Behind the scenes choosing the 2019 Bookbuzz books

Published on: 21 May 2019

A lot of thought goes into choosing the 17 Bookbuzz books each year, and we’re really excited about the final list for 2019. Our panel of experts, including school librarians and other children’s book specialists, had a lovely time reading and selecting the books, and as usual everyone had a different favourite resulting in a lively discussion.

The books are carefully chosen to make sure there is something to suit all interests and reading levels. We thought it would be interesting to give a bit of insight into the reasons for choosing this years 17 books, so here are some thoughts from the panel.

The Crossover and Football School Season 3

The Crossover and Football School Season 3

We know that books about sport in different formats are popular. As a fantastic verse novel about basketball, The Crossover is a great pick for the Bookbuzz selection that students will love, while Football School Season 3 is a fun and humorous approach to non-fiction, packed with football-inspired facts.

About The Crossover:

'A vibrant, powerful story about family relationships and basketball'
'Written entirely in verse, this style is so refreshing to read'

About Football School Season 3:

'Good book to dip in and out of'
'It has great illustrations with a light-hearted look into the world of football, filled with great facts'

Who Killed Darius Drake and When the Mountains Roared

Who Killed Darius Drake and When the Mountains Roared

Mysteries and thrillers are amongst the most popular genres with Bookbuzz readers. Who Killed Darius Drake was praised for its well-crafted plot and compelling treasure-hunting storyline, while When the Mountains Roared, a crime adventure story set in the Himalayan mountains, offers a very different kind of mystery to solve.

About Who Killed Darius Drake:

'Well-crafted mystery with an exciting ending'
'An action-adventure, treasure-hunting drama'

 About When the Mountains Roared:

'Story was gripping, I enjoyed it. Features lots about Indian culture and customs as well as animals.'

Drone Racer
and Lucy Locket Online Disaster

Drone Racer and Lucy Locket Online Disaster

The highly contemporary storylines in both of these books were felt to have strong appeal to readers. In Lucy Locket Online Disaster, vlogging and social media play a dominant and positive role in the character’s lives, while the fast-paced Drone Racer brilliantly taps into gaming and 21st century technology.

About  Lucy Locket Online Disaster:

'A real feel good story with a happy resolution'
'I thought this book was funny and charming'
'I liked that it used different types of font, text speak, pictures'

About Drone Racer:

'Fast paced and topical and links to gaming'
'Drones are pertinent!'

The Last Zoo and The Secret in Vault 13

The Last Zoo and The Secret in Vault 13

These two books were both loved for their inventiveness, touches of humour, and as stories in which readers will want to completely immerse themselves. The Last Zoo and The Secret in Vault 13 both present wildly different and brilliantly realized worlds to get lost in.

About The Last Zoo:

'Hugely imaginative and fun novel'
'A beautiful mix of futuristic sci-fi and magical fantasy creatures brought to life by the imaginations of children in a last-ditch attempt to save the world'
'Got great imagination and encourages kids to think of themselves as saviours of the world'

About The Secret in Vault 13:

'The author is able to channel what is best about the Doctor Who phenomenon, combining humour with tension and mild horror along with strong and memorable characters who always manage to rise to the challenge of saving the universe'
'The one I read and thought, I’d love to get that in the hands of kids'

We think this year’s panel have done a brilliant job and have chosen 17 great books that students are going to love.

Take a look at the full list of titles for Bookbuzz 2019

Find out more and sign up your school for Bookbuzz

Topics: Bookbuzz, Features


Bookbuzz is a reading programme from BookTrust that aims to help schools inspire a love of reading in 11 to 13-year-olds. Participating schools give their students the opportunity to choose their own book to take home and keep from a list of 16 titles.

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