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New Blood Entry — This Book Is a Protest

Award: Yellow Pencil

Penguin / 2021

For millions of young people across Britain, reading needs a serious rebrand.

Uninspired by a white-washed curriculum, too many young people are turning their back on books.

Yet these same young people belong to a generation supercharged by social activism; a generation willing to stand on social media soapboxes and shout for what they believe in.

To bring the joy of reading back to this generation, we need to show them that there are books at the heart of the causes they care about and that, with their support, these books can bring about the real-world change they want to see.

What did the judges have to say?

"This campaign gives young people a say in their own education – not only does it highlight inequality in the curriculum, it gives young people a chance to do something about it."

Alexandra Sheppard, Author, Alexandra Sheppard

"This Book is a Protest had a positive message of change through empowering young people to be at the centre of their learning experience. The symbolism of young people signing books at the end was beautiful and really questioned dominant pedagogies around the value of what young people know."

Zaahida Nabagereka, Programme Manager, Lit in Colour, Penguin Random House

"This response tapped directly into a politically charged and change-motivated youth. Using books and reading as a way to inspire change not only in curriculum but to the world. A simple but distinct visual style to support."

Peter Higgin, Director of Enrichment (CEO), Punchdrunk