The UKLA Book Award longlists published today exemplify the award criteria’s aim of encouraging teachers’ knowledge of high-quality children’s books, that can reflect all identities and promote diversity and although the lists do have well established and prizewinning authors and big publishers, it is very often the small independent publishers and the extraordinary debuts that stand out from the crowd. There are 37 publishing houses, and even more imprints, represented in this list which is a real testament to the strength of children’s publishing.

Publishers, both big and small, are obviously keen to submit to this award, which is the only national children’s book awards to be judged by teachers and consequently of great interest to fellow teachers in schools around the UK. The summer reading challenge for the initial selection panels (composed of experienced past teacher judges, ex-teachers, librarians, and consultants) was to read the combined record- breaking total of 500 submissions, across the four categories of these awards. Publishers can submit up to three titles in each category and Barrington Stoke in the 7-10+ category and Hot Key Books in 11-14+ succeeded in having all three of their books longlisted. Bloomsbury have repeated their feat of having books longlisted in every category and this year Andersen Press have matched this remarkable achievement. But it is equally notable to celebrate the first appearance of small publishers such as Hashtag Press in the 7-10 category and to see the success of Lantana’s first middle grade fiction in the same category.

Awards Chair, Christine Lockwood, said “We always approach this difficult but exciting task with great anticipation. The longlisting team were challenged to select from a very rich and exceptional list of submissions this year and they have come up with four sparkling longlists. It was a joy to meet the majority of our committed, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic longlisters in person, rather than via digital platforms. I would like to thank them for their hard work over the summer. The longlists will now pass to our teams of teacher judges and their group leaders in Brighton and the South East, and I can't wait to share these books with them over the next year."

This year there are 84 judges covering the four categories and they have until mid- March to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils. All the groups will then meet, hopefully in person, for the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of 6 books in each category.

Headteachers welcomed the opportunity to receive new books for their schools and for their teachers to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles and in several cases have teachers across the whole school involved. 54 schools in total will be impacted by this injection of quality texts to inspire learning and reading for pleasure. For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a selection of new children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do.

UKLA are grateful for the continued support of the award sponsors, which help the awards to grow and develop each year. Reading Cloud and LoveReading4kids, recognise the value of the judging experience for schools and teachers:

“A roll call of the great and the good in children's literature as well as some of our newcomers and stars of the future, what a list of authors and illustrators. The UKLA continues to do what it does best, engaging with and supporting teachers across our nation and shouting about the best children's books being published today. This is another outstanding longlist for the 2024 UKLA Awards, it's a brilliant selection of books that deserve to be celebrated and we are proud to be involved and help them shine. Now, more than ever, what the UKLA does to engage, delight, educate and inspire our teachers to become reading teachers, is a critical and wonderful thing. Seeing the impact these books have on the children in the classroom setting is an inspiration and shows the importance of getting high quality newly published books in the hands of our children. Books where they can all find themselves reflected. The awards are equally valuable for anyone with a child in their life to help find their next favourite book and encourage reading for pleasure. Congratulations to everyone who is longlisted, we can't wait to find out the winners, but whoever takes those coveted trophies home, these children's books are all stars.

And don't forget you can buy all of them on LoveReading4Kids, and receive 10% off RRPs and donate 25% of your spend to a school close to your heart." - Deborah Maclaren Managing Director of LoveReading4Kids

“Reading Cloud are really delighted to support these worthwhile and unique children’s book awards as co-sponsors again this year. We are always heartened to see so many dedicated teacher judges all over the UK working with the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books to inspire a love of reading in their pupil groups and beyond. Encouraging reading for enjoyment and improving literacy are very much at the heart of Reading Cloud and through our platform, pupils can review and recommend books, sharing their enthusiasm for reading through a variety of accessible and engaging tools and features.”

Longlist, fiction for ages 3-6+
Speak Up written by Nathan Bryon and illustrated by Dapo Adeola
A Ticket to Kalamazoo! Zippy Poems to Read Out Loud written by James Carter and illustrated by Neal Layton
You're So Amazing written by James & Lucy Catchpole and illustrated by Karen George
Budgie written by Joseph Coelho and illustrated by David Barrow
Fox & Son Tailers written and illustrated by Paddy Donnelly
The Hare-Shaped Hole written by John Dougherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
Maybe You Might written by Imogen Foxell and illustrated by Anna Cunha
10 Dogs written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
Gory Rory Fangface Needs a Kiss written by Ziggy Hanaor and illustrated by Ollie Silvester
Martha Maps It Out written and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson
The Perfect Present written and illustrated by Petr Horáček
Lost written and illustrated by Mariajo Ilustrajo
I say Oh, You say No written and illustrated by John Kane
Who Ate All the Bugs? Written and illustrated by Matty Long
The Goat and the Stoat and the Boat written by Em Lynas and illustrated by Matt Hunt
The Wilderness written and illustrated by Steve McCarthy
What Feelings Do When No One's Looking written and translated by Tina Oziewicz and illustrated by Aleksandra Zajac
Don’t Be Silly written and illustrated by Padmacandra
Faruq and the Wiri Wiri written by Sophia Payne and illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat
Five Bears written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner
The Zebra's Great Escape written by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Sarah Ogilvie
Dadaji's Paintbrush written by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane
Tap! Tap! Tap! Dance! Dance! Dance! Written and illustrated by Hervé Tullet and translated by Christopher Franceschelli
Dick the Delightful Duck written by Kaye Umansky and illustrated by Ben Mantle
The Artist written and illustrated by Ed Vere

Longlist, fiction for ages 7-10+
Birdsong written by Katya Balen and illustrated by Richard Johnson
The Song Walker written by Zillah Bethell and illustrated by Saara Katariina Söderlund
Call Me Lion written by Camilla Chester and illustrated by Irina Avgustinovich
Swimming on the Moon written by Brian Conaghan
How to be More Hedgehog written by Anne Marie Conway and illustrated by Danielle Dey
The Rescue of Ravenwood written by Natasha Farrant
Digging for Victory written by Cathy Faulkner
Wildsmith: Into the Dark Forest written by Liz Flanagan and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton
Can you Feel the Noise written by Stewart Foster
If You Read This written by Kereen Getten
Finn Jones Was Here written by Simon James Green and illustrated by Jennifer Jamieson
The Stories Grandma Forgot (and How I Found Them) written by Nadine Aisha Jassat and illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat
The Wishkeeper's Apprentice written by Rachel Chivers Khoo and illustrated by Rachel Sanson
A Passing On of Shells written by Simon Lamb and illustrated by Chris Riddell
Moonflight written by Gill Lewis and illustrated by Pippa Curnick
Jodie written by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Keith Robinson
Spellstone written by Ross Montgomery
Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask written by Shiko Nguru and illustrated by Melissa McIndoe
Where the River Takes Us written by Lesley Parr and illustrated by David Dean
Bertie and the Alien Chicken written by Jenny Pearson and illustrated by Aleksie Bitskoff
Paradise Sands written and illustrated by Levi Pinfold
The Twig Man written by Sana Rasoul
House of Shells written by Efua Traoré
Cuckoo Summer written by Jonathan Tulloch
The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger written by J.T. Williams and illustrated by Simone Douglas

Longlist, fiction for ages 11- 14+
The Door of No Return written by Kwame Alexander
Warrior Girl Unearthed written by Angeline Boulley
Away with Words written by Sophie Cameron
Choose Love written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Petr Horáček
Crossing the Line written by Tia Fisher
The Way of Dog written by Zana Fraillon and illustrated by Sean Buckingham
Wild Song written by Candy Gourlay
Unraveller written by Frances Hardinge
Leila and the Blue Fox written by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and illustrated by Tom de Freston
The Lorikeet Tree written by Paul Jennings
As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow written by Zoulfa Katouh
The Battle of Cable Street written by Tanya Landman
Steady for This written by Nathanael Lessore
You Think You Know Me written by Ayaan Mohamud
Children of the Stone City written by Beverley Naidoo
Different for Boys written by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Tea Bendix
Oxygen Mask written by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Jason Griffin
The Haunting of Tyrese Walker written by JP Rose
Tyger written by SF Said and illustrated by Dave McKean
I Must Betray You written by Ruta Sepetys
The Silver Chain written by Jion Sheibani
HappyHead written by Josh Silver
The Notorious Scarlett and Browne written by Jonathan Stroud
All My Rage written by Sabaa Tahir
Brown Girl Dreaming written by Jacqueline Woodson

Longlist Information Books for ages 3-14+
Unspoken written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Dare Coulter
Lands of Belonging: A History of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Britain written by Vikesh Amey Bhatt, and Donna Amey Bhatt and illustrated by Salini Perera
Africana written by Kim Chakanetsa and illustrated by Mayowa Alabi
One Little Bug written by Becky Davies and illustrated by Jacob Souva
Lessons From Our Ancestors written by Raksha Dave and illustrated by Kimberlie Clinthorne-Wong
Very Short Introductions for Curious Young Minds: The Amazing Power of Activism written by Lily Dyu and illustrated by Ekaterina Gorelova and Ana Seixas
Honest written by Milly Evans and illustrated by Lucia Picerno
The Truth Detective written by Tim Hartford and illustrated by Ollie Mann
A is for Bee written and illustrated by Ellen Heck
Medicine written by Briony Hudson and illustrated by Nick Taylor
Human 2.0 written by Patrick Kane and illustrated by Sam Rodriguez
We Are Palestinian written by Reem Kassis and illustrated by Noha Eilouti
Amy Gets Eaten written by Adam Kay and illustrated by Henry Paker
Nomads: Life on the Move written and illustrated by Kinchoi Lam
The Boy Who Didn't Want to Die written by Peter Lantos
Our Story Starts in Africa written by Patrice Lawrence and illustrated by Jeanetta Gonzales
Explodapedia: The Cell written by Ben Martynoga and illustrated by Moose Allain
A Wild Child's Book of Birds written by Dara MacAnulty and illustrated by Barry Falls
Whose Tracks in the Snow? Written and illustrated by Alexandra Milton
Saving Hn'on: Chang and the Elephant written by Trang Nguyen and illustrated by Jeet Zdung
A History of Words for Children written by Mary Richards and illustrated by Rose Blake
This Book Will Save The Planet written by Dany Sigwalt and illustrated by Aurélia Durand
Engineers Making a Difference written by Shini Somara and illustrated by Manual Šumberac and Adam Allsuch Boardman
Darwin & Hooker written by Alexandra Stewart and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton
Every Word Tells a Story written by Tom Read Wilson and illustrated by Ian Morris

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