Lauren St John


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 Read Aloud Category Long List.


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow- Jessica Townsend (Orion)


Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure – Alex T Smith (Hodder)


Fabio The World's Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo- Laura James, illustrated by Emily Fox (Bloomsbury)


The Chocolate Factory Ghost- David O'Connell and Clare Powell (Bloomsbury)


You Can't Make Me Go to Witch School- Em Lynas, illustrated by Jamie Littler (Nosy Crow)


Yours Sincerely Giraffe-Megumi Iwasa & Jun Takabatake (Gecko Press)


Codebusters- Dan Metcalf, illustrated by Gary Cherrington (Bloomsbury)

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Witch for a Week- Kaye Umansky, illustrated by Ashley King (Simon and Schuster)


Kat Wolfe Investigates- Lauren St John (Macmillan)

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The Book Case - Dave Shelton (David Fickling)

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The Return of the Railway Children- Lou Kuenzler (Scholastic)

Of these twelve terrific titles, which four will become the 2018 NSTBA Read Aloud short list?

LONG LIST REVIEW: Kat Wolfe Investigates


When her mother gets a new job as a vet in a country practise, Kat is very excited. An animal lover herself, she is overjoyed to find herself surrounded by animals. A condition of the new job is that they adopt the resident cat- a very large, wild cat which resists all attempts to befriend it. Kat decides to start a pet sitting agency to earn some much needed pocket money and when her first client disappears, a mystery quickly develops. Luckily, Kat has made a new friend, Harper, who in spite of being injured in a horse riding accident, is there to help her as she is  a computer whizz. 

A fast paced, action packed adventure, 'Kat Wolfe Investigates' is a fantastic story. Kat is a very engaging character, optimistic and conscientious. Her friendship with Harper develops well and they make an excellent team as they work together to solve the mystery. 

The settings are well described, creating the perfect backdrop to the action. This is the first in what promises to be a very popular series of mystery stories, great for reading aloud to a class.

Kat Wolfe Investigates     Lauren St John

Macmillan    ISBN: 978-1509871223