Friday, November 17, 2017

Archive Catwalk: Sheffield's fashionable past

The design of clothes has historically been influenced by global trends, economic prosperity, changing social attitudes, and by the types of materials they’re made from.


At the turn of the century it was fashionable for women to wear long skirts, corsets and yards of fabric if they could afford it.  The 1920s and 1930s saw hemlines rise and a set of couture fashion houses emerged which designed clothes that reflected the growing desire for clothes that helped people to enjoy themselves. Rationing during the Second World War and economic downturns had a radical effect on fashion during the 20th century.  Many fashion houses closed during the war as most women could not afford to buy clothes that weren’t necessities and many materials became unavailable.  The 'Make do and Mend' campaign was introduced by the government to encourage people to get as much wear as possible out of the clothes they already had.


After the austerity of the war years, innovations in textile technology resulted in the manufacture of new synthetic fibres (such as nylon, polyester and acrylic) which created a consumer market for affordable, easy care clothing.  Teenagers became a force in the market as a result of music and film influences.  Fashion traditions were broken in the 1960s with the arrival of Mary Quant’s daring miniskirt.  The 1970s were characterised by flared jeans and platform boots (for both men and women) while the later years of the decade gave rise to the anti-fashion, anarchistic punk look.  Eighties fashions reflected the economic boom and were typified by power dressing, gaudy colours and conspicuous consumption while, in contrast, 1990s style became minimalist, influenced by the dress-down culture of grunge.  Meanwhile, present day styles are evidence that fashion is cyclical with the rise in popularity of real vintage and vintage-inspired clothes.


Fashion trends quickly filter down to a local level, and the sources at Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library are full of pictures and references to Sheffield’s colourful and fashionable history.  One of the earliest references is an inventory of jewellery belonging to Bess of Hardwick in 1583 listing her ‘crose of dyamons [and] a ringe with a greate rubye’ (Sheffield Archives: MD6311/6).  Eighteenth century fashions are discussed by the Wilson family ladies of Broomhead Hall (1794) (Sheffield Archives: MD7899/5/7), while socialist campaigner Edward Carpenter set about making his own sandals, following an enlightening trip to India, during the late 19th century (Sheffield Archives: Carpenter/W/1-3).


Twentieth century fashions are comprehensively documented at Sheffield Local Studies Library, with the local newspapers offering a weekly analysis of changing fashions, the latest hairstyles and the influences of the day.  History’s shocking styles are also documented, from the ‘outrageous’ New Look of the 1940s and 1950s which used copious of amounts of fabric (seen as unpatriotic after rationing), to the ‘harmful craze’ for ear piercing which swept Sheffield in the 1970s and 1980s!


Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog which will be focusing on edible archives (#ediblearchives)…

Pictured above (from top): ‘Sexy Rexy’ suit house, Charles Street, 1972;  watercolour of the latest summer fashions for 1912 by Ida Stringfellow; coat made by Painted Fabrics Ltd, 1920s; fa├žade of Cockayne's as it would have looked in 1829; 1950s advertisements from J.G.Graves catalogue; wartime 'make do and mend' booklet; advertisement for C&A, Sheffield; Sheffield Star article on the new 'ear piercing craze', 1970s; 'City on the Move', 1970s.  All images © Sheffield Archives/Local Studies Library/Picture Sheffield. 



Explore your archive 2017: an introduction to Sheffield's treasure trove

Miss Meredith collecting archives for Sheffield in the 1960s.
Explore Your Archive 2017 is a national campaign (running throughout November) which showcases the best of our archives and archive services.  The campaign is designed to celebrate the incredible archival collections held by organisations - public and private - across the UK and Ireland, whatever their size and scale, and wherever they are.  In this spirit, we’re going to publish a themed blog each day showcasing some of the amazing documents that have survived throughout the centuries in Sheffield.

The oldest document, c.1180
The collections at Sheffield City Archives and Local Studies Library go back almost 850 years.  The earliest item preserved in the City Archives is a lease dating back to c.1180.  The City’s documentary archive spans many miles of shelving and each unique and irreplaceable document tells the story of Sheffield’s development from the 12th century to the present day.  Many of the collections are of such great historical significance, that scholars travel from across the globe to study first-hand the manuscripts held by the City Archives.  It would be impossible even to scratch the surface of this archival treasure trove, but what follows is a brief exploration of some of the City’s hidden gems…

Mad about maps?  Sheffield has been comprehensively plotted and mapped in great detail since the 1770s. In fact the map collection at the City Archives is second only to London when it comes to quality and detail.  This is thanks to the Fairbank family of Sheffield - three generations of surveyors - who preserved all of their work starting with the first William Fairbank in 1739.  The collection contains an astonishing 4,500 plans providing an excellent source for many types of research: local history, topography, transport, history of surveying and family history; the archives reveal the appearance of Sheffield as it was nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, and show the changes which wiped out, one by one, the ancient landmarks of Hallamshire during a century of rapid growth.

An incredibly detailed plan of Wain Gate by the Fairbanks, 1770s
The wax seal on Sheffield's Market Charter, 1296
Establishing the market.  In 1296 a charter to hold markets and fairs in Sheffield was granted by Edward I to Thomas de Furnival, Lord of the Manor of Sheffield.  Over the next 600 years, the markets were owned, operated and developed by the lords of the manor.  In 1899 Sheffield Corporation purchased the markets and rights from the Duke of Norfolk, and since that time the markets have remained the property of Sheffield City Council.  The charter survives some 700 years on in pristine condition.  Pictured is the wax seal attached to the document depicting King Edward I.

Sheffield Blitz reported in St Louis Globe, 1940
Read all about it!  Old newspapers are a valuable and fascinating source because they are effectively the personal diary of any town or city; they reflect popular opinion and offer great (and sometimes scandalous) detail on day-to-day life as it unfolded.  Not everyone was a fan of the newspaper: Thomas Jefferson famously stated in 1807: ‘Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle’!  However, if like us, you love a good read, a comprehensive list of local titles can be found at the Local Studies Library dating back to the 1700s.  The newspaper pictured is a copy of the St Louis Globe which reported on the Sheffield Blitz in 1940 all the way from Missouri, USA.

Unidentified Middlewood patient, 1923

In a dark wood.  The records of South Yorkshire Lunatic Asylum (later Middlewood Hospital) are a source of endless interest for psychiatric specialists, family historians and the morbidly curious.  The Asylum received its first patients in 1872; the name of each inmate was meticulously documented along with their ‘cause of insanity’.  Extensive records were kept which survive at Sheffield City Archives.   In the words of F.T. Thorpe’s centenary book: ‘the history of Middlewood Hospital chronicles the passage of prejudice, enlightened by the advances of discovery and the acceptance of more humane treatment of patients.  The gradual lifting of the veil of ignorance shows how concern for the patient has replaced the stigmas of mental illness.’

Police ticket of leave book, Sheffield, 1864
Criminals and convicts.  With the advent of photography in the mid-nineteenth century, came the possibility of creating a true likeness of people.  This was especially useful when it came to criminals in order for them to be recognised.  The ‘Ticket of Leave’ book at Sheffield City Archives dates from 1864 and records in great detail the character, physical description and misdemeanours of a number of shifty individuals.  Under the Habitual Criminals Act of 1869, criminals could be let out early on a 'ticket of leave' - a permit allowing them to leave prison under specific restrictions. However, it could (and frequently was) withdrawn for misconduct.  The volume includes two entries for the notorious Charles Peace (both as aliases).

The curious teapot.  Unsurprisingly, business records form a core part of the City collections.  The records of James Dixon and Sons Limited, Silversmiths of Cornish Place, are particularly interesting.  In the later years of the nineteenth century it produced holloware to the designs of the celebrated Dr Christopher Dresser - 'sleek objects of great practicality, which anticipated the functional lines of the twentieth century'.  Dresser worked for Dixon's from c.1870 to 1883; his designs including tea and coffee services.  His work for Dixon's is of interest not only for its highly original artistic quality but also because Dresser was one of the earliest true industrial designers.  Photograph albums and cost books show Dresser’s work in great detail and these records have been called upon to verify the authenticity of rare Dresser pieces that have come to auction.  An incredibly rare and priceless teapot, the design of which is detailed in the archives, is on show at the V&A Museum in London - one of only a handful ever made.

If this (very) brief introduction to archives has piqued your interest, keep an eye on our blog next week.  On Monday we’ll be exploring the theme of ‘Archive Catwalk’ (#Archivecatwalk) so expect a whistle-stop tour of Sheffield’s fashionable past.

The City Archives and Local Studies Library are open to the public and you are welcome to come and see the City’s archives in person.  Direct your queries to: we are more than happy to help.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Sharrow Cycling Club records donated to City Archives

Sheffield City Archives receives offers of new material on an almost weekly basis, and the archivists at Shoreham Street are regularly in discussion with potential donors about archives that might usefully be passed into their care and preserved permanently for the benefit of researchers now and in the future.  Some initial contacts come to nothing, other leads likewise reach a dead end, whilst sometimes serendipity plays a part and archives enquired about some years ago are offered up quite unexpectedly.

And so it has proved with one of the City Archives’ latest accessions.  Several years ago the local magazine Active8 published an article on the Sharrow Cycling Club and the discovery of some of its archives in the attic of a house in the S8 area.  At the time, enquiries were made about the possibility of them being deposited with Sheffield City Archives.  Nothing came of this, and the trail went cold until October this year when the person to whom they had subsequently been given contacted the City Archives with an offer (gladly accepted) to donate them for permanent preservation.  The wheel, it seemed, had turned full circle!

Sharrow Cycling Club was formed in 1887 by four young men from the district.  Their aim in doing this was to ride to the Bridlington Whitsuntide Cycling Meet and compete for the prizes offered, in particular the mileage prize presented to the Club covering the greatest total mileage from its headquarters to the parade ground in Bridlington.  Six weeks later twelve members rode a total of 1800 miles to win the prize.

The Clubs’ headquarters and the meeting point for cycle runs was the old Pomona Hotel on Ecclesall Road.  Club rules from the 1890s deposited with Sheffield City Archives specify that club membership was strictly confined to amateurs, and that the annual subscription was 5 shillings (plus an additional entrance fee of the same amount).  Road racing was to be avoided, and members were asked to “considerably slacken speed when passing through towns and villages”, and “to wear Club Cap and Badge when out on Club runs”.  The archives now held at Shoreham Street also include the Club’s minute books and Year Books from the first half of the twentieth century, copies of the Club newsletter ('The Sharrovian'), fixture lists and Winter Programmes (of Runs), 1920-1922, time and race result sheets, hand-drawn route maps from the early 1930s, as well items belonging to Mr J. D. Cresswell, the Club’s Honorary Treasurer in 1934, and the first editor of 'The Sharrovian' from 1950.

These latest additions to our holdings supplement the collection of over 60 Sharrow Cycling Club photographs held by Sheffield’s Local Studies Library, available to view online via the ‘Picture Sheffield’ website (  The images show Club members (individuals/groups, with and without bicycles), the old Pomona Hotel, races at Bramall Lane and runs to Scarborough and Bridlington.
To view the records at Sheffield City Archives, simply quote the reference: 2017/81 (X799) and we will retrieve these items for you.  The Archives is based on Shoreham Street and we are open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The Sheffield Children's Book Award 2017 - And the Winner is ...

On Friday November 10th, 2017, the 29th Sheffield Children's Book Award was held in the Crucible Theatre.
Over 700 school children of all ages, authors, illustrators, publishers, library staff, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and Councillors came together to celebrate books, reading and, of course, libraries, all hosted by the brilliant and gregarious BBC broadcaster Trisha Cooper.

I can tell you now, that there was a LOT of noise, a lot of screams and cheers and even the odd rendition of 'Go Bananas' thanks to Noodle Performing Arts and the audience. It was a truly joyous celebration of books and a demonstration that books and reading are still going strong.

Each year the Book Award team gather together a group of children's book lovers and experts to look through the previous year's releases and select the best of the bunch. This makes up our shortlisted titles. These are then sent out to schools across Sheffield and the children vote for their favourites. The award ceremony celebrates all of our shortlisted titles, and announces the overall winners. The fact that Sheffield children are responsible for picking our final winners is what makes this award really quite special. They are the ones reading the books, so of course they should be the ones to choose the winners? But there was no doubt at all, on the day, how loved every single one of our shortlisted titles was by the school children who came along.

So, without further ado, here are our winning titles!

  • Baby Book  - Hoot's Twilight Adventure by Rowena Blyth . Published by Fourth Wall Publishing
  • Toddler Book  - The Very Greedy Goat  by Petr Horacek. Published by Walker Books
  • Picture Book  - Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett. Published by Little Tiger Books
  • Emergent Readers - The Pumpkin Project by Katie Smith, ilustrated by Sarah Jennings. Published by Hodder
  • Shorter Novels - Beetle Boy by M.G Leonard. Published by Chicken House
  • Longer Novels - Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy. Published by Hot Key Books
  • Young Adult - The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander. Published by Houghton Mifflin
  • Special Category of Independent Publishers - The Bean Machine by Adam Bestwick . Published by Fourth Wall Publishing.

Overall Winner - Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett and Little Tiger Books. Watch the moment Nibbles is announced as the winner, and plug your ears for the scream.

During the ceremony we had various characters on stage, including Alice and the Mad Hatter (who cause chaos among the crowd) thanks to Noodle Performing Arts, brilliant video messages from some of the authors and illustrators who couldn't make the event, and speeches from head of service Nick Partridge, and The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Anne Murphy. 

We also had a very special moment on stage, when Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust, presented out very own Early Years Librarian Anne Frost with the National Bookstart Coordinator Award 2017. We are incredibly proud of Anne for all her efforts, hard work and enthusiasm. Here is Anne collecting her award. Congratulations!
After the award ceremony, the authors and illustrators risked repetitive strain injury to sign many, many ... many books and postcards for excited and keen young readers! They did a marvellous job.
Left-Right: Alan MacDonald, Keilly Swift, Michelle Robinson, Alison Donald, Alexander Willmore, Rob Biddulph, Adam Bestwick.
And if that wasn't enough, many of them then also went out to schools and libraries to hold special events with children. Here you can see Michelle Robinson and Rebecca Ashdown brilliantly bringing to life their book Odd Socks to around 50 captivated youngsters from 3 different schools. And illustrator Sarah McIntyre wowing children at the new Woodseats Library with her pen skills and fabulous outfit.

As you can imagine, it was a brilliantly busy day for all, but also brilliantly bookish! A recognition of the hard work that goes into all the brilliant children's books, the importance of reading for pleasure, and of course, our very own libraries. It was a momentous day. Thank you to everyone who came along, got involved, read and voted. And particular thanks to the School's Library team for putting the whole thing together.

We'll see you next year for the 30th Anniversary Book Award Celebrations!

Sheffield Children's Book Award Winners & Sheffield Libraries Team.

All the Sheffield Children's Book Award shortlisted Authors and illustrators. 

(Blog post written by Alexis Filby. Library and Information Assistant)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Sheffield’s rich pub heritage revealed in newly-listed documents at City Archives

As part of a cataloguing drive at Sheffield City Archives, aiming to make a backlog of previously unlisted material publicly accessible, a large collection of some 60 boxes of over 740 files of Sheffield Magistrates Court licensing records has recently been catalogued. The result is to reveal a wealth of fascinating history concerning hundreds of pubs and on-licensed premises in Sheffield dating back to the late-nineteenth century.
For many decades, up until c.2005, it appears that Sheffield Magistrates Court kept a licensing file for each pub and on-licensed premises in Sheffield. As well as recording historical details of the licence holders of each premises, the files included architectural plans (detailing proposed alterations and improvements for each premises submitted for the approval of the licensing section of the Magistrates Court). The earliest plan of a Sheffield pub in the collection dates back to 1888, and the latest plans are dated 2005, so the plans span a period of almost 120 years.


The records were transferred to Sheffield City Archives almost 10 years ago where, up until the recent cataloguing project undertaken by staff there, the files remained unlisted with the true significance of their contents unknown.

The cataloguing project has unearthed lost original plans of pubs (including detailed floor plans and exquisite watercolour elevations) by local Sheffield architects, dating back to the late Victorian/Edwardian era, including: Flockton, Gibbs and Flockton of St James Row, Holmes and Watson of St James Chambers, James R. Wigfull of 14 Parade Chambers, J. P. Earle of Norfolk Row, W. H. Lancashire and Son of Hartshead, Edmund Winder of Corn Exchange Chambers and Alfred Appleby of 66 Surrey Street (amongst others).

The architectural plans transport us back to the old ‘Coaching Inn’ days of many of the pubs when they provided accommodation to travellers arriving or passing through Sheffield in horse-drawn coaches. The plans detail the various ancillary buildings which could be found outside the main pub premises including carriage and coach houses, stables, pig sties, manure pits, ash pits, hay lofts, pigeon lofts, coal houses, privies, wash houses, etc.. In terms of interior detail of the main pub buildings themselves, the plans show the size and positioning of dram shops, bottle stores, beer cellars, billiard and bagatelle rooms, smoke rooms, tap rooms, club rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.
Alongside the plans, some of the licensing files also include occasional correspondence from the architects which can reveal intriguing information. For example, a file for the Royal Oak Hotel (now the Beer Engine) on Cemetery Road, Sheffield, includes a letter from the architect, J. P. Earle of Norfolk Row, Sheffield, dated 19 May 1898, enclosing his plans of the pub and explaining the reason for the proposed renovations at the premises: to enable meetings to be more easily accommodated there for up to 400 druids! In the letter, Earle informed the magistrates:
“As there are some 400 Druids hold their meetings at this house, the old club room was much too small and inconvenient. The proprietors, under these circumstances, now ask the magistrates consent to add to the club room, the space that was previously a store room…”
Since this collection of Magistrates Court licensing records comprises files for on-licensed premises (rather than exclusively pubs) it also includes architectural plans (dating back to the late 1960s onwards) for Sheffield’s legendary lost nightclubs such as Fiesta, Josephine’s, Roxy’s,  Sinatra’s, Tiffany’s, etc.
With the decline of the traditional British pub industry in recent years, many of the pubs which feature in the collection have since closed. However, the newly catalogued plans and licensing information at Sheffield City Archives ensures that the memory and spirit of these pubs will live on, allowing us to re-imagine them as they stood in their heyday at the heart of the community, thronging with thirsty steelworkers, weary stage-coach travellers and even congregating druids!
Full details of this catalogued collection of licensing files can be found on Sheffield City Archives online catalogue (series reference: MC/20/5):
The original records can be consulted at Sheffield City Archives (52 Shoreham Street) on any Monday, Tuesday or Saturday (when the archives’ searchroom is open to the public).

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

World Mental Health Day

10th of October 2017 is World Mental Health Day. Libraries are the ideal place to visit for their calm relaxing and safe environment, but they also offer a huge amount of books which provide practical support and understanding for those affected by mental health problems.

This year, World Mental Health day is specifically focusing on the importance of workplace well-being, however we would like to show you a brilliant collection of books that we have to support young people.

  • 1 in 10 young people have a diagnosable mental health condition – that’s 3 pupils in every classroom
  • 70% of young people with experience of mental health problems do not have proper interventions at a sufficiently early age
  • It’s estimated that half of all mental health problems will emerge before the age of 141

Reading Well for Young People - Shelf Help Collection:

Throughout Sheffield Libraries we now have a Shelf Help collection which is designed specifically with young people, particularly teenagers, in mind. The collection covers topics such as anxiety, depression, self harm, body image, self esteem and much more. It includes a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, also hand picked by health professionals and teenagers, there's something to appeal, or more importantly to help, everyone. 

Here are some of the titles in the Shelf Help collection. All of these titles, and more, are available across Sheffield Libraries so please feel free to ask a member of staff for any particular requests you may have. Books can be sent to any library of your choice free of charge! 

Alongside this fantastic collection of books, we have many other titles to support adults and young people with health and well being so don't hesitate to pop in, take a look around or chat to a member of staff for some suggestions. 

Here are a few useful links.
Mental Health Foundation:

We are here to help and hope to see you at a library very soon!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dyslexia Awareness Week

Dyslexia Awareness Week ran from the 2nd October to the 8th October 2017. The British Dyslexia Association had a theme for each day:

The hashtag for the week was #positivedyslexia2017, and it sounds like the week was a resounding success in raising awareness.

If you’ve been inspired by what you’ve seen this week and are looking for a book to kick-start your own reading, or helping your kids to get started, Sheffield Libraries have a wide range to choose from, including:

·         Audiobooks
·         Graphic novels
·         Non-fiction
·         Quick reads
Central Library also carries daily newspapers, including The Guardian, The Mirror, and the Sheffield Star.

We also have an e-library with e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines, which are all available here: It’s free to set up an account with your library card.

For younger readers we have books specifically designed for children with dyslexia created by Barrington Stoke, The Little Gems series is particularly appealing for children, along with graphic novels, puzzle and audio books.

If you’re not sure what to pick and want to find something quickly, most libraries have displays with particular themes which you might like and you can always ask a member of staff if you would like some suggestions. Books are loaned out for 3 weeks, but can be renewed if you need more time to finish.

And remember that you can always bring a book back and try something else if you’re not enjoying it. There’s no charge to borrow, it’s all completely free!
This week is Libraries Week, so take the opportunity to pop in, register and see if there's anything that takes your fancy!

We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: Notes from a big country by Bill Bryson

This book is a compilation of a series of articles originally written for The Mail on Sunday, and I adore it.

Bryson manages to capture the subtle and not-so-subtle nuances of life in the United States and conveys them with humour, wit, and a playful sense of fun. He covers topics such as the ritual of getting the Christmas tree decorations out of the loft, the arrival of autumn, filling in tax forms, diners, and why nobody walks over there.

Each article is designed to stand alone, so the book allows for the pleasurable act of dipping in and out when time permits. I have my favourite articles which I re-read from time to time and they always make me laugh. 

I hope you find some favourites too.

If you like the sound of this, you might also like:

Review written by Ann Brook (Library and Information Assistant)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sheffield Children's Book Awards 2017!

The Sheffield Children's Book Award is back and brilliant as ever. 2017 sees a new shortlist of dazzling titles, for which the votes are now in, and frantic preparations have begun for the award ceremony which will take place on Friday 10th November. School classes from around Sheffield will be invited to come along, make a lot of noise and meet some of their favourite authors and illustrators. It's an exciting, fun and brilliantly book lead day.

This year's shortlist contains a varied mix of the best titles from 2016 releases and a special category featuring independent publishers. So would you like to see who we have for you this year? Then settle in for book heaven!

Baby & Toddler Books:

With the baby and toddler books this year we have a wonderful strong nature theme, some baking fun, caring and one very greedy goat. This selection of books is really bright and beautiful.

➸123 A Walk in the Countryside
Rosalind Beardshaw

➸ Hoot's Twilight Adventure
Rowena Blyth

➸ Fingertrail Playbook
Fiona Watt & Stella Baggott

➸ Baking With Dad
Aurora Cacciapuoti

➸ The Greedy Goat
Peter Horacek

➸ Kiss it Better
Smriti Prasadam-Halls & Sarah Massini.

Picture Books:

We teach you how to survive bear spotting this year in the picture books, along with a bear who likes his own adventures and one book nibbling monster who we perhaps won't be inviting into the libraries to eat our books!! We also have some crazy clothing, with bright pants, odd socks and a stripy scarf I think we'd all love to wrap up in! The shortlist this year veers from the ridiculously funny to the ridiculously adorable. 

➸ Odd Dog Out
Rob Biddulph

➸ Otto the Book Bear in the Snow
Katie Cleminson

➸ Prince of Pants
Alan MacDonald & Sarah McIntyre

➸ A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting
Michelle Robinson & David Roberts

➸ Odd Socks
Michelle Robinson & Rebecca Ashdown

➸ Nibbles the Book Monster
Emma Yarlett

Emerging Reads & Shorter Reads:

The emerging reads and shorter novels this year really show off the increase in fantastic illustrated fiction for children. We have a silly mix of pirates, pigeons and pumpkins and some fantasy action with funfair fun, time travel and a beetle loving boy!

➸ Dave Pigeon
Swapna Haddow & Sheena Dempsey

➸ The Pumpkin Project
Katie Smith

➸ Pocket Pirates The Great Drain Escape
Chris Mould

➸ The Many Worlds of Albie Bright
Christopher Edge

➸ Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair
Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre

➸ Beetle Boy
M. G. Leonard

Longer Novels & Young Adult:

The longer novels and young adult titles are varied also this year with some fantasy adventures and some true life novels that hit home a little harder. All fantastic and compelling reads for older children and teens.

➸ Moth Girls
Anne Cassidy

➸ The Girl of Ink & Stars
Kiran Millwood Hargreave

➸ Time Travelling with a Hamster
Ross Welford

➸ The Art of Not Breathing
Sarah Alexander

➸ The Trap
Alan Gibbons

➸ Orangeboy
Patrice Lawrence

Special Category - Independent Publishers for Younger Children:

Our special category this year celebrates the best releases from independent publishers. The New LiBEARian celebrates libraries in a gorgeously fun and sweet way which can't fail to make you smile. The Tigon and the Liger is a beautiful diverse book about learning to love yourself and embracing differences. The Bean Machine is about the consequences of eating nothing but baked beans (yes you can imagine), it includes machinery, mayhem and some very clever recycling! 
All wonderful engaging reads for young children.

➸ The New LiBEARian
Alison Donald & Alex Willmore

➸ The Tigon and the Liger
Keilly Swift & Cosei Kawa

➸ The Bean Machine
Adam Bestwick

So there you have it, our 2017 shortlisted titles in all their glory. The votes from children throughout schools and libraries are in and being counted and the winner will be kept top secret until the awards ceremony on 10th November, so watch this space until then when we will be revealing the category and overall winner!

Blog post written by Alexis Filby (Library and Information Assistant).