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  • The Kingston University
    Big Read

Read up! Kingston

The Boy Who Hit Play

The inaugural book of Read Up! Kingston is 'The Boy Who Hit Play' by Chloe Daykin.

It was by no means easy, but there could only be one winner at the inaugural Read Up! Kingston 'battle of the books'. Congratulations to Chloe Daykin whose second novel The Boy Who Hit Play will be the first Read Up! Kingston book. The Boy Who Hit Play is a gripping tale of adventure and self-discovery told through the eyes of the unforgettable Elvis Crampton Lucas, soundsmith and YouTuber, which begins under a newspaper on a bench at the zoo. The Selection Panel felt that Elvis' intrepid quest to find out who he really is, will resonate with our students on the brink of their next big adventure: secondary school, making it a great read for the summer before they start.

About the author

An artist, designer, award-winning playwright and teacher, Chloe Daykin lives down a bumpy track by a river in Northumberland with her husband and two boys. Her debut, 'Fish Boy', won the Northern Writers Award, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and was published to huge critical acclaim. This is her third novel for middle grade readers."

  • Winner - Northern Writers Award
  • Shortlisted - Branford Boase Award
  • Longlisted - Ukla Book Awarads
  • Nominated - Cilip Carnegie Medal


'Funny, life-affirming... Captivating and thought-provoking.'
BookTrust on The Boy Who Hit Play

The Boy Who Hit Play

Local secondary schools to start their own Big Read project

Following the success of Kingston University's Big Read, and Coombe Boys' School's partner initiative, a new reading programme for local schools is being proposed. The scheme will give all new Year 7 students and their teachers the same book to read before the start of term in September 2019.

Like the Big Read, the aim of the Read up! Kingston project is to reduce anxiety about starting a new school, by giving everyone something to talk about. Whatever their role or level, pupils, teachers and parents will have something in common.

How will it work?

Participating secondary schools in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames will gift a copy of the chosen book to every Year 6 pupil and their new teachers. Everyone will be encouraged to read the book during the summer holidays, with staff incorporating it into activities in the first few weeks of the autumn term.

All participating schools will be invited to an event with the author of the chosen book, making this potentially the nation's biggest young people's book club.

How will the book be chosen?

The Big Read book was recently chosen from a shortlist by participating schools. Representatives from each school met for an exciting 'battle of the books' to select the final title.

The chosen book is likely to cover topics such as change and friendship to make it easier for pupils to bring up and discuss these sometimes difficult topics.

Get involved

Alison Baverstock presented the idea of Read up! Kingston at a meeting of primary heads of English from schools in Kingston and Richmond at the Twickenham Training Centre, 2 May 2019.

The project proposal was well received. Copies of the previous Big Reads were also much appreciated.


Get involved
Alison Baverstock and Debbie Thomas, of Achieving for Children, who led the event.

Get in touch

If you have any queries about Read up! Kingston or woudl like more information, please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.

Who to contact, if you would like to:

Big Read
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