Scottish Teenage Book Prize: Voting deadline and discussion tips

Taking part in the Scottish Teenage Book Prize is a great way to introduce pupils to some fantastic new Scottish titles and kick off some book-related discussion. It's nearly time to vote in this year's prize, so we've put together a few discussion points to help your pupils gather their thoughts about the three books and cast their votes.

The voting process can give you some great jumping off points for discussing politics and history.

If you've never heard of the Scottish Teenage Book Prize and are wondering what's involved, the format is simple: a shortlist of three great Scottish titles is announced in September, and pupils have until early February to read all three and vote for their favourite via our website. Teachers and librarians organise their pupils' participation in different ways - some take part with small book groups, others register whole classes, and some co-ordinate groups across several schools! You can read some of our Scottish Teenage Book Prize blog posts from this year to get an idea of what some teachers and librarians have done.

The voting deadline this year is Thursday 8 February.

Voting is easy - just take a note of your pupils' votes and cast them via our website. You'll need to create a Scottish Book Trust account to do this - just click 'Log In' at the top right of any page, and you'll be given the option to create a new account. Once you've done this, follow our instructions  to cast your pupils' votes. It's always exciting for us to watch the votes come in each year and see the lead changing hands right up until the deadline!

In previous years we've published several blog posts giving you suggestions to spice up the voting process - check out this one for some great ideas. The prize used to be known as the Scottish Children's Book Awards, so don't be put off by the different terminology! The voting process can give you some great jumping off points for discussing politics and history.

Here are some discussion points and areas of interest your pupils can follow up on for the three books:

Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird

  • Elizabeth Laird loves travelling the world and frequently sets her novels in far off places. Do you prefer to read about adventures across the world, or would you rather read about settings and characters more recognisable to you?
  • What do you think the journey of a refugee is like? To help you get a clearer picture, you can play this game from the BBC website, which gives an idea of just how many tough decisions refugees need to make. You can find more activities like this in our Scottish Teenage Book Prize resource.

The Haunting of Jessop Rise by Danny Weston

  • In his author video, Danny Weston tells us that he loves classic ghost stories and wanted to model The Haunting of Jessop Rise on some of the haunting reads he used to love as a child. How does the book compare to other scary books or films that you've experienced? What about the Victorian setting - how does this compare to other ghost stories you've read?
  • William's Uncle Seth is a classic 'bad guy', with very few redeeming features. Did you think he was effective as the book's antagonist? Who are your favourite, most memorable bad guys in fiction, and what do you think makes for a memorable bad guy?

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith

  • The novel features a cast of terrifying monsters. What are your favourite monsters from fiction? From the Orcs to the Kraken, we've seen monsters of varying sizes, intelligence and motivations. What do you think makes for a classic monster?
  • The novel blends together the fantasy and dystopia genres. Do you enjoy these genres? Why do you think some people go for Game of Thrones and vampire novels while other people prefer more realistic fiction? Are there any genres you'd like to explore?

We hope you've had fun reading and voting in the Prize. Don't forget you can still enter our book trailer and graphic novel competitions!