reading in children of all abilities. Reading and knowledge are power, not just educationally but socially and emotionally, making Reading Solutions UK the perfect partner to instil confidence in our readers.”

Ian Fitzpatrick, Managing Director at Reading Solutions UK, said:  “We are passionate about making a difference and seek opportunities to do so to improve outcomes for schools, educators, and young learners. We are delighted to sponsor the first Children’s Book Awards to introduce more children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, to the joys of reading. We know the impact reading for pleasure has on children and will always champion initiatives like this.”

 

More about the Book Awards

Timeline

During October 2022, publishers were invited to submit a maximum of 5 chosen UK-authored titles per category to be sent to the selected primary schools and local libraries for children to read.

Children can read the selected books until the end of April 2023 and submit feedback on each book. 

After reading the books, children can submit their physical or online feedback on the title. Children will be asked to rate their book out of 10 (1 = did not enjoy, 10 = loved it) and have the option to leave a comment on why they gave the score they did.

The top ten books and winning titles per category will be published online on 15th May 2023. 

Categories

 Traditionally published:

  • Picture Book
  • Illustrated Young Reader book
  • Young Reader
  • Poetry Book

Independently published:

  • Picture/Illustrated
  • Young Reader  

Teachers Choice Awards:

  • Picture Book
  • Illustrated Young Reader book
  • Young Reader

 

 

To find out more about the book awards, click here!

 

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