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Most girls starting out Brook City School are hoping for something new and different, but Kirsten just wants things to be normal. Even good things seem to come with a sting in the tail and worst of all, Mum and Dad are really not getting on. In fact Kirsten is happiest at school and does all the after-school activities she can manage just to keep away from home for as long as she can. Her elder brother, Finn, who's at sixth form college, is struggling too: what used to be thought of as cheeky at school has turned into disruptive. When things get really bad Kirsten is suddenly reminded of her old friend Honey and wonders if she can get in touch with her.

Honey and Me by Karen McCombie

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An engaging short story for the preteen girl which is also dyslexia friendly.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: August 2015
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781124758

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You know you can rely on Karen McCombie: she has her finger on the pulse of the tre-teen girl and she knows exactly how they think. She captures the uncertainties and insecurities which would be there even if life wasn't bad at home and she understands that sometimes you have to turn to the imaginary friend who you thought you'd left behind long ago. It's subtly done - you never feel that Kirsten is being babyish, or doing anything unreasonable: she simply need a sympathetic ear into which she can pour her troubles and it helps her to sort out what needs to be done.

The illustrations in the book are stunning too: they're by Cathy Brett and she captures the idiosyncrasies of preteen dress and the way they move: they're all leg! Honey and me isn't very long, but the illustrations do more than just pad out the story - they bring it to life.

There's a bonus with this book too: it's dyslexia friendly. Don't worry, the dyslexia-friendly sticker peels off easily and the cover design looks just like the trendy books the other kids are reading. No one is going to be embarrassed. 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 just 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.

You can read the first chapter of Honey and Me here.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

For another dyslexia-friendly book from Karen McCombie, have a look at The Girl With The Sunshine Smile.

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Buy Honey and Me by Karen McCombie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Honey and Me by Karen McCombie at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Honey and Me by Karen McCombie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Honey and Me by Karen McCombie at


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