Desirable by Frank Cottrell Boyce

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Desirable by Frank Cottrell Boyce

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anne Thompson
Reviewed by Anne Thompson
Summary: An entertaining read with some laugh out loud moments and perfect for dyslexic or struggling readers too. Witty, touching and accessible - perfect for encouraging reading for pleasure with the reluctant child.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 104 Date: November 2014
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
ISBN: 978-1781124246

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Poor George. He knows that he is not popular but when even his own Grandad doesn't want to stay around for his birthday party he realises that things are even worse than he thought. However this was before he discovered the contents of the present from his Grandad and experienced the dramatic impact on his life an aged bottle of aftershave would bring. Although George tries to think himself invisible in order to cope today he is not invisible. In fact he is not only visible but desirable too!

Frank Cottrell Boyce has a gift for championing the underdog in his stories and for treating life's problems with wit and warmth. Many children will be likely to readily identify with George and his lack of confidence and awkwardness. As with many of Cottrell Boyce's characters he is a bit of an outsider and in this case is obsessed by Warhammer fantasy games. The conversations between George and his school mates are believable and the story is quite touching in parts. This book is an entertaining read with some real laugh out loud moments as George copes with his new found popularity with the ladies. There is a subtle message about the true meaning of friendship conveyed within the giggles too.

This reissue by Barrington Stoke has the added advantage of being dyslexia friendly.The paper has a matt finish and a creamy-yellow colouring reducing the glare and the font - specifically designed by the publishers - is double spaced so the pages look less busy and are not as intimidating for struggling readers. The story is aimed at readers with a reading age of eight plus and will no doubt particularly appeal to boys of about eight to twelve but I am sure that girls will enjoy this too. As a school librarian I am very impressed by the way in which Barrington Stoke present their books. The format is very child friendly with a chunky feel and an eye-catching cover. In addition they have teamed up with some of the best children's authors around to ensure that the content lives up to the overall look. This is definitely a winner.

Thank you to the publishers for supplying this review copy for the Bookbag.

If this type of story appeals and you are looking for something a little longer I would thoroughly recommend one of Frank Cottrell Boyce's other stories for children, Cosmic. This is one of my favourite children's books being both very funny and touching.

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