Newest Dyslexia Friendly Reviews

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Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Blue Moon by Sally Gardner

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Betsy K Glory lives a rather wonderful life on a peaceful island where nothing horrible ever happens. Her father, Alonso, makes the most wonderful ice cream in every flavour you could imagine. Her mother, Myrtle, is a mermaid and comes to visit regularly, although she still lives in the sea. Betsy dreams of two things: firstly, about the circus owned by a tiger and whether it would ever come to her island and secondly, about a magical ice cream made from the berries of the Gongalong bush. One scoop of this ice cream can make wishes come true.

And then Mr Tiger and his circus arrive. And a journey is planned... Full Review


Run Wild by Gill Lewis

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Meet Izzy and Asha. Bullied away from the local attempt at a skatepark, they find a huge waste ground in the shadow of a derelict gasometer to practise on, which they duly do, even though they have to drag Izzy's younger brother with them. The following day they all want to return, as does the brother's schoolfriend, despite – and of course because of – there being a huge wolf living in the site. Can the children survive living in the urban wilderness, alongside such obvious dangers? Full Review

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A Different Dog by Paul Jennings and Geoff Kelly

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Our hero is a boy, whose name we never learn. We know what he wants in life – with his mother exceedingly poor, and even his bed burnt to keep the two of them warm, he wants the prize offered by a down-a-mountain-and-back-up-and-down-again foot race. Winning the race and the large purse would also give him more status in the eyes of those kids that bully him, and it might even give him a voice – for he is almost mute. We quickly learn he never talks back to anyone, whatever the motivation, and can only speak aloud to himself – and, so it turns out, to a dog he rescues from a bad road accident he finds on his way up the hill to the start line… Full Review

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Grave Matter by Juno Dawson and Alex T Smith

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Since Eliza died, since the night of the car crash that took her life, Sam is a broken soul. He is lost without the girl he loves, feeling as though a part of him died that night too. But he is desperate and he cannot live without Eliza. He remembers his estranged Aunt Marie and her peculiar healing powers and wonders if she might be able to help him. However, finding his Aunt Marie leads him to discover the Milk Man, which causes Sam in his grieving state to make a pact with forces he doesn't understand. Things soon turn complicated as supernatural powers start to change Sam's life in more ways than he bargained for. Full Review

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The Last Days of Archie Maxwell by Annabel Pitcher

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Archie Maxwell was shocked when his parents told him that they were getting divorced. It wasn't that Dads leaving was that unusual: Leon's Dad had left and so had Mo's. It was why he was leaving and Archie was embarrassed that his sister had suspected that their father was gay some time ago. Both of his sisters are sad to see their father leave, but they don't seem to have any problem with the why and they tell their friends. But Archie daren't tell the lads at school: the bullying is bad enough as it is. And then there's the problem of Tia, whom he really fancies but he can't say anything about it. What Tia really needs is a friend: it's just about the first anniversary of the day on which her brother committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train on the line which runs at the back of Archie's house. Full Review

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Secret of the Stones by Tony Bradman

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Twelve year old Maglos has a fulfilling and happy life with his father, the High Priest of Stonehenge. However, everything changes when his Uncle Tigran murders Maglos's father at the mid-summer festival before turning to do the same to Maglos. As the axe is about to fall, two strangers intervene warning Tigran that the Gods will be angry if he spills the blood of a child. Tigran allows the strangers to take Maglos away as their slave. What Tigran doesn't realise is that these two men carry the secret of the stones – a secret that they pass onto Maglos and which he will ultimately use against his uncle. Full Review

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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