Newest Dyslexia Friendly Reviews

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Tilt by Mary Hoffman

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To make an author, you first show someone books. To make a reader, you first show them the books they want to, and/or can, read. To make a builder, you first show someone buildings. I use those platitudes to introduce Simonetta, or Netta, who lives in Pisa late in the thirteenth century. She is surrounded by fabulous buildings – it's not for nothing the area will become known as the Field of Miracles, for the Cathedral, Baptistry and bell tower look gorgeous. But something is wrong with the latter one – it's definitely leaning, cracks are showing, and over the hundred-plus years it's taken to get this far people have built the floors at odd angles to correct the problem. Netta is intent on being the person who can solve it, alongside her father who's employed to finish it off. But therein lies the problem – it's all well and good showing someone buildings, and making them want to be an architect, but if they're the wrong gender then all hope is lost… or is it? Full review...

Until We Win by Linda Newbery

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The best journeys are made with little steps. Lizzy is slowly leaving her boring village behind – by being cheeky yet clever at her lessons, and getting a job in an office in the nearest proper town – and by saving to buy, and teaching herself to ride, a bicycle. All that's under the watchful eye of a mother insistent she learns to knuckle down with the housework on behalf of the men, and an older brother working at the village hunt. At the office, however, further steps are suggested to her – shorthand and typing classes, but she gets diverted. A chance encounter in a tea rooms puts more stepping stones in her way – en route to becoming a fully committed Suffragette, concerned only with making demands for votes for women. Full review...

Rabbit and Bear: The Pest in the Nest by Julian Gough and Jim Field

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Rabbit was struggling. There he was having a nice, peaceful sleep in his friend Bear's cave when a terrible noise woke him. Was it thunder? No, it was Bear snoring. Very loudly. Rabbit tried putting his paws over his ears although that's not very successful when you have small paws and very big ears. But there was something good: when Rabbit went outside the cave he realised that spring had sprung. Suddenly he felt strong. After a winter spent in his friend Bear's cave it was time to go home to his burrow. Only there was a surprise lurking there - and it looked suspiciously like a snake. Full review...

Mind The Gap by Phil Earle

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When Mikey's dad dies, he stops caring about anything. Indeed, he becomes so desperate to feel something that he deliberately provokes the one person on the estate who no one messes with. Not surprisingly it ends badly and not just for him. Mikey's best mate also ends up in a pool of blood. But that doesn't matter because his friend has already lost something more important. He lost Mikey when his dad died and he's determined to find a way to bring his best friend back. That's why he sets off on a one boy crusade to find a way to help Mikey remember his dad. He just needs to find a movie, a radio extract, or a YouTube clip – something that will allow his friend to remember his dad's voice. Mikey's dad was an actor, so how difficult can it be? Full review...

The Liar's Handbook by Keren David

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Everyone tells River that he's a liar but he doesn't see it that way – as far as River is concerned he just thinks up interesting stuff to fill in the gaps in what he knows. His lies are harmless: unlike the lies that his mum's new boyfriend, Jason, tells. Jason is a total fake and River is on a crusade to expose him. However, River's investigation doesn't work out as planned. He does uncover a serious deception (involving his biological father and the police) but will anyone believe him? Full review...

The Sticky Witch by Hilary McKay

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Tom and Ellie's parents have set sail around the world on a raft made of rubbish! They tell the children that they will be gone for three years, but it will go by very quickly and they'll be safe and happy in the company of Aunt Tab. But who is this strange lady who applied for the job of caring for two wonderful children and their cat, Whiskers? She doesn't seem to be the kind guardian that the children need, and why is everything in her house so very, very sticky? Full review...

The First Hunter by Robert Swindells

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Tan and his family are scavengers - stone age scavengers. When a big cat makes a kill one of the family - the brand man - dashes in and frightens the big cat off its kill with a firy brand and one of the others snatches some of the meat for the family. If they don't get the meat then it's down to roots, insects or lizards. Some of the family are concerned about Wid, who grew, but his brain didn't and they don't see why they should hunt for meat to keep the boy alive. They're all for leaving him to the wolves. Tan won't have it and for the moment Wid is safe. Full review...

The White Fox by Jackie Morris

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Sol had never been happy in Seattle. It wasn't just that he was bullied at school: being Inuit he looked different and that always makes you a target. Sol's heart was somewhere else - in the Arctic, where he felt he belonged and where he had grandparents whom he'd not seen for such a long time. Everything changed when his father told him about the white Arctic fox which had been seen on the docks and Sol set about finding the fox - and then feeding it. But what would happen to the fox when it was trapped? And how would Sol handle the situation? Full review...

Unboxed by Non Pratt

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When they were thirteen there had been five of them: Alix, Ben, Dean, Millie and Zara, and they had made a promise to return to the school where they had hidden a memory box five years later. Only five years later there are only four of them: Millie had died of stomach cancer. The remaining four are nervous about what they might find in the box, worried about what their thirteen-year-old selves might reveal about who they are now, but most of all they're missing Millie. Full review...

Mind Writer by Steve Cole

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Everyone knows what a mind reader can do and Luke Mellows has this amazing talent, or maybe it is a gift. He uses this to great effect and for his own entertainment. Knowing what the teacher is thinking can be incredibly useful and can be used for amusing classroom antics. Luke thought it was only him who had this gift, however when he meets Samira he soon realises that there is one skill that can be even more powerful than his – a mind writer. Being able to change what a person will think can be a powerful and dangerous skill. When the mind reader and mind writer come together Luke soon learns that there is a much darker and sinister situation occurring than he could ever have imagined. Full review...

The Snow Globe by Jean Ure

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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. Full review...

Wings: Spitfire by Tom Palmer

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Greg is fed up with playing in goal. He reckons things only happen to you there. The other players get to make them happen. The summer school isn't turning out how he'd hoped at all. The old airfield next to the school freaks Greg out … but when he starts on a model of an old Spitfire, he's propelled into an adventure that will really show him what it means to take control … Full review...

Wave by Paul Dowswell

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Wave, set in WW1, tells the story of the battle of the Somme. Although the story spans 100 years, 1st July 1916 and 1st July 2016, the majority of the action takes place during 30minutes between 7am and 7.30am on 1st July 1916. It follows two brothers, Charlie and Eddie, as they prepare for the moment when they are to go over the top, as the first wave, into No Man’s Land. The story is a poignant, reflective and brutally honest account of the events which lead to the biggest casualty rate in one day in the history of the British Army. Full review...

The OMG Blog by Karen McCombie

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In the first weeks of term at a new secondary school four good girls find themselves thrown together in detention. From this inauspicious beginning a firm friendship develops as the girls, encouraged by their teacher to enter a blogging competition, find that they do have one very important thing in common…their embarrassing mums. The Our Mums Grrr blog is born! Full review...

Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman

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Michela Corbin is something of a rebel, but even she understands that everyone must wear a Peace Maker Device all the time and that it must never be tampered with, as non-aggression is their society's founding principle. The Peace Maker is the means by which this is enforced, but Michela wants to experience the full range of human emotions and the Peace Maker stops that. When her mother captains their ship into enemy airspace and they come under attack it seems that Michela's freedom from the constraints of the Peace Maker might be the only thing that can save them. Full review...

The Boy and the Globe by Tony Bradman and Tom Morgan-Jones

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This lively and enjoyable story is set in early seventeenth century London where young orphan Toby Cuffe is living on the streets where life is hard. In order to survive, the resourceful Toby joins the gang of boys who work for Moll Cut-Purse as thieves. Moll sends Toby to the Globe Theatre to do some pickpocketing where Toby becomes so engrossed in the play being performed that he forgets about his own safety. Caught by the theatre's owners Toby meets the writer of the play he has just seen performed, the famous playwright William Shakespeare. Then our young hero is given an opportunity that he had not expected. Toby is full of enthusiasm for the theatre and rekindles the Bard's enthusiasm too so that together they team up to save the threatened theatre. Full review...

Grey Island Red Boat by Ian Beck

5star.jpg Emerging Readers

Princess Opal lived with her father, the king, on the Island of Ashes. It was a grey island, set in a grey sea and Opal lived in a grey castle surrounded by a cold grey moat. The gardens were grey and so were the trees and flowers. Princess Opal even sat on a grey granite throne in a grey granite room - and she wished that her life could be different. She couldn't help but think that something was missing. Full review...

We Are Not FROGS! by Michael Morpurgo and Sam Usher

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After the storm the frogs and the toads all came out onto the lawn to play long jump. This was the frogs' choice as they could jump further and the toads just wanted an easy life. But - through a series of unfortunate incidents involving lorries, dogs, children, a cart and an ice cream container, first the toads ended up in the ice cream container and after they sold the frogs down the river in exchange for being put into a muddy ditch, the frogs - all twenty two of them - were in the same prison and it was only thanks to Mutt the dog that they escaped. Full review...

Queen of the Silver Arrow by Caroline Lawrence

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King Metabus had not been a good king and his escape from his kingdom was hurried and pursued. When he reached the river he had to make a decision and he thought first of the safety of the baby daughter he carried in his arms and tied her to his javelin, which he threw across the torrent, pledging as he did so that he would serve the Goddess Diana. Camilla should have grown up as a Princess but instead she lived in a cave with her father and ran wild in the forest. In nearby Laurentum, Acca had grown up hearing the story of how Camilla giggled as she swung on the javelin embedded in the ground and dreamed of meeting her, but this didn't happen until after the death of Camilla's father, when the girls became firm friends. Full review...

A Dark Trade by Mary Hooper

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Georgina Friday, known to everyone as Gina, grew up in an orphanage and when she was sixteen went to be a servant is a big house in central London. There were seven members of the family and twelve servants - and Gina was the one at the bottom who had to run about after everyone and who was the butt of practical jokes. She could cope with that, but what she couldn't cope with was the attentions of one of the young men of the family. She'd already heard the stories of what had happened to another young maid who'd caught his eye - thrown out on the streets to fend for herself and her baby - and could see no way of escape from him other than to run away. Full review...

Ghost for Sale by Terry Deary

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When Mr and Mrs Rundle see an advert in the paper for a wardrobe for sale, complete with ghost, Mrs Rundle decides that they absolutely must have it! They own The Dog and Duck Inn and Mrs Rundle feels that addition of a ghost will add interest to their Inn and bring them custom. The arrival of the wardrobe certainly shakes things up for the Rundles, though perhaps not in the way they'd imagined! Full review...

Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habbits by Julian Gough and Jim Field

4.5star.jpg For Sharing

When Bear wakes up early from her hibernation, she decides that if she can't sleep then she might as well do something which she's always wanted to do - build a snowman. It's whilst she's doing this that she meets Rabbit, who tells her that he's an Expert in Gravity. Whatever he is, it doesn't seem to make him particularly happy as he never smiles and isn't exactly big on fun. But there are avalanches around as well as hungry wolves and Rabbit soon comes to the conclusion that it's good to have a friend on your side - even if you have just stolen their food. Full review...

My Dog Daisy by Jean Ure

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Lily did not want a goldfish. Nor did she want a hamster or a cat. She wanted a DOG and whilst she understood what Mum said about not being able to have a dog in the 5th floor flat without a garden she still thought it was unfair. After all, when they lived at Gran's house there was a garden and she could have had a dog, but then Mum and Gran had a row and they moved out. She hadn't even seen Gran for three months and she missed her. And the dog which she couldn't have. Even Keri, her best friend, though that she was going on a bit about the whole thing. Full review...