Kerry Drewery

Another year over...


What a book-filled year this has been! In many ways, it has not been the easiest; however, there is always so much to be thankful for.


We have read many marvellous books this year. Creating our long list was really challenging; whittling it down to the short list even more so, but we ended up with an amazing group of books. 


Twitter if full of people's lists of 2017 favourite books and I agree with many of the choices that are out there. I have read so many books that I have enjoyed- far more than I have time to review- enabling me to recommend and share with colleagues and children. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to tell us when they have found our reviews useful- particularly those in education who we hope we are supporting with our awards. Please continue to get in touch and let us know if you have any ideas!

SO -favourites of 2017! Where do I begin..?


Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T Smith. I absolutely adored this one. Expect to hear a lot more about this in the new year as it is one of our current teacher reading group titles and will be discussed in January!


This is NOT the Zoo for You by Ross Collins. This has had such an excellent response from children I have shared it with. You can read our review here.

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Grumpy Frog by Ed Vere- I am married to the original! You can read our review here.

The Great Gran Plan by Elli Woollard and Steven Lenton.  A review of this treasure will be coming soon! Such a great book to engage children with story and illustration.


So gorgeous! Origami, Poems and Pictures from The British Museum. You can read about our attempts at origami here.


Best book of the year. If you haven't read it, why not? You can read our review here   and find out about my trip to Heligan here.


I know I shouldn't just choose our winners, but I love this book. It's humour- and the importance of its message- make it a real hit! You can read our review here.

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Such a beautiful book- both in words and illustrations. A Story Like the Wind by Gill Lewis, illustrated by Jo Weaver. You can read our review here.

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Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth. Such a gripping story. You can read about the book and the launch here.

Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery, follow up to Day 7, is a great read for older children. 

That's 10- but there are so many more I could add- the whole of our long list for starters! I have read well over 300 books this year and so many have been really enjoyable for a whole range of reasons. For this list, I tried to pick things that other people haven't mentioned, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy theirs too!  Some of the books I have read and loved recently belong to next year- we are already gathering titles for next year's awards.

All at NSTBA wish everyone a fantastic, bookish, safe and happy 2018. 

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.


JAB- favourite books of 2016! (part 2)

Choose ONE favourite book!?! Impossible! So here are a few..!

Picture Book:

SO many to choose from, but my choice is...

Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph.

I simply adore this book! It's message is so clear and strong- and much needed. In a society that seems obsessed with creating clones, it is wonderful to find such a humorous, passionate celebration of being an individual.

Each page is a visual delight with so many quirky details to spot that the book begs to be read and looked at again and again and again! So for all those of us 'whistling a different tune', for those who would like to - and even for those happiest blending in, this is the perfect book!

Read Aloud:

Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret

by Lyn Gardner

Brilliantly exciting, this is a real page turner. Full of great characters and a gripping plot, Rose Campion is a fabulous mystery story for all to enjoy.

I shall say no more- you need to read it for yourself!

Quality Fiction:

The Wilderness Wars- Julia Green

Celebrating the joy of playing outside, skinning your knees, climbing trees and only going home at teatime, The Wilderness Wars is a fabulous story about friendship and fighting for things which are important to you. Great read- and lots of great ideas for things to do in the back!

Older Readers:

London Belongs To Us- Sarra Manning

Such a good read, combining wonderful London sights and sounds with an excellent story. When she sees her boyfriend kissing someone else, Sunny is on a mission to track him down. On doing so, she meets a whole host of wonderful characters- and learns a lot about life, love...and herself! Add it to your 'must read' list now!

Cell 7- Kerry Drewery

Chilling! A horrifying possibility of things to come...


The Secret Cooking Club- Laurel Remington

Another must read..!


The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, illustrated by James Weston Lewis

The perfect book to commemorate the 350th anniversary of this significant event in English history! Beautifully illustrated, informative and fascinatinging- what more could you ask for?!


A Poem for Every Night of the Year-

edited by Allie Esiri, illustrated by Zanna Goldhawk

This is a fabulous collection of poems old and new. There are poems commemorating historic events, festivals, traditions...from all over the world! Each poem has a brief introductory comment. Today's poem- one of my all time favourites- Talking Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah!

I could go on...and on and on... but I'll stop there. So Many books; so little time!