Kate Scott

2018 Quality Fiction Shortlist

So here it is...

the NSTBA 2018 Quality Fiction shortlist.


A Story Like the Wind      Gill Lewis, illustrated by Jo Weaver

OUP     ISBN: 978-0192758958

You can read the long list review here.


Song of the Dolphin Boy  Elizabeth Laird

Macmillan Children's   ISBN: 978-1509828234

You can read the long list review here.


Mark of the Cyclops: An Ancient Greek Mystery     Saviour Pirotta

Bloomsbury     ISBN: 978-1472934147

You can read the long list review here.



Just Jack    Kate Scott 

Piccadilly    ISBN: 978-1848126244

You can read the long list review here.

Congratulations to all! The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 10th November. 


All 80 titles for the six categories of our long list have now been reviewed! Each and every one a fantastic book, highly recommended by JAB and the NSTAB team.

The short list will be announced on the 8th September. Votes from the panel are already coming in so here's a little reminder of the twelve fabulous books on the Quality Fiction Category Long List.


Just Jack- Kate Scott (Piccadilly)

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 The Hippo at the End of the Hall- Helen Cooper (David Fickling)


To the Edge of the World- Julia Green (OUP)


Sky Chasers- Emma Carroll (Chicken House)


Sky Song - Abi Elphinstone (Simon and Schuster)


 Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki - Kevin Crossley-Holland & Jeffrey Allan Love (Walker)


Revolt against the Romans - Tony Bradman (A&C Black)

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The House with Chicken Legs- Sophie Anderson (Usborne)


Mark of the Cyclops- Saviour Pirotta (A&C Black)


Song of the Dolphin Boy- Elizabeth Laird (Macmillan) 


A Story Like the Wind- Gill Lewis & Jo Weaver (OUP)


The Jewelled Jaguar- Sharon Tregenza (Firefly)

Which of these twelve amazing titles will be among the final four of the shortlist?



Moving house and being the new kid in school are never easy, but since his dad left, Jack and his mum have moved five times in two years. To help him cope, Jack has developed Sherlock code- a survival strategy he employs to help him fit in. He doesn't make friends and is constantly pretending to be someone he isn't, but it helps him get through. 

At school number six, however, he meets Tyler. Funny, clever and inventive, Tyler seems to like Jack and want to be friends- but can Jack allow himself to be 'Just Jack'?

As with 'Giant', Kate Scott shows great skill at writing very likeable characters which are so easy to empathise with. Jack is trying to cope with a situation many children sadly find themselves in- with his father gone, he doesn't want to bother anyone, particularly his mum, with his feelings. His way of coping to to not be himself, but hide behind different personas. Tyler is a fabulously fresh, unique individual whose enthusiasm is infectious. Friendship is really at the heart of the story and it is a joy to read as they come to know each other and their friendship develops. Mr Tull is also well portrayed; it is a joy to see a warm, sympathetic teacher who relates well to his pupils in a children's story!

The book offers plenty of humorous moments as well as emotional ones. There is so much to discuss and enjoy, making it perfect for using as a key text in class or for guided reading.

Just Jack    Kate Scott 

Piccadilly    ISBN: 978-1848126244

You can read another review of 'Just Jack' here.

You can read a review of 'Giant' here.