Founded by the 'Just About Books' teachers' book group, the North Somerset Teachers' Book Award was born out of a desire to celebrate the very best in children's literature.
Linked to the 'Federation of Children's Book Groups' North Somerset branch, Just About Books meets regularly to read, discuss and recommend children's literature, usually while eating cake and biscuits! Constantly asked for recommendations for books to use in the classroom and at home, we decided that there is a need for an award aimed directly at teachers to support them in the role they play in developing reading for pleasure and creating life long readers.
The categories are...
We thought long and hard about this and came up with many different category areas- graphic novels, dyslexic friendly, younger readers, middle reader, wordless titles...
In the end, we decided to settle on the following because we felt they incorporate all types of texts.
The quality of picture books available at the moment makes this the hardest category to make a selection for. The perfect book for us is one that not only looks and feels beautiful, has a strong story, but also offers that extra something special that will captivate and inspire children to enjoy reading.
Everybody loves a good story! However, some of the best stories are not ones that read aloud well. This category is looking for titles which lend themselves to being shared with an audience-whether big or small. There is a magic in creating a special bond by reading together and it takes the right book to achieve this. That is what we are looking for in this category.
Love it or hate it, poetry is an essential part of a child's literary diet. Children need a range of poems that are accessible and they can engage with in variety of ways and on different levels. We would love to find a collection by one or many poets that offers a whole spectrum of styles and topics.
In a time when there is information everywhere, instantly available at the click of a button, non-fiction books have never been more important. They need to captivate and inspire; inform and interest; entertain and educate. Strong illustrations and interactivity play a huge part in presenting information in an accessible way. Whatever the subject matter, the winner here will need to reach out and grab the reader.
Choosing books for use in the classroom needs great care. A strong text can be used so successfully as a framework for opportunities for a great variety of written work, drama, poetry, artwork, discussion, research... you name it! This category winner needs to be beautifully written an all round fabulous book.
There comes a time when children feel the need for a more challenging read, but are (perhaps) not ready for older teen/ YA fiction. This category is aimed at supporting them to find a satisfying read appropriate to this stage. Whilst we are not suggesting these for class reading, we would recommend them for more able readers who are ready for 'moving on.'