NSTBA Past Winners- Read Aloud Category

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Reading aloud is one of the most pleasurable and important parts of a teacher’s job. This category is great fun to investigate and find candidates for- and we have read some treasures over the years! All of those short listed ( and most long listed!) are now tried and tested in our classrooms and have been huge successes. Such a wonderful selection to pick from.


In 2015, the wonderful ‘Hercufleas’ won. This is a great story, full of fun and houmour- and an adorable flea! On WBD this year, in our Sharing Stories assembly, Torie chose Chapter One to read to KS2 and it was as popular as ever! You can read our review here.


Sam attended the awards ceremony and has been a firm favourite with the group ever since, twice making the trip to visit schools in our group and speaking to JAB.

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‘Dave Pigeon’ won in 2016. Sheena, Swapna and her family came to the ceremony and were just wonderful. Warm and friendly, they added to the lovely atmosphere of the occasion. Dave proved to be a great hit with our children and each new book is eagerly anticipated. Light-hearted and quick to read these books have been particularly popular with Y3/4 children. You can read our review here.

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Andrew Beasley won in 2017 with ‘SCREAM’, a delightfully spooky read with really strong characters. Andrew was lovely when he attended the ceremony and was delighted to receive the award. The second book of this series, ‘Carnival of Monsters’ has also been very popular.

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You can read our review of ‘The Mummy’s Revenge’ here.

Last year, this category was won by the lovely Laura James and Emily Fox, both of whom came to the awards. Fabio is great fun and we are looking forward to sharing book two with children as soon as possible. Great fun, this highly illustrated, colourful story really offers something a little different. You can read our review here.


So many wonderful books to share, making the daily read aloud session something really special for everyone. Because these are chosen to be read aloud to a class, not all of them have book event ideas or teaching suggestions to go with them, but some do.


This year’s contenders are looking just as exciting- only thirteen days until submissions close now!

Quality Fiction next!

The Last Zoo


That night in Pia’s dreams they cut the moon like a cake and serve her an ice-white slice. The sponge is all silvery, dotted on top with candied meteorites. it tastes of cheesecake, of course.

When Pia wakes from her dream, she finds the two angels who live with her, her ghost parents, the genies and a devil on the celestial ark have disappeared. Desperate to conceal this fact for as long as possible, Pia tries everything she can think of to solve this mystery, using the mysterious halos the angels left behind and trying to ignore the tempting whispers of Bagrin, the devil. But will she run out of time?

Oh my! Sam Gayton’s vivid imagination has created the most amazing world, filled with fantastic creations. Written in the present tense and focusing mainly on Pia- Cornucopia to give her her full name- ‘The Last Zoo’ is a wonderful story, set in a future after the i-era has collapsed. Each aspect of this world is carefully constructed, making the most bizarre ideas work perfectly.

The devastating effects of war and technology and the damage humans inflict on the world are highlighted through both the story and the comments of some of the characters.

‘A plague of humans.’

‘A plague?’

He nods. ‘Or what about an infestation? Hmm. An invasion? That’s good, but invasions have a point. They aren’t thoughtless, endless stupid, the way humans are.’

Yet the story ultimately offers a message of hope with an uplifting and moving conclusion which stays with the reader long after they have finished the book.

Peppered with Sam’s mischievous humour, ‘The Last Zoo’ is a challenging, complex read which completely absorbs the reader.

The Last Zoo Sam Gayton

Anderson Press ISBN: 978-1783447701

You can read our review of ‘Hercufleas’ here which won our 2015 Read Aloud Category.