A book award where the kids (YOUR KIDS!) decide who wins

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 9

The Red House Children’s Book Awards (which have been given every year since 1981) are special and fairly unusual in the world of children’s literature prizes; the recipients of the award are selected entirely by (UK) children, not by adults.

There are three categories – Younger Children, Younger Readers and Older Readers – and from the winners of these, an overall winner is selected.

The 2012 Shortlist for each category was announced today.

Shortlisted Books for Younger Children

  • Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice by Chris Wormell (which I reviewed here)

  • Rollo and Ruff and the Little Fluffy Bird by Mick Inkpen

  • Peely Wally by Kali Stileman (which I reviewed here)

  • Don’t Worry Douglas by David Melling

  • Shortlisted Books for Younger Readers

  • The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon

  • One Dog and his Boy by Eva Ibbotson

  • Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis

  • Shortlisted Books for Older Readers

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

  • Grace by Morris Gleitzman


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    Theses shortlists are exciting, but what is really exciting is that now any children you share books with (whether they are your own children, children you teach, children you volunteer with) can become judges.


    All the kids need to do is :

    (1) read the books in any category they like (or in the case of the picture books, have the books read to them),
    (2) then rank the books in order of preference and
    (3) then register their vote (ranking order) either by sending it to me or by voting on the Red House Children’s Book Award website by January 20th 2012 (Cast your vote here as an individual, cast your votes here if you are a group).

    Once votes have been added up, the winner in each category will be announced on 18th February at an award ceremony at the Southbank Centre in London

    Children can vote in any category regardless of their age as long as they have read all books in any given category.

    Parents and homeschoolers – you could get your children at home to vote!

    Teachers – you could do class-wide or even school-wide reading groups and voting!

    Scout/Guide leaders / Librarians / Volunteer parent readers – you could get the kids you work with involved in voting!

    If you would like to support any children you live or work with to vote, you can use these voting slips for Younger Children (or this alternative, created by Library Mice), Younger Readers and Older Readers if you wish, but there is no requirement for you to do so. Please make sure you rank all books within a category, and please note no two books can receive the same ranking.

    I shall be getting the children I read to at M and J’s school voting over the next few weeks (I’ll be writing a post shortly about exactly how I’m going about that). If you’re interested in helping children you’re involved take part in the Red House Children’s Book Award and have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch either via email or via the comments below – I’d be happy to help in any way I can. There are also resources for those interested in getting involved on the Red House Children’s Book Award website.

    The Red House Children’s Book Award is owned and coordinated by The Federation of Children’s Book Groups, whose Executive Committee I’m thrilled to be joining in January.

    9 Responses

    1. Nice to see Mick Inkpen included – I love his work.
      Just retweeted your tweet about this post.

    2. Hi Barbara, and this story of his is really lovely – I’ll be reviewing it on the blog next week all being well. Thanks for tweeting!

    3. Thanks Library Mice. Some biblotheque dwelling rodents helped me quite a lot with it 🙂

    4. They are very useful rodents to have around :0)

    5. Oh my goodness!! I had no idea about this award- how absolutely fabulous!! Interestingly, I just checked for many of these titles at both the library and Amazon and they haven’t arrived on this side of the Atlantic yet… Bummer!

    6. I know! I was so excited! I’d pulled up my library site and Amazon and was all ready to order them all so we could ‘play’ and then I discovered the problem. So interesting (and sad!) to think about all the wonderful book we are missing! Thank you for letting me know about one of your favorites and you are right- this one I can get and I will!

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