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Encouraging book talk in the school library
Encouraging book talk in the school library

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3 Book awards

Members of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals will be familiar with the Carnegie medal, which is awarded for an outstanding children's book each year.

The BookTrust website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] lists a variety of different awards for children's books and, although the majority are judged by publishers and critics, some involve children in the selection process. You might like to investigate how you can get your own pupils involved in selecting books for awards.

Although the Carnegie Medal winner is selected by a panel of librarians, children from all over the UK shadow the process and make recommendations. Look at the Carnegie website for further information about the awards.

The Waterstones Children's Book Prize aims to uncover hidden talent in children's writing, awarding prizes in various different categories to authors who are still relatively new voices.

The Blue Peter Book Awards are run by the BBC programme in collaboration with the public library project Reading Relay. The awards include judges’ awards and voters’ awards.

The Children's Book Award, from the Federation of Children's Book Groups, is chosen by nominations from children throughout the UK.

Some local library services have established their own awards and these are totally chosen by children. Take a look at facilities in your local area to find out if something like this is available.

Activity 3

Plan to get your own pupils involved in choosing books they think should get an award.

You might like to shadow the Carnegie Medal, or get involved with Reading Relay and Blue Peter.

The criteria for the selection of the Carnegie Medal provide a useful checklist for those wanting to think about why a book is good.

Click on "view document" below to see these criteria.

You could establish your own school's award. Any author would be glad to hear that their book had been chosen by a group of children – even if there was no huge monetary prize!