The Importance Of Following Children’s Literature Awards And Prizes

For booksellers, educators, parents, and anyone passionate about nurturing a love for reading in youngsters, following established children’s literature awards and prizes is both a fun pastime and an exceptionally valuable resource.

These accolades not only recognise outstanding authors and illustrators but also provide guidance for promoting reading for pleasure and selecting the best books for school libraries, classrooms, and home reading. Award shortlists also provide an excellent talking point for book clubs, plus can be influential for planning school topics themed to a specific title, or determining which authors and illustrators to invite for a school visit.

Here we explore why teachers should closely follow these literary honours.

1. Curating Exceptional Reading Material:

The main benefit of following children’s literature awards is the opportunity to select top-quality books for young readers. These awards acknowledge excellence in writing, illustration, and storytelling, ensuring that books recognised are not only entertaining but also educational and thought-provoking – a goldmine for teachers looking to enrich their students reading experiences.

2. Encouraging Discussion and Exploration:

Book award shortlists and winners are excellent conversation starters in the classroom. Teachers can use these selections to generate discussions and encourage children to explore different genres and themes, as well as exchange ideas, critique literature and broaden their reading horizons.

3. Promoting a Love for Reading:

Children’s literature awards promote reading for pleasure. By introducing children to books that have received critical acclaim, educators can ignite a passion for reading that extends beyond academic requirements. These books have the power to captivate young readers and make them lifelong book enthusiasts.

4. Author and Illustrator Spotlight:

Awards highlight both established and emerging talent in the world of children’s literature. This spotlight allows teachers to identify authors and illustrators whose works resonate with their pupils. It can lead to further exploration of an author’s body of work or the discovery of new voices that connect with young readers.

5. Informing Parent Recommendations:

Parents often ask teachers to recommend titles to enhance their children’s reading. Following children’s literature awards enables educators to stay up-to-date with recently published titles recognised for their quality. This knowledge helps teachers guide parents toward suitable, engaging books.

6. Celebrating Diversity and Inclusivity:

Many modern awards prioritise diversity and inclusivity in children’s literature, celebrating books that feature characters from varied ethnicities and backgrounds and addressing important personal and social topics. This not only mirrors the diverse world we live in but also embeds empathy and kindness in young readers.

7. Educational Opportunities:

The Young Quills Award and the NE Book Awards focus on historical fiction and engage students in learning about different time periods and cultures through literature. These awards offer teachers educational opportunities to incorporate history and other subjects into their reading curriculum.

UK Children’s Literature Awards