UKLA Book Awards 2023 – Shortlists Announced!

12 April, 2023

The shortlists for this year’s UKLA Book Awards, the only UK children’s book awards that are judged entirely by teachers, were announced at the end of March. The awards celebrate exceptional children’s books that have a powerful impact both in the classroom and on individual readers.

An important aspect of the UKLA Book Awards is the opportunity they provide for teachers to read, share and discuss recently-published, high quality children’s books that recognise a broad range of perspectives, experiences and voices. Commenting on this year’s shortlists, Awards Chair Chris Lockwood said “Despite the challenges schools have been facing this year, it was a delight to see the energy, skill, knowledge and enthusiasm our teacher judges and their book group leaders brought to the task of finding their six favourite books from such wonderful and diverse longlists.”

There are four award categories: Fiction and Poetry for 3-6+ year-olds; Fiction and Poetry for 7-10 year-olds; Fiction and Poetry for 11-14+ year-olds; and Information Books for 3-14+ year-olds. Each shortlist consists of six titles which, this year, were chosen by teacher judges from the West Country. Teachers who are interested in being part of next year’s judging panel, and who are within travelling distance of Brighton, can resister their interest here.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators!

Cover images of the six shortlisted titles in the Fiction and Poetry 3-6 category

Fiction and Poetry for 3-6+ year-olds

Saving Mr Hoot by Helen Stephens (Alison Green Books)

Who Are You? by Smriti Halls, illustrated by Ali Pye (Farshore)

The Comet by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye Books)

Flooded  by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

Small’s Big Dream by Manjeet Mann, illustrated by Amanda Quartey (Harper Collins Children’s Books)

We’re Going to Find a Monster! by Malorie Blackman, illustrated by Dapo Adeola (Puffin)


Cover images of the six shortlisted titles in the Fiction and Poetry 7-10 category

Fiction and Poetry for 7-10 year-olds                                            

All to Play For by Eve Ainsworth, illustrated by Kirsti Beautyman (Barrington Stoke)

The Light in Everything by Katya Balen (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

The Lion Above the Door by Onjali Q Raúf (Orion Children’s Books)

The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Piccadilly Press)

Little Light by Coral Rumble (Troika Books)

The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery (Walker Books)


Cover images of the six shortlisted titles in the Fiction and Poetry 11-14 category

Fiction and Poetry for 11-14+ year-olds                                          

Tremendous Things by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner (Andersen Press)

The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros (Firefly Press)

Truth Be Told by Sue Divin (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston (Orion Children’s Books)

The Crossing by Manjeet Mann (Penguin)


Cover images of the six shortlisted titles in the Information book 3-14 category

Information Books for 3-14+ year-olds                                              

Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs by Jeffrey Boakye, illustrated by Ngadi Smart (Faber & Faber)

Earth’s Incredible Places: Amazon River by Sangma Francis, illustrated by Rômolo D’Hipólito (Flying Eye Books)

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue by William Grill (Flying Eye Books)

Here and Queer by Rowan Ellis, illustrated by Jacky Sheridan (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

The Greatest Show on Earth by Mini Grey (Puffin)

I am the Subway by Kim Hyo-eun, translated by Deborah Smith (Scribble UK)

The winners of this year’s UKLA Book Awards will be announced at the UKLA International Conference at the University of Exeter on June 23rd.