Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley

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Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A plain and simple issue-style story for the very young and the dyslexic. It's more than competent but it's not something to read and re-read for pleasure.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 72 Date: April 2017
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781781125717

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Lena's mother seems very ill. Scary noises are coming from the bathroom, she's off food and completely listless, complaining of the effort involved in sewing a patch onto a cub scout uniform. It might be a surprise to the young reader of this book when we learn what the reason is – certainly it was obvious from page two for me – but there are definitely more surprises to come. Mother makes a slightly unusual decision about her condition – leaving Lena with a lot on her plate when fate sets in with a surprise of its own…

I won't prevaricate any longer – the cause of the 'illness', and the whole reason for the book, is that Lena's mother is pregnant again. I say that's the cause of the book as it really is the whole crux of the 60-page story. And that's an issue here, as it kind of makes the volume an issue book – something the school library has on its shelf to hand to people in a specific situation. I can imagine there is a wide audience for this – lots of children grow up to the extent they might know the basics of childbirth but not realise their own family is due a growth – but beyond the inherent drama here there isn't exactly an entertainment one would return to often.

But I can't let this slide without mentioning this book is suitable for a specific audience alongside any general readers it may draw to it. It's from Barrington Stoke, the specialists in books for the young (of any age) with dyslexia or other reading disorders. This has a reading age, and an identical interest age, of seven, which suggests a standard house could have taken this up. But they haven't, and as a result we get large, sturdy-looking font, and thick, lemony paper stock so everything can be concentrated on easily. I can't see the cursive text on the front cover, or the occasional use of Polish language, to be ideal for the dyslexic (and as regards the family concerned being Polish, they're the blondest Poles I know according to the illustrations) but there you go. Barrington Stoke always seem to know what they're doing, and the author has more titles out than I've had hot dinners. This book from the two isn't the most obvious one to pick up for a great, fun read, but it concerns a corner of the market too big to be called a niche – and has filled it in commensurate manner.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

That hypothetical school library would also have Have You Started Yet?: You and your period: getting the facts straight by Ruth Thomson and Chloe Thomson on it.

Buy Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley at Amazon.com.


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