Children don’t read enough

We often see in the press that children don’t read frequently enough and that parents are worried they are not reading to their children. But why does this matter?

Research has shown that reading for pleasure not only improves educational outcomes but also increases empathy skills and improves wellbeing. Recent Ofsted inspection reports have also started to highlight the importance of embedding reading for pleasure in the school’s literacy policy.

Why take part in the Juniper Book Awards?

The Juniper Book Awards (JBA) are the ideal way to get more students to read widely and for pleasure. Our Education Resources Librarians select six recently published fiction titles. Chosen to appeal to and be age-appropriate for students in upper KS2 and KS3, they include a range of genres and new authors. Students then read, discuss, debate and review the books before voting for their favourite.
This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Awards are being run virtually and we have added additional activities, resources and prizes to help you encourage pupils and staff to take part. As well as the established Awards for Best Book Trailer, Best Book Reviews and Most Innovative School, the new Creative Award will be awarded for a piece of work or performance inspired by one of the shortlisted titles – this might be a dance or drama performance, a musical composition, a piece of artwork or poem.

Also included:

  • Short drama scripts based on each of the books
  • Hints and Tips on Running the Award in a COVID secure way
  • Additional follow-up activities for each title
  • A copy of each of the books on our shortlist
  • Access to the book review forum where pupils, staff and authors can review and discuss titles
  • Online voting
  • Bookmarks

But don’t take our word for it….

“This is the best book award around. The best children's book as voted for by children - why would anyone do it any other way? Can't wait for the short list to be revealed. Really looking forward to the activities too and the opening of the blog site. It is lovely to see what students from all schools have to say about the books and so much fun when the authors join in too. My students and I are waiting with bated breath for the fun to start.”

Brentwood County High School

“We participated in this last year and the children loved reading the books by the different authors. I literally had them queuing up for new ones and we had to buy an extra set, so we had enough to go around. The benefits from reading the books was immense and we loved being able to take part in the vote.”

Radwinter C of E VA Primary School

So where do we sign up?

The Awards run from October 2020 to March 2021 when all the winners will be announced at a Virtual Award Ceremony.

To find out more, see this year’s shortlisted titles and to sign-up visit the Juniper Book Awards page

Allison King

Allison King

Allison King is a Chartered Librarian for the Education Resources Service at Juniper Education. Allison has many years of experience working in research libraries in the finance sector, children’s libraries in primary schools and the Public Library. She runs the well established Juniper Book Award and enjoys reading stories on the Storytelling Bookbus.