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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.

Until We Win by Linda Newbery

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Suitable for anybody with a reading age of eight or over, but designed to be a book the dyslexic teen can be proud to engage with, this dramatized example of Suffragist ideas is just great. Linda popped into Bookbag Towers and chatted to us about the power of protest. It's very relevant to the situation the world is in now.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 88 Date: January 2017
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781781125793

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As someone who dabbles in selling second hand books, I like those I find from Barrington Stoke – and they're actually easy to identify, for the simple qualities I like, such as their durability. I know I should be lauding them for their thick paper stock, with lemony tinge, that prevents words leaching from one side to another so their dyslexic audience can read unimpeded by confusion and clutter, but from my point of view one of their benefits is they last.

As for this example to hand, I like the fact that it is certainly current, but at no times did it feel like being rushed out for any centenary of the Suffragette movement. It could almost be the coming-of-age-tale for any young woman, in fact (certainly the closing pages, and a side character that joins Lizzy at work bring other issues to the fore). But the real purpose of the book has to be the edutainment as regards the Votes For Women campaign, and all it entailed – from their identifiable colours, to the key names in it, to the progression towards violence… I still learned from this book, which I have the right to demand from books for all ages – here I was told about the Cat and Mouse Act, whereby hunger-striking inmates would be let out of jail, just to fatten themselves up, and immediately get rearrested to serve the rest of their time.

I like the fact that an adult can learn from it. I have to report that this is a book designed for the teen with reading and/or learning difficulties, who will find it a breeze to identify with Lizzy's plans to find herself, fight for her cause and let any dissenters hang. But I also have to alert everyone, buying books for any young age bracket. This doesn't have a teen-read sensibility inasmuch as it has teen only content. It's suitable for anyone – any reader with a head for absorbing real world problems and facts through made-up, yet equally relatable characters. I can see anybody from the age of eight keen to take this to read. Good job, then, that it's built to last…

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

The author and publishers last combined like this with Tilly's Promise, which has all the same qualities – but might be less suitable, with its realism, for the very young.

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Buy Until We Win by Linda Newbery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Until We Win by Linda Newbery at


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