Award Read Aloud

2018 Read Aloud Shortlist

So here it is...

the 2018 NSTBA Read Aloud shortlist.


Nevermoor- The Trials of Morrigan Crow   Jessica Townsend

Orion     ISBN:  978-1510103825

You can read the long list review here.


The Book Case - An Emily Lime Mystery      Dave Shelton

David Fickling Books       ISBN: 978-1910200544

You can read the long list review here.


Fabio The World's Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo

by Laura James, illustrated by Emily Fox

Bloomsbury     ISBN: 978- 1408889312

You can read the long list review here.


You Can't Make Me Go to Witch School!       Em Lynas, illustrated by Jamie Littler

Nosy Crow        ISBN: 978-1788000130

You can read the long list review here.

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

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

LONG LIST REVIEW: Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

Sincerely giraffe.jpg

Tell me, how do you spend your days?

Do you have good friends? Or are you all alone?

Do you have lots and lots to do? Or are you feeling bored?

Let me introduce you to Giraffe.

Giraffe is bored- as usual- so when he notices a new mail service by Pelican (who is also bored!), he decides to send a letter. And this is the start of a delightful new pen-pal friendship, full of mis-understandings!

The pen-pal Giraffe has found is Penguin. Not knowing what a penguin looks like, Giraffe, quite naturally, has many questions. Penguin also has queries about what Giraffe tells him about himself. What is a neck? And does Penguin have one?

In the end, Giraffe decides to dress up like his new friend and go to visit. He tries his best, but the results are comical to say the least, showing how easily people can mis-interpret information and misunderstand each other.

This is a great book, offering plenty to discuss and plenty to laugh about. There is a wonderful directness and simplicity about the writing which is very appealing and the line drawings add to this perfectly.

As well as being a great read aloud- perfect for sharing- this book would work so well as a book to inspire further work. There are many writing opportunities here- and not just letter writing! Narrative, poetry, persuasive, discussion, journalistic, recount, reports... so many possibilities! It lends itself to PSHE work and in today's digital world, could inspire a pen pal project- real letters!


Yours Sincerely, Giraffe      Megumi Iwasa, illustrated by Jun Takabatake

Gecko Press    ISBN: 978-1927271872