Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman

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Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A short book which packs a major punch in terms of story - and it's dyslexia friendly too. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 56 Date: April 2016
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781125618

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Michela Corbin is something of a rebel, but even she understands that everyone must wear a Peace Maker Device all the time and that it must never be tampered with, as non-aggression is their society's founding principle. The Peace Maker is the means by which this is enforced, but Michela wants to experience the full range of human emotions and the Peace Maker stops that. When her mother captains their ship into enemy airspace and they come under attack it seems that Michela's freedom from the constraints of the Peace Maker might be the only thing that can save them.

I don't read much in the way of MG stories and even less of science fiction for any age, but I do read Malorie Blackman. She's writing royalty and it's difficult to think of anyone who can convey what she wants to say in so few words and to make every one of them magical. There are just 56 pages in this book and that includes eight full-page illustrations from Matthew Griffin, but it's still a story with a lot of meat on the bones and plenty to think about when you've finished reading. You see 'surrender' won't stop the attack by the Chamra and Michela is the only person prepared to fight, or, indeed - because she's been tampering with her Peace Maker Device - the only one capable of fighting. There's an elegant (but non-preachy) look at the nature of bravery and how it comes in different forms.

There's another great thing 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 in 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 'super readable' 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 who 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 publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you will love Robot Girl, also by Malorie Blackman.

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Buy Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Peace Maker by Malorie Blackman at


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