What a privilege to be in the company of such talented people! I had the pleasure of being invited to attend the 2018 Educational Writers’ Awards event at the House of Commons on the 4th December 2018. This was a great occasion, with MPs Giles Watling and Tom Watson in attendance (the latter presented the awards). The event coincided with a crucial Brexit-related vote, so the division bell was ringing off its — well, whatever bells ring off of — and both MPs had to rush off at various points.
The Awards are organised by the ALCS and the Society of Authors. There are more details about the Awards on the SoA’s website, and a list of the shortlisted candidates on the ALCS website. (Just a quick disclaimer that is actually a non-disclaimer: I’m a member of the committee of the Educational Writers’ Group of the Society of Authors, but I took no part in the judging.)
The winner was FAR FROM HOME: Refugees and Migrants Fleeing War, Persecution and Poverty, by Cath Senker, and published by Franklin Watts.
It’s beautifully illustrated — although, of course, some of the photos are in themselves far from beautiful — and provides a much-needed discussion of the issues. The book is written for 11 year olds.
A couple of other books very much caught my eye. These were:
HOW TO THINK LIKE A CODER, written by Jim Christian and illustrated by Paul Boston (published by Batsford), and
THE STORY OF PAINTINGS, written and illustrated by Mick Manning & Brita Granström (published by Franklin Watts).
How to think like a coder (subtitle: Without even trying) covers a range of topics in an easy-to-read but well-explained way. It’s claimed to be “A back-to-basics guide on coding for absolute beginners, whether adults or children”, although from the short time I had looking at it I thought it seemed written and designed for primary school children.
The story of paintings is also beautifully illustrated, not only with paintings by famous artists but cartoons too. Again, I had only a limited amount of time with the book, but I loved the anecdotes about the painters. It looks to me like a brilliant introduction to the world of art.
Just to reiterate, I didn’t have very long with each of these books, just enough to suggest that it would be worthwhile to have a proper look at them.
Congratulations to all the shortlisted books and their authors, and of course to the winner!
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