Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall looks at the titles in the running for the Children's Choice prize at the School Library Association Information Book Awards
Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...
Dear Reader. The School Library Association Information Book Award is in its 10th year. It is an initiative to celebrate and promote non-fiction.
There is a Children's Choice Award where children can vote for their favourite. To get your school involved, go to sla.org.uk.
Below are the books shortlisted this year that represent some of the best in children's and teen non-fiction.
Ages 7 and under
All About Feelings by Felicity Brooks
How are you feeling today? This lively and engaging exploration of emotions helps young children learn to answer this important question.
Topics covered include learning to describe feelings, how your feelings can change and being kind to yourself.
There are helpful notes for grown-ups at the back too and links to websites for more advice.
Goodnight Ocean by Becky Davies
Explore the depths of the ocean as you peep through the pages to watch sleepy sea creatures take their rest.
With lyrical rhyming text, intricate peep-through scenes and facts on every page, this beautiful board book will engage children as they discover different habitats.
Heroes Who Help Us From Around the World by Liz Gogerly & Ryan Wheatcroft
Think of a person who does a heroic job. Perhaps you're thinking of a firefighter who puts out burning buildings, or a doctor who makes sick people better?
These people are definitely heroes, but our world is full of lots of amazing people whose job it is to help us.
From park rangers to police officers and from librarians to lifeguards, the heroes who help us are everywhere!
The Usborne Book of the Moon by Laura Cowan & Diana Toledano
Welcome to the story of our moon – a story of moon dust and moon rabbits, cheese and astronauts, deep thoughts and bold plans.
Read, dream and wonder as you discover ancient legends about the moon's creation, meet the very first astronomers and learn about the space race. Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Africa, Amazing Africa by Atinuke
This book is British-Nigerian storyteller Atinuke's love letter to Africa: a carefully-curated sample of the continent's 55 countries in all their amazing diversity.
Her beautifully-written, lively text reflects Africa's unique mix of the modern and the traditional as she explores its geography, its peoples, its animals and its fascinating history.
The book divides Africa into five sections – south, east, west, central and north – each with its own introduction. This is followed by a page per country, containing a delightful mix of friendly, informative text and colourful illustrations.
With just a couple of facts per page, the book is perfectly geared towards seven-year-old readers and imagined as a diving-off point to inspire children to find out more about each and every country.
So welcome to Africa, amazing Africa – the richest king, the tallest sand dunes and the biggest waterfall on the planet are all here alongside drummers, cocoa growers, inventors, balancing stones, salt lakes, high-tech cities and nomads who use GPS!
Dictionary of Difficult Words by Jane Solomon & Louise Lockhart
What is a bumbershoot? Or a moonbow? And what does it mean when someone absquatulates?
Find out all this and more in the Dictionary of Difficult Words. Test your knowledge with more than 400 words to amaze, confuse and inspire budding wordsmiths (and adults).
All of the words featured in this book are difficult to spell, hard to say and their meaning is obscure to most children (and most adults).
Written with simple, easy-to-understand definitions by lexicographer Jane Solomon, this dictionary celebrates the beauty of the English language for family trivia time spent around the printed page.
Kids Fight Plastic by Martin Dorey
Have you got two minutes? That's all the time it takes to become a #2minutesuperhero.
Plastic is everywhere. It is in the rivers and it is in the sea. We need superheroes to fight plastic and help save our oceans.
Read this essential book and find out how you can become a #2minutesuperhero by completing 50 missions to fight plastic at home, school and on your days out.
Informative, practical and positive, this guide for children is written by Martin Dorey, anti-plastic campaigner and author of the bestselling No. More. Plastic.
Martin is the founder of the Beach Clean Network and the #2minutebeachclean movement, and believes that small actions add up to make a big difference.
Heroes: Inspirational People and the Amazing Jobs They Do by Jonny Marx & Gerhard van Wyk
Not all heroes wear capes, but some do have impressive costumes, amazing masks and astonishing super-human abilities.
This book showcases more than 100 real-life superheroes, bona fide boffins, awe-inspiring athletes and sublime scientists and celebrates their astounding accomplishments.
From the fearless firefighters who tackle blistering blazes to deft doctors that save lives on a daily basis, the world is crammed full of incredible people and the staggering things they've achieved can inspire us all.
Ages 13 to 16
Black History Matters by Robin Walker
Black history is an integral part of world history. From the injustices of the past and present, we can learn and be inspired to make the world we live in more fair, equal and just.
Black History Matters chronicles thousands of years of black history, from African kingdoms to slavery, apartheid, the battle for civil rights and much more.
Important and inspiring black personalities, from Olaudah Equiano to Oprah Winfrey, are highlighted throughout, while achievements and progress are balanced alongside a look at the issues that continue to plague black communities.
Feminism Is... by Dorling Kindersley
What is feminism? Combining insightful text with punchy illustrations, this indispensable book for young adults answers this important question with clarity, urgency and conviction.
The book tackles more than 50 intriguing and relevant topics, such as "Are all people equal?", "Do boys and girls learn the same things?" and "Can men be feminists?"
Find out what equality for women really means, get a short history of feminism and take a look at the issues that affect women at work, in the home and around sex and identity.
Along the way you will learn about some great women, such as Gloria Steinem, Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzai, "rebel girls" who refused to accept the status quo of their day and blazed a trail for others to follow. In the foreword you will also meet Gemma Cairney, the multi-award-winning broadcaster, author and activist.
Lively and accessible for teens, this book is empowering, engaging and vital reading.
Hidden Planet by Ben Rothery
Perfect for animal lovers everywhere! A beautiful, large-format crossover book for all ages, this is the book natural-history illustrator Ben Rothery has wanted to read since he was a child.
Facts and descriptions provide insight into a curated collection of birds and animals – some endangered and some less so – told from the perspective of a detail-obsessed illustrator.
Fun to read together or independently, let the secrets of the animals on our planet come to life in vibrant detail.