One of the ways which school librarians increase the excitement around reading and books is to participate in local book awards. These have been set up, usually with a partnership with public libaries. Generally, several schools in a geographical area take part in these awards, and then announce their own winners. Some of these Awards have become very big, and some remain very local. Doncaster Book Awards have recently announced their winner, which was ‘The Thornthwaite Inheritance’ by Gareth P. Jones. The rest of the shortlist can be seen on their website. Another local book award which is taking place at the moment is the Southwark Book Awards. This award was set up to be a bridge between primary and secondary schools, and involves pupils in Years 6 and 7. The award also reaches out to public libraries, involving them through ‘Chatterbooks’. The 6 shortlisted books are on their website now, and winners will be announced at the end of the school year. The Phoenix Book Award also involves Years 6 and 7 pupils in Lambeth, and takes place at the beginning of the school year. The Northern Ireland Book Awards have also just had their grand finale, with Chris Bradford’s ‘The Ring of Earth’ winning the prize. Some book awards have different criteria than latest books published. The newly formed Maidstone Area Book Awards have ‘Journeys’ as their theme, and will have their first award and presentation in May this year. Have a look at our page to read more about the local book awards in Berkshire and Sheffield. Also there is the exciting ‘Stan Lee Excelsior Award’, just starting this year for graphic novels, with judging due later in the school year. Perhaps this is something that your school participates in, or would like to do. Do get in touch with your success stories, and tell us about your experiences of local book awards.
According to a story in The Scotsman today, JK Rowling is actively considering making the Harry Potter books available on Kindles and IPads. She has resisted such a move before. Will this see arise in popularity for ereaders in schools – and more importantly, will publishers of children’s books finally make their books available to schools to lend in the same way as public libaries already do?