The Snow Globe by Jean Ure

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The Snow Globe by Jean Ure

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A delightful, dyslexia-friendly story for the MG reader, about appreciating people for what they are, friendship and family.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 80 Date: July 2016
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
ISBN: 978-1781125946

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Abi's family's circumstances changed very suddenly. She had been a pupil at a very good girl's school (with a stylish uniform) and went horse riding and to dance classes at the weekend. The family home, was spacious and in a pleasant neighbourhood. When the family business went under they had to sell the house and move to something smaller. The horse riding and dance classes went and school was a big comprehensive - with boys and a dull, grey uniform. Worst of all she was moving away from her best friend, Jenny.

I can never resist a Jean Ure book, despite the fact that I'm many multiples of the target age group. You see, good writing is good writing whoever is reading it and Ure is top class. Within a few pages we know quite a lot, even though we haven't been told it directly: Abi isn't very confident. She does things (like the horse riding) to please other people. She tends to be dominated and you've got a strong suspicion that best-friend Jenny isn't all that pleasant and certainly doesn't have Abi's interests at heart.

It's her grandmother's snow globe which helps Abi to bond with a new friend and we see her mature and develop her own views about who she wants to be friends with and why. She sees - before the adults around her - that it's what's in a girl's heart which matters and not where she lives, or even how she speaks. It's such a lovely message that I wanted to give it to quite a few adults I know who could benefit from the moral. It's a big story packed into relatively few pages.

There's a bonus with this book too: it's dyslexia friendly. Don't worry, the dyslexia-friendly sticker peels off easily and the cover design looks just like the trendy books the other kids are reading. No one is going to be embarrassed. So, what makes the book dyslexia friendly? Well, firstly Barrington Stoke have designed a special font where each character is distinct and pulls the reader on to read the next word. It's printed on an off-white paper, which reduces the glare which can distract some readers and the paper is substantial enough to ensure that there's no bleed through from the reverse of the page. The spacing between words and lines has been carefully judged to give the best reading experience and the text has not been justified as this can mean that readers get lost on the page. The book has clearly defined chapters to give natural rest breaks and it's not just the reader which benefits from that - many parents and carers feel the same way. It's not just people with dyslexia which benefit from these ingenious changes - most young readers will find the books easier to read and more enjoyable. I'm just about into my dotage and recently I've been suffering from eye problems - and Barrington Stoke books are the ones which I can read most easily.

The Snow Globe has a reading age of eight but an interest age of nine plus. If you look at the right hand side of the barcode on the reverse of the book these details are there, but don't worry - they're not obvious. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Hopefully this book will get your young reader hooked, but don't worry, we have a couple more dyslexia-friendly books from Jean Ure which will be perfect as follow-ups: My Dog Daisy and Star for a Day.

PS: There's a bonus in the book too - instructions on how to make your own snow globe!

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Buy The Snow Globe by Jean Ure at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Snow Globe by Jean Ure at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Snow Globe by Jean Ure at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Snow Globe by Jean Ure at


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