Blue Moon by Jenny Oldfield

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Blue Moon by Jenny Oldfield

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A lovely tween horse story set in the Rocky Mountains with the added bonus of being dyslexia friendly too.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 68 Date: February 2016
Publisher: Barrinton Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781125083

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Anna thought that life was just about perfect. She was home-schooled for much of the time, but spent quite a lot of time riding her horse, Blue Moon, with her friend Lee and his horse, Stormy. There was even a secret meadow which the two twelve-year olds used to visit. Then one evening, Anna dashed in late for supper at the ranch and realised that something was wrong - badly wrong. Anna's mother had a tumour in her stomach which would require surgery. As if that wasn't bad enough, her father was going to have to sell some of the horses to pay for the surgery. Worried as she was about her mother there was one thought uppermost in Anna's mind: the best-trained horse on the ranch - and the one that was worth the most money - was Blue Moon. Anna could not bear the thought of losing the animal who had known her since she was two years old. She and Lee came up with a plan.

It's a lovely story and Jenny Oldfield captures the location - the Rocky mountains in the USA - perfectly, and on a personal level I felt Anna's fear when she thought that she was going to lose Blue Moon, that she was going to stay with her mother's friend in Denver and when she returned to the ranch Blue Moon would have been sold. A great deal of skill goes into bringing such details out in such a small page count, particularly as the text is broken up by Gary Blythe's excellent illustrations. There's real tension in the story and despite my gut instinct that there would be a happy ending (there is!) I was on the edge of my seat until I knew how it worked out.

You might be wondering about the low page count. Well the book is dyslexia friendly and is aimed at children who, for whatever reason, are struggling with reading. The paper on which the story is printed is thick so that there's no chance of whatever's on the reverse showing through, which can be a distraction. For the same reason the paper has a matt finish - shiny paper can make reading more difficult - and it has a creamy-yellow colouring which is easier on the eye. The font - one specifically designed by Barrington Stoke - is double spaced and not justified (so you don't lose your place quite so easily). Even people who are not dyslexic - and particularly reluctant readers - will find that all these factors make reading easier.

This book has a reading age of eight and an interest age of eight to twelve and you could probably extend this into the early teens. But are early teens and upper tweens going to want to be seen reading the book? Well, there's a 'super readable' sticker on the cover which peels off easily and there is then nothing to distinguish this from a book published by a mass-market publisher. The cover is stunning and the author is well known and respected. What's not to like? I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then we can recommend another dyslexia-friendly book from Jenny Oldfield: Bright Star which is also set in the Rockies, only this time it's not a country girl having to go to the city, but a city girl on the ranch.

Buy Blue Moon by Jenny Oldfield at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Blue Moon by Jenny Oldfield at

Buy Blue Moon by Jenny Oldfield at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Blue Moon by Jenny Oldfield at


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