What Kids are Reading Quiz Writers’ Choice Awards Longlist

By Lee Burkwood

What Kids Are Reading is the largest annual study of the reading habits and trends of students across the UK and Ireland, using data from a variety of sources including Renaissance Accelerated Reader data. Accelerated Reader is a reading practice programme allowing students to take comprehension quizzes on books they’ve read.

Last year, we added nearly 2,000 quizzes to Accelerated Reader. The Quiz Writers’ Choice Award is a chance for us to celebrate the ones we liked the best. It’s a selection of books chosen by the AR Content Team for being the most outstanding titles quizzed in the last year. Each book is very special and very well deserving of praise.

With the launch of the What Kids are Reading 2021 report launch fast approaching, below are details of Primary and Secondary, Fiction and Non-Fiction books longlisted for our Quiz Writers’ Choice Awards. And don’t forget – you can click here to pre-order the report ready for its launch on 29th April!

The Primary Fiction Longlist

Jazz Dog by Marie Voigt
Quiz # 237862 | BL 2.6 | LY | Oxford University Press
One little dog wants to play jazz music, but the other dogs think jazz is only for cats.

The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon by Alison Donald
Quiz # 236891 | BL 4.0 | LY | Maverick Arts Publishing
There is a competition to make the spacesuit for the first moon landing! Ellie is asked to lead a team of seamstresses. No one believes they can win, but they are determined to try. Based on an incredible true story.

My Hair by Hannah Lee, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan
Quiz # 238736 | BL 3.3 | LY | Faber and Faber
A child is having a birthday party and needs to decide which hairstyle they want, so looks to friends and family for inspiration.

Look up! By Nathan Bryon, illustrated by Dapo Adeola
Quiz # 237836 | BL 3.5 | LY | Puffin
Rocket is on a mission to get everyone to look up and see a meteor shower. Illustrated by Dapo Adeola

Barney Goose: A Wild Atlantic Way Adventure by Carol Ann Treacy
Quiz # 238390 | BL 3.6 | LY | O’Brien Press Ltd
Barney Goose lives happily with Tom the lighthouse keeper in West Cork. But when spring arrives, Barney knows it’s time to leave, and he doesn’t know why! Join Barney on his big adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way!

The Highland Falcon Thief by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman
Quiz # 238043 | BL 8 | MY | Macmillan Children’s Books
Harrison and his Uncle Nat are enjoying the final journey of the Highland Falcon, but when a precious jewel goes missing Harrison and his new friend Lenny find themselves at the heart of the investigation.

A Most Peculiar Toy Factory by Alex Bell
Quiz # 237346 | BL 4.6 | MY | Barrington Stoke
Hoggle’s toy factory is opening its doors again after a five-year closure. Tess Pip, along with her younger siblings, has found herself a job there. The moment they arrive, the Pip children discover horrors such as evil teddy bears awaiting them.

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan
Quiz # 237401 | BL 4.8 | MY | Egmont Children’s Books Ltd
When twins Arthur and Rose were younger, they were heroes of the imaginary world of Roar. Now that the twins are eleven, Roar is almost forgotten. But when strange things start happening, Arthur begins to wonder if maybe Roar is real.

A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll
Quiz # 238422 | BL 4.3 | MY | Knights Of
11-year-old Addie is campaigning for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her and make her voice heard?

Cyborg Cat and the Night Spider by Ade Adepitan
Quiz # 238946 | BL 4.8 | MY | Piccadilly Press Ltd
Someone’s spraying graffitti around Parson’s Road, and there’s more to it than meets the eye. It seems to be making Ade’s legs weaker. Can the gang uncover the Night Spider’s identity before the Cyborg Cat loses his powers?

Max and the Millions by Ross Montgomery
Quiz # 238457 | BL 4.4 | MY | Faber and Faber
After his friend Mr Darrow disappears, Max discovers a world full of tiny people who need his help. Can he save the people of the Floor and make some new friends along the way?

Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Missing Diamonds by Annabelle Sami
Quiz # 237844 | BL 5.1 | MY | Stripes
Zaiba investigates the case of a missing dog and a stolen diamond collar at the hotel where her cousin’s Mehndi party is being held.


The Primary Non-Fiction Longlist

Crazy Animal Facts series by Nancy Furstinger and Malta Cunningham
BL 2.9-3.2 | LY | Raintree
This series explores unusual facts about animals such as Sloths, Snakes, Spiders, Penguins, Dolphins and Cats.

Pride in… series by Emilie Dufresne
BL 6.3-6.8 | MY | Booklife
In this series, you will learn about people from across the LGBTQIA+ community who celebrate who they are and never stop fighting for what they believe for inclusion in STEM, Sports, Arts and for change in society.

Prehistoric Beasts Uncovered series by Dougal Dixon
BL Range – 5.6-.58 | MY | Ruby Tuesday Books
In this series there are many facts uncovered about prehistoric beasts such as the Triceratops, Titanosaurs, T-rex, and the Megalodon!

I Am Not a Label: 34 artists, thinkers, athletes and activists with disabilities by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Lauren Mark Baldo
Quiz # 238322 | BL 7.0 | MY | Wide-eyed Editions
Meet 30 artists, thinkers, athletes, and activists with disabilities, from past and present. From Frida Kahlo to Stephen Hawking, find out how these iconic figures have overcome obstacles, owned their differences, and paved the way for others.

Tomi: Tomi Reichental’s Holocaust Story by Eithne Massey
Quiz # 234431 | BL 5.6 | MY | O’Brien Press Ltd
In 1944, nine-year-old Tomi was sent to the Nazi concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen. Unlike thousands of others, he survived. This is his story.

The Secondary Fiction Longlist

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Quiz # 237952 | BL 5.7 | MY+ | Faber and Faber
The children in Lucille have been taught that there are no monsters any more, but when Jam meets Pet she begins to question what she’s been told. The story contains profanity, violence and themes of abuse.

Home Boys by Alex Wheatle
Quiz # 239168 | BL 4.9 | UY | Arcadia Books
Four boys run away from Pinewood Oaks, a children’s home. Seeking refuge in the nearby woods, the bond they have from their shared experiences of abuse becomes something they will treasure for the rest of their lives. Contains sexual abuse and violence.

Wranglestone by Darren Charlton
Quiz # 237931 | BL 5.0 | UY | Stripes
The islands of Lake Wranglestone are a safe haven from the Restless Dead, that is until the lake freezes over. When Peter and Cooper are sent to the mainland, they find not only each other, but a dark secret. Contains sexual references and violence.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
Quiz # 237238 | BL 4.7 | UY | Hodder Children’s Books
Join Michael’s world as he travels from school to university where he comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen and becomes a drag artist. Plot contains sexual content, strong language and drug use.

Heartstopper Volume One by Alice Oseman
Quiz # 237757 | BL 2.5 | UY | Hodder Children’s Books
Charlie and Nick meet for the first time in this romance graphic novel when they are made to sit together in school. Charlie falls quickly for Nick – and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.

Sonny and Me by Ross Sayers
Quiz # 238567 | BL 4.5 | UY | Gob Stopper
When Daughter and Sonny’s favourite teacher leaves school unexpectedly, and no one will say why, they start to investigate and discover a dark secret which one person will kill to protect… Plot contains sexual references and swearing.

Hey, Sherlock! By Simon Mason
Quiz # 238481 | BL 4.5 | UY | David Fickling Books
Garvie investigates the disappearance of a teenage girl and soon finds himself caught up in a dark world of money-laundering and exploitation.

Jemima Small Versus the Universe by Tamsin Winter
Quiz # 237610 | BL 4.8 | MY+ | Usborne
Jemima Small is funny and smart, but the word “big” is ruining her entire life. Can she find her time to shine?

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Quiz # 237574 | BL 5.2 | UY | Penguin Books
Five young people with very different lives are brought together as the kingdoms they call home go to war.

Bearmouth by Liz Hyder
Quiz # 237165 | BL 4.3 | UY | Pushkin
Newt accepts everything about life in Bearmouth, until the mysterious Devlin arrives. Soon, Newt looks at the mine with a fresh perspective and starts questioning the system. (Text is written phonetically.) Warning: contains scenes of sexual assault.

Savage Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan
Quiz # 239172 | BL 5.7 | UY | Little Island
A feminist retelling of the Irish fairytale, The Children of Lir. Aífe marries Lir, a chieftain with four children by his previous wife – her sister. Unsatisfied in him as a husband, the witch Aífe turns his children into swans for 900 years.

Blood Moon by Luthy Cuthew
Quiz # 238621 | BL 4.1 | UY | Walker Books
During Frankie’s first sexual experience with the quiet and lovely Benjamin, she gets her period. It’s only blood, they agree. But soon a graphic meme goes viral, turning an innocent, intimate afternoon into something damaging. Adult themes.


The Secondary Non-Fiction Longlist

Black and British: A short, essential history by David Olusoga
Quiz # 239426 | BL 5 | UY | Macmillan Children’s Books
Discover 1800 years of Black history in this insightful and invaluable story of the Black experience in Britain, including the forgotten Africans in the Roman legions, the horrors of slavery and racism, and the multicultural society of the present day.

“I Will Not Be Erased”: Our Stories About Growing Up as People of Colour by gal-dem authors
Quiz # 236484 | BL 6.9 | UY | Walker Books
Gal-dem, the award winning online and print magazine, is created by women and non-binary people of colour. In this collection, gal-dem writers share their joyous, funny and life-affirming stories about growing up. Contains drug use.

Rebel Voices: The Rise of Votes for Women by Louise Kay Stewart, illustrated by Eve Lloyd Knight
Quiz # 234991 | BL 7.6 | MY+ | Wren & Rook
The book shares the story of the suffragettes and their sisters campaigning for equal rights globally. From 19th century New Zealand, follow the movement from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, then Africa and Asia to the present day.

Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos
Quiz # 238366 | BL 7.6 | UY | HarperCollins
This book chronicles modern forensic science from the first test for arsenic poisoning in the 1700s to criminal profiling, fingerprinting, blood splatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the milestones in between.

Boy Oh Boy by Cliff Leek, illustrated by Bene Rohlmann
Quiz # 236633 | BL 6.9 | MY+ | Wide-Eyed Editions
Through the lives of 30 people, this book shows there are countless ways to be boys and men beyond what we think when we hear ‘boys will be boys’. From Prince to Gandhi and Bruce Lee, their stories show that there is no one way to be a man.

Look out for the shortlist being announced on 26th April! We’ll be announcing the winners when we launch the What Kids Are Reading 2021 report, on 29th April.

Posted on 16 April 2021 at 5:39 pm
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