Michelle Cuevas

2018 Moving On Shortlist

So here it is...

the NSTBA 2018 Moving On shortlist.


Running on Empty      S E Durrant

Nosy Crow      ISBN: 978-0857637406

You can read the long list review here.


Charlie and Me   Mark Lowery

Piccadilly   ISBN:  978-1848126220

You can read the long list review here.


The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole  Michelle Cuevas

Simon and Schuster      ISBN: 978-1471170188

You can read the long list review here.


Ella on the Outside     Cath Howe

Nosy Crow   ISBN: 978-1788000338

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 Moving On Category Long List.


The Polar Bear Explorers' Club- Alex Bell (Faber and Faber)


Twister- Juliette Forrest (Scholastic)


The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole- Michelle Cuevas     (Simon and Schuster) 


Ella on the Outside- Cath Howe (Nosy Crow)

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Tin - Padraig Kenny (Chicken House)

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Running on Empty- S E Durrant (Nosy Crow)


The Children of Castle Rock- Natasha Farrant (Faber and Faber)


 Kick- Mitch Johnson (Usborne)


The Eye of the North- Sinead O'Hart (Stripes)


Charlie and Me – Mark Lowery (Piccadilly)


How to Bee- Bren MacDibble (Old Barn Books)

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Herstory  Katherine Halligan  (Nosy Crow)

Which four of these fabulous books will make it to the short list?

LONG LIST REVIEW: The Care And Feeding Of A Pet Black Hole

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It is the 1970s, Stella’s life is far from normal; her wonderful, funny, science mad Dad has died; a disappointing trip to NASA means they will not include a recording of his laugh among the contents of the Voyager Spacecraft and now she has been followed home by a lonely Black Hole, who she names Larry.

Larry swallows everything he touches which initially becomes a convenient way for Stella to rid herself of  her ‘11 year old’ everyday annoyances. In go her little brother’s irritating choice in music and toys, the horrible homemade sweaters made by her Aunt, a fair few Brussel Sprouts etc but then Stella realises Larry can be fed the painful reminders and memories of her Dad that she can’t bear to live with.

However, hiding what is to difficult to face inside an unwitting Black Hole does have its consequences and adding to that the Black Hole’s fondness for the warm and fluffy, it is only a matter of time til Stella finds herself floating through Larry’s darkness in a bathtub with her little brother and an odorous giant hamster, on a quest to find not only the the family dog, but an acceptance of all that is hurting her and a way back to a new ‘normal’.

In ‘The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole’, Michelle Cuevas has carefully balanced the light with the dark, sublimely mixing  the ridiculous with the serious to create this beautiful ‘Hand Hold’ of a book. Not only does it lead its reader in a ‘down the rabbit-hole-esque’ tale of  sheer wackiness, it seamlessly imparts some heavy science knowledge while all the time soothing and healing those as lost as Stella.

Full of melody, levity and  very, very wise, ‘The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole’ is more than just an enjoyable surreal adventure. It is a invaluable guide through grief for big and small people.

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole  Michelle Cuevas

Simon and Schuster      ISBN: 978-1471170188

You can read another review of this book here.