Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond and Vladimir Stankovic

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Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond and Vladimir Stankovic

Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Emotive story about dealing with bullies - and it's dyslexia friendly too. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 72 Date: May 2014
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
ISBN: 978-1781122693

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The Bad Lads had been together for years. They were scamps, mischief makers - lads having a bit of fun - and they were led by Joe Gillespie who was a year or two older. The lads thought that Joe was great but there was a niggling feeling amongst one or two of the boys that he was getting a bit more extreme and that some of his pranks were actually - deliberately - going to hurt people. The fire at Mr Eustace's (he was a conchie, you see) happened the same week that Klaus Vogel arrived in the town of Felling. The scrawny refugee from East Germany who knew hardly any English would change things for the Bad Lads.

The story's set in the aftermath of World War II in a real setting on Tyneside, where author David Almond grew up and it's a powerful tale about values and standing up to bullies. The writing is simple and direct with not a word wasted and the text is liberally supplemented by illustrations by Vladimir Stankovic, who captures the individual characters of the boys beautifully. It's a short story which has been designed to work for people with dyslexia. 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. Even people who are not dyslexic will find that all these factors make reading easier.

This book is written to have a reading age of eight but an interest age in the teens. Personally I think that an older tween would also enjoy the book and I wouldn't like to set an upper age limit. But are teens and tweens going to want to be seen reading the book? Well, there's a 'dyslexia friendly' 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 appealing and the author is top notch. What's not to like? I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

People with a similar interest age/reading age combination will also enjoy Over The Line by Tom Palmer. For more from David Almond, try Skellig.

Buy Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond and Vladimir Stankovic at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond and Vladimir Stankovic at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond and Vladimir Stankovic at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond and Vladimir Stankovic at Amazon.com.


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