Ideas for engaging students in the Berkshire Book Award

Quick, simple things …

  • Print off and stick the logo on book jackets for a display. BBA stickers [.doc 604kb] (to be printed on laser labels L7651 or inkjet labels J8651 (65 per sheet).

  • Display eligible books in piles on tables as they do in book shops. (Students are more likely to handle the books & read the ‘blurb’).

  • Chat with students about who has read what, make suggestions and encourage peer recommendations and the search for new titles.

  • Print BBA Bookmarks to give to your readers.

  • Give parents details of short listed books so that they can buy them as Christmas presents.

  • Have a proper ballot box for nomination forms - Ballot Box Stickers here. (Photocopier paper boxes are a good size and have separate lids, so the returned papers are easy to get to).

  • Make sure details on how to vote are obvious – have it mentioned in Assemblies and newsletters, with reminders.

  • Ask students to write mini reviews 9or longer!). Display, and send them to the Berkshire Book Award website.

  • Tweet about it. Include any relevant authors – you may well get a reply! Ditto Instagram.

Bit more time?

  • Launch the Award in an Assembly

  • Display books published in the last year with how to vote and news of the Award, as it happens.

  • Start a book group or involve a current one in discussing the short listed books, or try a fiction speed-dating session! (There is a wealth of information available on how to do these, so you don’t need to re-invent the wheel!) 

  • Have Head-to-Head mini debates between two readers, with each reader putting a case for their favourite book, or comparing experiences of the same book. Limit the time to 2 minutes so several debates could take place in one session.

  • Run a competition to see who can predict the outcome of the voting.

  • Draw up and display a league table of the most popular books.

  • Have a poster competition to promote the Award.

  • Suggest staff read books from the list and discuss the titles in registration time or similar.

  • Set up/ make a simple booth for voting on the short list. A single table/ chair and three sides of a cardboard box covered in black paper, with the obligatory pencil on a string would do.

  • Celebrate all this wonderful new fiction – have a party!


Above all, empower students: this is their Award and they can nominate and vote for their choices.