Robot Girl by Malorie Blackman
|Robot Girl by Malorie Blackman|
|Category: Dyslexia Friendly|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A brilliant story in which nothing is quite what it seems - a compelling story for any age group. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 72||Date: February 2015|
|Publisher: Barrington Stoke|
|External links: Author's website|
Claire is excited and she's nagging her mother to tell her what her father has been doing in his laboratory, but her mother is no wiser than she is and tells Claire that she will simply have to wait until her father is ready to show her what he's been doing. He's a famous inventor and Claire knows that whatever it is will be exciting. For now all she can do is to tell her pen friend - and be patient.
But Claire is in for a shock. When she sees the 'invention' she knows that her father has created a monster. It's a robot and her father has modelled the robot on Claire, even down to using her thought processes: the only difference is that Claire has a firm body but the robot's body is, well, squishy to the touch. Claire's mother isn't entirely certain about AI-E (as the robot's called) - but Claire wants it destroyed. She's deeply upset, particularly with her father doesn't understand why she's upset. Her only outlet is to write to her pen friend, Maisie. Maisie's sympathetic to a certain extent, but points out that Claire is only upset with her father because of AI-E, whilst SHE is upset because her father only wants to make money out of her.
It's a brilliant story and you're going to have to be prepared to reverse all your thinking as you read as nothing, but nothing, is quite what you first think it to be. I read the book through in one sitting, completely captivated by the story - and I have more multiples of the target age than I care to admit to. It's one of those books which is so well written that it's a great book, whatever your age.
There's another real plus about this book too. It's from Barrington Stoke, so it's dyslexia friendly. The reading age is eight, but the interest age is eight to twelve, so it's going to encourage kids who are just a bit slow of picking up the reading habit or who are struggling with the technique. You'll find details of the reading age and interest age just to the right of the barcode on the back of the book - it's not obvious unless you know what you're looking for and kids not going to be embarrassed by it. The dyslexia-friendly sticker peels off easily and the cover design looks just like the trendy books the other kids are reading.
So, what makes the book dyslexia friendly? Well, firstly Barrington Stoke have designed a special font where each character is distinct and pulls the reader on to read the next word. It's printed on an off-white paper, which reduces the glare which can distract some readers and the paper is substantial enough to ensure that there's no bleed through from the reverse of the page. The spacing between words and lines has been carefully judged to give the best reading experience and the text has not been justified as this can mean that readers get lost on the page. The book has clearly defined chapters to give natural rest breaks and it's not just the reader which benefits from that - many parents and carers feel the same way. It's not only people with dyslexia which benefit from these ingenious changes - most young readers will find the books easier to read and more enjoyable. I'm just about into my dotage and recently I've been suffering from eye problems - and Barrington Stoke books are the ones which I can read most easily.
I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more dyslexia friendly reading form Malorie Blackman we can recommend Jon For Short. For more dyslexia-friendly reading about girls who are struggling to come to terms with something have a look at The Girl With The Sunshine Smile by Karen McCombie.
You can read more book reviews or buy Robot Girl by Malorie Blackman at Amazon.com.
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