Staff Pick: Shy Shelly And A Missing Book

So, what’s an instaFreebie Staff Pick? Once a week, an instaFreebie staff member will pick out a book on instaFreebie that they enjoyed, and share it with all of you! Our hope is that we inspire you to download a book you may not have otherwise discovered. Today, Maura, our Northeastern University co-op student and blog editor, will be discussing Shy Shelly And A Missing Book by Justine Hail!


I’ve never been one to resist a children’s book with an adorable cover (the last one I suckered myself into reading was The Princess and the Pony, because, come on, just look at that pony), and I’ve also never been ashamed of this tendency. A good children’s book makes you want to read the book to someone else, anyone else, just because it made you smile, and that’s what Shy Shelly did for me.

The story opens with Shelly’s teacher announcing an event that I immediately wished was hosted at my elementary school, a book hunt where the students bring their favorite book and hide it on the school grounds for another student to find. Shelly knows what book she’s going to bring to school, but when she walks through the halls the next morning, she realizes her bag isn’t as heavy as it usually is. She had forgotten the book!

You’ll probably be able to guess that Shelly comes up with a solution to her problem that foreshadows a potential career in the publishing industry, but that was just one aspect of the book that I personally enjoyed.

“Shelly! They’re reading your book!”

Honestly, my favorite part of the book was how the author, Justine Hail, addressed Shelly’s inherent shyness. When Shelly is sitting in class on the verge of tears, she doesn’t want to tell her friend Vanna why she’s so upset. Vanna gently pressures Shelly, saying, “C’mon tell me. Just count to three then tell me.” Counting to three and taking a deep breath allows Shelly to control her emotions long enough that she can communicate her problem to her friend, and gives Vanna the opportunity to offer support. I’m sure there are countless children out there who don’t identify with the outgoing, smart-mouthed elementary schoolers who often take center stage in children’s books, and Shelly is someone these children can relate to.

In a word: charming

Recommended for: book-loving elementary schoolers and the young at heart

Have you read any other Shy Shelly books? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!