Newest Dyslexia Friendly Reviews

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Senseless by Steve Cole

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16 year old Kenzie Mitchell, otherwise known as K-Boy, thinks his every dream has come true when he's wins the chance to attend a top gaming tournament at Sensia HQ on a remote tropical island. The contestants are flown in on their own private jet and transferred by limo to the swankiest of hotels. It all seems too good to be true – which of course it is. Within hours, events start to take a sinister turn. Kenzie wakes in the night unable to see and one by one his other senses – touch, hearing, smell and taste – flicker in and out. And he's not on his own. It's happening to the other contestants too, sometimes with fatal consequences. Kenzie wants to believe it isn't really happening. He wants to believe it's just a really good virtual reality game. But with Sensia in control, the line between realities has almost entirely disappeared. Full review...

Free Lance and the Field of Blood (Free Lance Trilogy 2) by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

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The world of jousting is a fierce one – survive the minor battles with the lance, either as a bonded employed Knight or as a Free Lance, and you might try your hands at the major league. There the men are stronger, the horses faster, and the ground hurts more when you hit it. But the big time also offers more that can put a humble Knight at risk – such as evil hosts, beautiful princess-types in pickles, and mysteriously successful strangers. Our nameless hero and his loyal horse, Jed, are going to be up against a lot more than they expected here… Full review...

Worry Angels by Sita Brahmachari and Jane Ray

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Amy-May was devastated when her parents split up: she and her mother left the delightful seaside cottage where the waves had sung her to sleep and moved into a 'garden flat'. That didn't mean that it had a garden, just that it was on the ground floor. They didn't have a lot of possessions as the bailiffs had taken most of them. Her father was living in another old cottage now and hopefully he'd be able to set up his kiln, but he wouldn't be able to home-school Amy-May. The alternative was Sandcastles Secondary School but the rather nervous Amy was considered to be too anxious to start at the school full time. As a gentle introduction to schooling she went to Grace's art school instead. Full review...

Nellie Choc-Ice, Penguin Explorer (Little Gems) by Jeremy Strong and Jamie Smith

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Meet Nellie Choc-Ice. Thus named by her grandparents (and grandparents have a habit in this book of making unusual names for their grandchildren, whichever species they belong to), she is a pretty little Macaroni penguin, complete with pink feet, bright yellow eyebrows and a woolly hat with the world's biggest pompom on the end. She has a habit of going exploring and finding out what's over the next ridge in the ice, and the next, and the next. But when disaster happens and the ice she is on is knocked off Antarctica by a submarine, even she can have no idea as to where she will end up… Full review...

Madeleine Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

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Madeleine Finn doesn't like to read - not anything. It's not really her fault, you know. Her teacher tries to encourage her, but some of the other kids giggle when she makes mistakes. And they pull faces of the type which would have given me my head in my hands to play with when I was a child. The words just don't seem to come out right for her. The other children are getting gold stars (I've never liked that system) but all Madeleine gets is a heart sticker which tells her to keep trying. She's got plenty of those. All week she tries her best but doesn't get the star she longs for. Full review...

Storm Cloud by Jenny Oldfield

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Kami Miller was invited to stay at Wolf Ridge Farm, the home of her best friend Macy Lucas, for the summer. They were both going to be working as real cowgirls and there was a herd of 300 cows to be brought back from the mountains to the ranch. It wasn't going to be easy work, particularly as Macy's father was recovering from an accident and couldn't ride. All the pressure of running the ranch has fallen on Macy's brother, Wes - and he's not coping well. Kami's upset that he's taking it out on one of the young colts, Storm Cloud, but what can she do about it? Full review...

The Ghost in Annie's Room (Little Gems) by Philippa Pearce and Cate James

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Emma is on a family holiday in an older relative's seaside cottage, where she is to sleep in the room in the attic. Her brother has passed on what he says he has overheard – that it is haunted. But even with the mementos of the person that once lived there all around her, and with a strange feeling of being watched, even with the stormy winds knocking tree limbs on to the window – Emma can sleep through it all. But that's not to say things will forever be that way… Full review...

The Valentine's Day Kitten by Cathy Hopkins

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Marcie is distraught. On Valentine's Day last year she'd didn't receive a single card and her parents could see that she was upset, so when she came home from school there was a box on the kitchen table and in it was the most gorgeous fluffy silver kitten. Misty and Marcie were soon inseparable until the day that Misty went out without a collar on - and didn't come home. Marcie blamed herself: Misty's collar had broken and she'd never got round to buying a new one. Mum has put notices up everywhere she can think of and rung the local vets and animal rescue centres, but there's no sign of Misty. Then Marcie starts having dreams, about a boy, a hotel, a painting - and Misty. Will there be a happy ending? Full review...

Free Lance and the Lake of Skulls by Paul Stewart and Chris Ridddell

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Our hero is a free lance – one of the traditional self-employed men, going round the country, jousting when he can, doing fantastical errands when they come up, all with no fixed employer. But the lack of fixed income hits home at times. And at those times, those fantastical errands, however nightmarish they can clearly be, get to be all the more appealing… Full review...

The Ghost in the Bath by Jeremy Strong and Scoular Anderson

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Luke has got problems – and just about every school subject qualifies as one at the moment. But none of those are a bigger problem than history – he's been tasked with a research-heavy project for homework, but has no idea. So when he is having a brainstorm in a bath and is interrupted by a ghost, of all things, it might just be the way for him to be connected with the past. But that's ignoring the fact that the girl left as a ghost might be wanting a connection of her own – and perhaps an end to an unusual problem she herself has… Full review...

Rook by Anthony McGowan

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When Nicky and his learning-disabled brother Kenny come across a rook being attacked by a sparrowhawk, they chase off the raptor and rescue the rook.Kenny is convinced that a good dollop of love and affection is all that's needed to keep the bird alive but Nicky is sceptical. And in any case, Nicky has other things to worry about, like avoiding the bully at school and finding a way to talk to the girl he likes. In the previous two books in this sequence, troubles were dogging Kenny and the boys' father but in Rook it's Nicky who could do with a helping hand. Things are about to go wrong. Will Nicky find a way through? Full review...

The Beautiful Game by Alan Gibbons

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Football is all about its colours. And even if I write in the season when one team in blue knocks another team in blue from the throne of English football, it's common knowledge that red is the more successful colour to wear. But is that flame red? Blood red? The red of the Sun cover banner when it falsely declared 96 Liverpool FC fans were fatally caught up in a tragedy – and that it had been one of their own making? And while we're on about colour, where were the people of colour in football in the olden days? There are so many darker sides to football's history it's enough to make a young lad question the whole game… Full review...

Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley

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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… Full review...

Passing for White by Tanya Landman

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In 1847, in Macon, Georgia, Benjamin was a slave. He was a talented carpenter too, but on November the 19th he was unnerved: a white woman was looking at him, smiling and being polite. What was going on? He wasn't just unnerved, but nervous: you see, Benjamin was looking at the white woman, looking her in the eye and a slave could get himself killed for less than that. Only this wasn't a white woman: this was Rosa, who was mixed race. She could pass for white, but she too was a slave. Rosa and Benjamin eventually married, but it didn't stop Rosa's master from taking sexual advantage of her and when she found that she was pregnant she had no way of knowing who the father was. Full review...

The Harder They Fall by Bali Rai

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Cal loves comic books. He also dreams of being a superhero and saving the day while simultaneously winning the heart of the girl (Freya being the girl, hopefully). Batman is his favourite superhero. But Cal's world outside his daydreams is not particularly superhero-like. Because Cal is a bit of a geek and he is being bullied by mean girl Anu, who makes him complete homework assignments which she then sells on to lazy classmates. Still, it's not all bad. Cal's parents are lovely and the gorgeous Freya is making friendly overtures... Full review...

Flesh and Blood by Chris Priestley

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Families change in wartime – in size, if not any other way. Bill and Jane have already had to get used to their father being away to fight, and they've tried the evacuee experience, but are back in London – just in time for the Battle of Britain, which is a circumstance Bill hates Jane for, as he quickly grew to love the countryside, while Jane resisted the idea of them settling there, so they were returned to an allegedly safe capital. One night after a bombing raid they settle outside the neighbourhood's token empty, boarded up and deserted home – only for Bill to convince himself he hears someone inside. The unidentifiable and severely burnt child that gets rescued becomes a kind of new family member – but does this have anything to do with Bill's resent-filled wish for a brother to replace Jane? Full review...

Good Dog McTavish by Meg Rosoff

5star.jpg Confident Readers

McTavish did wonder whether he was making a mistake in adopting the Peachey family: it was a decision which came from the heart rather than the head. You see the Peacheys were dysfunctional: Ma Peachey, an accountant by profession, decided that she was fed up with chasing around after an ungrateful family, so she resigned and dedicated herself to her yoga with half a hint that she might also dedicate herself to her yoga teacher. She gave up cooking, cleaning, baking, washing and all the other things which kept the family going, such as finding lost keys and getting people out of bed so that they got to wherever they were going on time. And the family? Well, they had no idea of how to cope, with one exception. Full review...

Norman the Norman from Normandy (Little Gems) by Philip Ardagh and Tom Morgan-Jones

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Meet Norman. Norman the Norman, from Normandy. Not Big Bad Norman the Norman from Normandy, and not Norma the Norman from Normandy – and not even Nora the Norman from, well it doesn't say, but my guess is Normandy. Norman isn't very big at all – he's just a little boy, and he's not bad. Or at least he doesn't think he is. But because his father, Big Bad Norman, is buried in three parts (don't ask), and little baby Norman has inherited Big Bad Norman's big bad Norman sword, he's going to visit the three parts – but only good will happen… Right? Full review...

The Covers of My Book Are Too Far Apart (and other grumbles) by Vivian French and Nigel Baines

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I'm too old for bedtime stories, That's a girl's book!, I hate this book but I've got to finish it, I can't find a book that I like. You've probably heard at least one of the grumbles in this book before but have you known how to respond to it? This brilliant picture book will do it for you and is a joyful celebration of all that's wonderful about books and reading. Full review...

SuperDad's Day Off by Phil Earle

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Stanley's dad is tired. It can be exhausting work being a Superhero. For six days of the week he saves the world from disasters and defeats the baddies as Dynamo Dan. Stanley decides his poor dad needs a day off and is determined to make sure that he gets a proper rest. So they head off to the park for some much needed Dad and Son bonding time. However people don't seem to understand that even Superheroes need time to recuperate. The requests for help keep on coming so what can poor Stanley do other than step in to save the day. Full review...

The Story of the Dancing Frog by Quentin Blake

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When Jo's Great Aunt Gertrude's sea captain husband is drowned at sea she is grief-stricken and, in despair, she goes for a walk alone. During this walk she notices a small frog on a lily-pad. But he is no ordinary frog - he's a dancing frog and the two quickly become good friends. Soon the duo are touring the world with their routine, spreading joy and fun - and carrying out the occasional rescue - wherever they go. Full review...

Knife Edge by Robert Swindells

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I'm just not interested. I'm not interested in there ever being a knife in junior fiction, unless it comes with a lesson. And I'm just not interested unless that lesson tells you one thing – that they're quick. Knives can be quick to find, are quick to whip out, and quick to get the bearer into trouble, whether they actually meet flesh or not. Sam is the student of that lesson here – his school has a Citizenship campaign whereby the pupils do odd jobs for local elderly, and he finds a perfect knife he thinks will defend him from the local gang – a gang whose leader he constantly rattled in primary school. As for the rest – I'll leave his personable first-person narrative to teach you… Full review...

Secret FC by Tom Palmer and Garry Parsons

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Meet Lily, Maddie, Zack, Khal, and James and Batts. They all go to a school together – and they do it eagerly, as their inner city life is so devoid of nature and the open space that the playground is the only room large enough for football. But lo and behold the new head teacher has banned all ball games, on health and safety grounds. How do these friends get over their disappointment? Why, with imagination, hard work and a firm belief that what they're doing is right, is how – they convert a rotting tennis court handily hidden in the school's woods into a pitch, where after a lot of labours they can play to their heart's content. Or so they think… Full review...