Stitched Up by Steve Cole

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Stitched Up by Steve Cole

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Buy Stitched Up by Steve Cole at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A dyslexia-friendly look at what's behind the cheap fashion garments you find on the high street. It's a social problem which is being highlighted but that takes nothing away from the fact that it's a good, engaging story. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: June 2022
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1800901230

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Twelve-year-old Hanh wanted to be a fashion designer. Life in the rural village where she lived with her family was happy, if not prosperous, so when the smartly-dressed man and woman came to the village to offer Hahn a job in Hanoi it was an opportunity not to be missed. Some money changed hands and Hanh was on the mini-bus to Hanoi. Only, Hanh and the other girls were not going to work in a shop, they were to work in virtual slavery in an illegal garment factory. You know those jeans you really wanted: the ones with intricate embroidery and beading on the legs? The ones with the artfully-placed rips and distressed seams that felt so soft when you touched them? It's quite possible that Hanh and her co-workers made them.

You're going to read about the processes which go into the manufacture of garments such as the jeans. They're complex and require a great deal of skill. Hanh and the other girls get just two poor meals a day and are allowed only two toilet breaks. Violence is commonplace - and vicious. No account is taken of any illnesses or injuries: the girls are, after all, expendable.

It's a dreadful situation but Steve Coles tells the story with sensitivity and compassion but still manages not to shy away from the brutal truth about why fast-fashion clothes are so cheap. There's considerable tension in the story too: will Hanh and the girls manage to finally make their escape?

I'm not normally a fan of introducing very young people to stories such as these but it is so easy to be seduced by good-looking clothes at a ridiculously cheap price: it's far better that the people who might wear them are aware of what has happened and that they will - hopefully - think before they buy. Better still, they might not buy new clothes but learn to mend and look after their clothes or to swap them with friends. Charity shops are another good option.

There's another advantage to Stitched Up: it's a super-readable book from Barrington Stoke with all those little extras which make reading so much easier for people with dyslexia or other sight problems. The lines are not justified, so it's easier to keep your place on the page. The paper is thick enough that what's on the reverse (even Oriol Vidal's dark illustrations) doesn't bleed through and distract you. The font is clear and leads the eye on naturally. The paper is an ivory colour to make reading easy.

The reading age of the book is eight but the interest age is nine plus. I think it's one which teens would find particularly rewarding and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you'd like more from Barrington Stoke and Steve Cole, we can recommend Senseless.

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Buy Stitched Up by Steve Cole at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Stitched Up by Steve Cole at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy Stitched Up by Steve Cole at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Stitched Up by Steve Cole at Amazon.com.

Stitched Up by Steve Cole Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges £2.99 (first class £3.99) for orders under £25, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.

Stitched Up by Steve Cole Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.

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