CICBA · Reading for Pleasure · School Libraries · Ways to Inspire Reading

Channel Island Children’s Book Award



The Schools’ Library Service in Guernsey has been wanting to run a Book Award that local children can fully take part in for a while now. We have followed the Carnegie and Greenaway Awards for many years but lately, it has become harder to use these awards to share with groups in schools. Mainly because the categories do not fall into age groups that fit with our school groups. The Greenaway award is for the best-illustrated book, which we follow with our primary school children. We are finding more and more that there are books on this shortlist that are more suitable for secondary children which then makes it difficult to organise and arrange groups.

A local book award would enable us to select our own categories and age groups, whilst allowing children to nominate and vote for their own winning book. Most importantly it would give our children greater input and ownership of the whole process.

Setting up a Book Award is a big venture and even though we have a lot of experience at SLS Guernsey we were not quite ready to take that leap into the unknown. Last November Elizabeth, our Head of Service attended the ASCEL (Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians) conference where she met many from SLS’s across the UK who are already running their own awards,  Warwickshire SLS Book Award and Worcestershire Awesomest Book Award are two that stand out but there are many others out there, if they can do it then why couldn’t we?

A chance meeting, at this same conference, with Cathy Bithell from Jersey library led to a conversation about how they both wanted to create a book award. It made perfect sense to team up and create an award that would include all Channel Island children.

Over the last few months, several planning meetings have taken place and decisions been made:-

  • We wanted to start small so chose to run with only one category in the first year. We decided to target children between the age of 9-12 who are in Yr 5,6 and 7. In choosing these year groups we were hoping to catch the interest of those children who generally don’t take part in the Summer Reading Challenge. We hope this will give them a reason to read over the summer.
  • We decided on a timetable.
  • Agreed that the first award ceremony will be in Jersey.
  • Created our own website and social media accounts.
  • We created our own bookmarks and posters.
  • We have planned our marketing strategy.
  • We have started looking for sponsorship, we are still looking so if anyone is interested please get in touch.

We are very excited that we are now only 12 days away from the launch with the website opening for nominations on the 2nd July.

picture image of timetable for blog

For more information please look at our new website. If you know any children between the ages of 9-12 then ask them to check out our criteria, get reading and nominating before the 26th of October. Help us to make this the beginning of something special for the Channel Island children.




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