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UKLA Book Awards 2023 | Staff Judges

What are the ULKA Book Awards?

The UKLA Book Awards are the only children's book awards that are judged by teachers. They seek to celebrate children's books in order to;

  • Encourage teachers to increase their professional and personal knowledge of recently published, high quality children's books.
  • Promote the place of books for young people in all educational settings from nursery to key stage 4.

The books selected for the award will be titles that teachers can share with pupils as part of a regular classroom experience to;

  • Read for pleasure.
  • Inspire extended responses from learners through discussion, creative interaction or understanding the wider curriculum.
  • Be the focus of study.
  • To enhance all aspects of literacy.

Stage 1 - Choosing the books.

During June '22' authors who had books published between 01/06/21 and 21/05/22 were invited to submit books by their publishers. Publishers were allowed to submit up to three titles for each of the following categories;

  • Fiction & Poetry Age 3-6+ 
  • Fiction & Poetry Age 7-10+
  • Fiction & Poetry Age 11-14+
  • Information Books Age 3-14+

An incredible 494 books were submitted over the four categories in which the initial selection panel (comprised of experienced past teacher judges, ex teachers, librarians and consultants) were challenged to read throughout the summer.

How did the staff at Mayflower get involved in the UKLA Book Awards?

Due to staff at Mayflower's love of reading, when the opportunity arose to become a teacher judge for the Book Awards, we jumped at the chance.

We signed up to become judges and soon after were put into groups in which we would be responsible for reading and reviewing all the listed books given in our category.

As a teacher judge we would be expected to;

  • Read all the books in our category as well as share the books with our class students.
  • Attend book groups and meetings to discuss and review the books that we were given.
  • Attend The Launch Meeting and other conferences in which the longlist of book submissions will be shortlisted to just six.

Stage 2 - The Launch Meeting

On the 24th September 2022. Mayflower Staff were invited to attend The Launch Meeting hosted by Christine Lockwood in Exeter. This was the beginning process of deciding which books would be the most deserving of this award. 

On entering the conference room, we were greeted by a member of the UKLA team who offered us refreshments before asking us to take our seats at one of the large tables that filled the room. Amongst a sea of faces, (some familiar, others not so familiar) stood out in all their glory at the forefront of the room, were the longlist of books waiting to be introduced and explored. 

After a long summers read, the leading judges had managed to whittle the original 494 books that were submitted, to just 88. This leaving only 22 books per category. We were now about to find out which of these books had successfully made it through to the longlist of 2023.

Proceeding the book introductions and an interval, in which we got to devour a delicious selection of sandwiches. We were introduced to our Team Leaders and the rest of our team of judges. This will be the team we will work alongside for the duration of the judging procedure. This will be the team who we will be reviewing these magnificent books with. This will be the team that gets to decide which books are the most deserving of the The UKLA Book Awards 2023.

Let the reading begin!


Mayflower's Book Club

Reading is wonderful. It takes us to new places, introduces us to new people and helps us to think new thoughts. Most reading, outside of school, is taken alone. Our school motto is, 'Together we can...', so we like to share and celebrate reading as a community. To help us to achieve this, we use an online tool called Padlet. This tool helps us to log and share the books that we are reading. Padlet has helped us to start our own online Book Club. Click on the images below to view what we are reading. You are also invited to share with us what is grabbing your attention too.

'Together we can...ignite the reader within'

MCA Children's Book Club

Click on the image above to take part in our online Children's Book Club. 

MCA Adult's Book Club

 Click on the image above to take part in our online Adult's Book Club.

MCA Professional Development Book Club

 Click on the image above to take part in our online Professional Development Book Club.