The winners of the UKLA Book Awards 2022 were announced on Friday 1st July at the UKLA’s International Conference in Birmingham. Judged entirely by teachers, the UKLA Book Awards celebrate exceptional books that can be used as part of regular classroom experience, making them a useful source of peer recommendation.
For the first time in the awards’ history, the judges chose joint winners for the Fiction and Poetry for 3-6+ category. While very different in tone and style, Barbara Throws a Wobbler by Nadia Shireen (Puffin Books) and The Invisible by Tom Percival (Simon & Schuster) were both considered exceptional books that deserved the highest accolade.
Katya Balen, already this year’s Yoto Carnegie Medal winner, won the Fiction and Poetry for 7-10+ category with her lyrical novel October, October, illustrated by Angela Harding (Bloomsbury). It was praised by the judges for its ‘beautiful use of language’ and the ‘strong emotional response’ that it provoked in all readers.
Equally powerful was the winner of the Fiction and Poetry for 11-14+ category Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (HarperCollins). This Yoto-Carnegie-shortlisted verse novel tells a true story of wrongful imprisonment that ‘reduced students to tears’.
The Information Books 3-14+ category was won by Nano, an ‘accessible and beautiful’ investigation of life in miniature by Dr Jess Wade, illustrated by Melissa Castrillon (Walker).
Commenting on this year’s awards, Chair Chris Lockwood said, ‘In such a difficult year for schools, it was wonderful to see first-hand and in person the commitment and passion of our teacher judges. The final panel of teacher judges spent a day in joyful and detailed debate about our four shortlists and have come up with some worthy winners.’
You can see the full shortlist for the UKLA Book Awards 2022 here.