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What is Racism? announced as winner at sla awards 2022

What is Racism? the collaboration between SRtRC and Usborne has been crowned the Children’s Choice Winner of the 0-7 age category.

We are absolutely thrilled that What is Racism? has been recognised, judged and voted for by the children themselves as this demonstrates how powerful, the images and messages are and the impact on children.

The lift the flap book is an exceptionally useful resource for four-plus readers and their parents or carers, this book explains gently and clearly what racism is and how to work towards wiping it out for good.

Young people are the ones who will be making decisions and shaping society in the future, and for them to explore and understand issues like this at a young age, can help them take that messaging forward and hopefully shape a more equal and fair society.

The fact that this was voted for by the children in this age group themselves, not adults making a decision for them is what makes winning such an honour. It is a difficult topic AND it is their favourite book, they don’t want to shy away they want their questions answered!” Justine King -Show Racism the Red Card – Education Coordinator

“It can be difficult to make a sensitive topic like racism suitable for younger children, but this partnership has shown that with the right expertise on board, anything is possible. I’m proud of the books we are publishing together and I’m excited for the future of this partnership.” Sue Schofield Show Racism the Red Card – Education Manager

The votes from children across the UK show an overwhelming affinity to books that focus on race, with the winners in each age category being titles that celebrate the history and contributions of Black people and thoughtfully explore race for even the youngest of readers.

Now in its twelfth year, the IBA aims to emphasise the importance of non-fiction by highlighting and celebrating the high standard of children’s information books. This year’s shortlist was made up of ten terrific titles, covering themes of science, art and diversity.

The awards are divided into three age categories, judged by a panel of educators against a criteria that assesses the quality of the text and illustrations, accuracy, bias and currency, alongside areas such as indexes, glossaries, content and whether it is likely to fire the enthusiasm of young readers.

As well as the judges’ choices, children have also had the opportunity to vote for their favourite book from the shortlist in order to determine an additional Children’s Choice winner in each age category, and one overall. Generously funded by the Foyle Foundation, this year schools were invited to take part in the IBA Book Club, through which 24 lucky schools received a bundle of free books from a relevant age category in exchange for sharing their experiences of using the shortlist in their school library or classroom and taking part in the 2022 Children’s Choice voting.


Meet the Microbes 0-7 category written by Dr Emily Grossman and illustrated by Maggie Li.

Making a Baby: An Inclusive Guide to How Every Family Begins 8-12 age category by Rachel Greener, illustrated by Clare Owen.

Black Artists Shaping the World 13-16 age category by Sharna Jackson & Dr Zoé Whitley.

The winners were announced on Tuesday 22nd November at a ceremony at the offices of Hachette Children’s Group, London.

Margaret Pemberton, Chair of the IBA, says: “Once again, the judges have been excited by the quality of the books submitted for this award. The range of subjects, standard of writing and production have made the judging process challenging. After detailed and energetic discussion, we are delighted by this year’s winners.”

SLA CEO, Alison Tarrant, says: “It’s wonderful to see such important topics and themes reflected in the shortlist, showing us what young people are interested in and care about. We’re pleased that, thanks to generous funding from the Foyle Foundation, we’ve been able to run an IBA Book Club that’s got the books into the hands of the children themselves and supported schools to engage with these brilliant titles. This valuable award once again celebrates some outstanding winners.”

Hilary Murray Hill, CEO of Hachette Children’s Group says: “Information books play a vital role in feeding the minds and development of children and young people today. It is more important than ever that school libraries are supported in providing those readers with access to appealing factual content. We are delighted to sponsor the SLA Information Book Awards in its twelfth year. To ensure the high-quality non-fiction publishing continues to reach readers, it is essential that we continue to celebrate and draw attention to the knowledge, creativity and imagination of authors and illustrators in this field.”

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