Reluctant Readers

Reluctant Readers Pack (Primary Key Stage 1 & 2)

Reluctant Readers Pack (Primary Key Stage 1 & 2)

Ref: 12719

Voted Children's Publisher of the Year (Independent Publishing Awards 2007), Barrington Stoke have a decade of experience in publishing books for the dyslexic, struggling, disenchanted and reluctant reader. Here are some of our reviewer's favourites. 10 Books Members Price 60.00 **Suitable substitutions will be made if any title becomes unavailable**
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All Sorts to Make a World

All Sorts to Make a World

by John Agard
illustrated by Michael Broad

Ref: 14198

Shona and her Dad have enjoyed their trip to the Natural History Museum, especially the display of Lucy, a 3.2-million-old skeleton found in Ethiopia. But things go a little awry on the way back home... Stuck a tube in a tunnel, all Shona can do is try to enjoy the company of Tattoo Fellow, Pinstripe Man, Kindle Woman and her Dad's spooky jumbie tales. A funny and super-silly celebration of our diverse capital city and its quirky residents. By an acclaimed poet and playwright (Agard received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2012). Age 7-11 Paperback 49pp
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Close Look, Quick Look Teachers Pack + Book

Close Look, Quick Look Teachers Pack + Book

Ref: 8224

Differentiated photocopiable activities to support both the novel and the 4u2read version of the story. The activities cover a range of tasks in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and develop the pupil's comprehension skills and knowledge of the text. Suitable for Primary Age 9+. Book 'Friday Forever' by Annie Dalton is included with the teachers pack.
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The Greatest Show of All

The Greatest Show of All

Ref: 16247

Tom wants to ride circus horses but Pa says his job is to work in the stables. Kitty wants to work in the stables but Pa is clear that it's "no work for a girl". And then, suddenly one day, Tom disappears. Has he fled to Huxley's Circus? Kitty determines to find out. But that will take some undercover work...enter Kit, the Stable Lad and a Twelfth Night-inspired story of gentle subversions and mistaken identities. (And, as with Shakespeare's play, includes a lovely layering of same-sex romantics!). Rich characterisations and a satisfyingly twisty-turny plot in a highly accessible read- typical of 'reluctant reader' publisher experts, Barrington Stoke). Reading Age 8+, Interest Age 10-14, Paperback 95pp
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Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads

Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads

by David Almond
with illustrations by Vladimir Stankovic

Ref: 2450

"We called ourselves the Bad Lads, but it was just a joke". The Bad Lads: pesky little mischief makers or bullies in the making? With the arrival of German refugee, Klaus, in post-war Newcastle, some of the lads start to question their gang leader's ideas of entertainment- especially when it comes to tormenting the local 'conchie'. 'Interesting interweaving of conscientious objection, bullying and gang mentality' (Cariad, Theatre Lecturer, LL reviewer). Reading Age 7 Interest 9-14, Paperback 55pp
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The Lion Roars

The Lion Roars

Ref: 2872

"For most of the boys Jimi knew, it was books or football, but Jimi loved books and football". Jimi plays football in every spare moment, clinging tightly to his dream that one day he'll wear the all-white kit of the Lions of Senegal. But the big boys say he isn't ready to join them and that he should stick with the other cubs. Can Jimi prove them wrong? Perhaps he can- armed with advice from older sister, Julia (herself, captain of a local football team) as well as inspiration from his books celebrating iconic players and teams from different African nations. We appreciated the gentle message about giving equal weight to education and sport! Great format in which the narrative is broken up by snappy factual sections on the history of African football, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final between England and Cameroon and star players- including Patrick Vieira who joined Arsenal for a time. Loved by our 9-year-old reviewer, Ryan, who was quite reluctant to send the book back! Reading Age 8+ Interest Age 8-12, Paperback 63pp
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Nadine Dreams of Home

Nadine Dreams of Home

by Bernard Ashley
with illustrations by Ollie Cuthbertson

Ref: 2451

Shortlisted for Little Rebels Award 2015 Nadine and her family flee the civil conflict and rebel army in Goma to start over in the UK. But school is a strange and frightening place to Nadine until a teacher finds her a special picture which reminds her of home. 'This short book conveys some of the sense of strangeness, fear and unhappiness children like Nadine experience. It also provides an optimistic ending of a kind that can help children believe it is possible for situations to improve' (Prof. Kim Reynolds, Newcastle University & Little Rebels Judge). Reading Age 7+ Interest 8-12, Paperback 47pp
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Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story

Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story

Ref: 2862

The totally incredible but true story of the first American to reach the North Pole- a Black orphan runaway called Matthew Henson. Not only does this account give all due respect to Henson's 'discovery', it also honours his Inuit companions with warmth and passion. An excellent book for prompting discussions about the subjectivity of history, the erasure of BAME and indigenous histories, the impact of colonisation. An excellent book also for those who simply enjoy a spirited, smart-paced, adventure story. Yet again, author Catherine Johnson delivers us gripping, sizzling fiction based on a more accurate history than the one many of us were taught- one which is teeming with the lives of those who have so often been silenced, forgotten, ignored. Age 8-12, Paperback 118pp
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Respect

Respect

Ref: 8555

The true stroy of Walter Tull, the first black outfield player in professional football and the first ever black officer in the British army. An exciting and well overdue biography of this little known hero. Reading Age 8+ Interest Age 12+ Paperback 58pp
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Robot Girl

Robot Girl

by Malorie Blackman
illustrated by Matthew Griffin

Ref: 2538

It's by Malorie Blackman so it is, of course, magnificent! Claire's Dad is an inventor but he's being ever so secretive- and when the big reveal comes along, Claire can only see... a monster! But who are the androids? Who are the humanoids? Who are the real monsters? Twisty, turny, provocative, stimulating and smart sci-fi. 'Feels deceptively simple but addresses isolation, stigma, prejudice, growing up and what it means to belong in society and in a family' (Patrice, Author, LL reviewer). Age 8-12 Paperback 58pp
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Run Wild

Run Wild

Ref: 15909

"It's been our wild place, somewhere we haven't been told what to do or been marked by or graded by school. Even friendship hasn't been measured in the number of likes. It's been real". Izzy's dad has lost his job and her mum is exhausted from her shifts at the local supermarket. Escaping the tensions at home and the ever-present threat of local top dogs, the Skull brothers, Izzy and her friend, Asha, find the perfect outdoor patch to get in their skateboarding practise- a deserted gasworks. But they soon discover this patch of wilderness is already a home- to a wild and injured wolf- as well as under threat by developers. A narrative about so much: the lack of space for many children to play in and explore, the loss of wilderness, the need to re-wild our landscapes, the grip big business have over precious land resources. A perfectly accomplished 'reluctant reader' book, communicating a wealth of detail and thought in a sparse carefully considered text. Set in London amidst a working class community. Age 8-12, Paperback 106pp
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Sam

Sam

Ref: 15544

"For a few years, I've wondered if I will 'grow out of it', and change my mind about how I'm feeling, but I don't think I will. It's like someone telling me I'm not hungry when I know I'm starving". Sam feels like they're on the brink of a huge decision, that they're ready to take this leap and that they want to share that with the people they love. But Mum is so busy working two jobs to make ends meet. Dad has left home. Sam's friends are pretty much all online these days. Which of them will be ready to share Sam's journey? An ultimately positive story about a young person who feels ready to explore transitioning. Refreshing to see this narrative in a format pitched at reluctant or disengaged readers. Short snappy sentences, clear block paragraphs and an effective structure of two points of view (Sam's and Mum's). 'A lot going on in a small book but very readable. Good to have a positive ending' (Rosalind, Workforce Dev. Officer, Letterbox reviewer). 'The dual nature of the narrative encourages empathy. There are few books with trans characters. Taking in things like tensions between parents and children and family break-up, as well as the protagonist's identity, this has the feel of a book for everyone which isn't always the case. It's to be welcomed' (Mark, Equalities Trainer and board of Gendered Intelligence, Letterbox reviewer). Reading Age: 8-9; Interest: 12+, Paperback 33pp
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Scarlet Hood

Scarlet Hood

by Mark Evans
illustrated by Isobel Lundie

Ref: 16269

Scarlet comes from an 'itchy feet' family so moving to Norway is no big deal... but she hadn't reckoned with her new school being home to Greta the Cruel, a mean menacing giant of a child. After tearfully spilling out her woes to her Grandma (helped along by a few marshmallows) Scarlet is sent back out into the world wearing a treasured family heirloom: a scarlet hoodie. The hoodie doesn't just hug her with happiness and hope, it time-travels her off to an ancient world of Vikings. Here, Scarlet discovers hidden reserves of strength which equip her back in the present. A highly original, fun and, insightful adventure of bullying overcome with a heart-warming resolution. (Graphic novel perfect for reluctant readers.) Age 6-10, Paperback 52pp
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Shadow Girl

Shadow Girl

Ref: 2452

"This story is going to sound strange. I can't help that. I can only tell you what happened". So begins a brilliant, gripping time slip narrative by award-winning Nicholls. Clare is in foster care and is sick of moving on. But then she meets Maddy, a strange girl who makes her look at things differently and who also seems to know a thing or two about being in care. Reviewed by two Letterbox Library readers with experience of working with and on behalf of looked-after children. 'The attitudes and feelings reflected were so true to those of many children in care' (Elaine, Foster Care Associates, LL Reviewer). Reading Age 8+ Interest 12-16, Paperback 66pp
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Splash Day!

Splash Day!

Ref: 16171

A full-up paddling pool shimmers in the playground and buckets of water stand poised around the bushes- what's up? It's Splash Day! Time for a water fight! A delighted group of children -and teachers- don their best swim suits, shower caps and goggles and then arm themselves with water pistols for a glorious day of drenching. With just one sentence per page and Sharratt's trademark, bright and bold illustrations, this is a perfect beginner reader. 'Loved this. Children will love it too. Inclusive, joyous fun. Let's hope lots of children read this and more schools have a Splash Day' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). Multicultural and includes a very independent and super-active wheelchair user. Inspired by an actual Splash Day which takes place every year in a school in Brighton. Age 5-8, Paperback 65pp
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A Strange Land

A Strange Land

Ref: 2692

"There are these people. They've got something on me. In turn, I've got something on one of the refugee boys. Hassan is new, so he doesn't have anything on anybody. He just wants to fit in". The Blokes are a group of boys at Jack's school, united in their fight to bully and ostracise the refugee, Black and Asian children. Jack befriends Hassan, a Syrian refugee who has just recently arrived- but now, the Blokes have given him orders to take Hassan down or else..." Will Hassan survive and will Jack finally learn to do the right thing? A timely story about racism, anti-immigrant prejudice, bullying and the power of friendship to triumph over hate. Reading Age 7+ Interest 10-14, Paperback 57pp
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Tilly's Promise

Tilly's Promise

Ref: 2683

Influenced by Sassoon's poetry and Vera Brittain's testament of Youth, the prestigious award-wining author, Lidna Newbery, pens a story about a lesser known aspect of World War I- the experience of young men with learning difficulties. Set in rural Essex and told from the perspective of Georgie's sister, Tilly, this is also a fine story about the experience of young women during the war and the shifting gender expectations required by the war 'effort'. An original take which works well to expose the distress, confusion and horros of war. Reading Age 8+ Interest 9-13, Paperback 86pp Barrington Stoke offer a downloadable guide for teachers to lead a mixedability group through Tillys Promise by Linda Newbery here.
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Toad Attack!

Toad Attack!

by Patrice Lawrence
illustrated by Becka Moor

Ref: 15762

With chapter headers like "A Toad Called Twerky" and "A Toad on the Head", who could resist this amphibian onslaught? The story opens with a toad falling on the head of Leo Hogg and ends with a caution to check the skies for flying toads. In between, Upper Dad residents, Leo and Rosa try to solve the mystery of the plague of toads sending their town into a spin. A laugh-aloud adventure complete with a breakfast television show called 'Frosty Morning' and teachers named after children's top picks of snacks- Mr Pringle and Miss Quaver. 'Brilliantly light and funny' (Fen, Letterbox Library staff). BAME lead characters and excellent 'casual' portrayals of disability and same-sex parents: 'Lovely relaxed portrayal of Rosa's hearing impairment [Rosa both signs and speaks]...and a quite rare picture of gay people for whom it's not a plot point or issue' (Elena, Community Librarian, LL). Age 8-12, Paperback 67pp
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Unboxed

Unboxed

Ref: 2680

"It seems worse to break a promise to the dead than it does to break one made to the living". So begins this intriguing little mystery, as old school friends gather together to fulfil a promise made five years ago- to open and share the contents of a memory box in honour of their friend who has since died of stomach cancer. With friendships made and broken, revelations, confessions, internal turmoils and reconciliations, this is the perfect stuff of pacy heart-gripping teen fiction. It also includes a nice little twist on the traditional LGBT coming out story tradition: the first person narrative belongs to Alix, a young lesbian who is nervous about this reunion- not because of her sexuality itself but, refreshingly, because she kept this a secret from her friends and fears they will feel hurt. 'I liked that this is a book in which somebody comes out without it being a coming out novel...The author has not only zoned in on a very genuine concern about coming out for many young people but also made the character and story more accessible to many readers- not just those who identify as LGBTQI...As an added bonus, the design is terrific- I felt very cool reading it on the tube!' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). From Barrington Stoke, expert publishers in reluctant-reader friendly/dyslexia-friendly fiction. Reading Age 8+ Interest 12+, Paperback 138pp
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Under The Skin

Under The Skin

by Catherine MacPhail
illustrated by Tom Percival

Ref: 9126

Omar's family have finally found refuge- a tower block in the UK. But local boy Sam keeps pushing Omar around. A brilliantly observed, witty and snappy narrative which challenges preconceptions about asylum seekers. Reading Age 8+ Interest 8-12, Paperback 52pp
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Until We Win

Until We Win

Ref: 2758

An award winning novelist brings spark and fire to this Suffragette story for young people, centring on 17-year-old, working class, Lizzie. The fight for the women's vote is explored with honesty and passion, showing the rallies, the direct actions and the hunger strikes. (N.b.: there is also a nice touch to the novel's conclusion as it suggests Lizzie and Connie form a relationship going forwards.) 'Well drawn and engaging characters and a nice sense of period' (Mark, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). Reading Age 8+ Interest Age 10-14, Paperback 85pp
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Who's a Big Bully Then?

Who's a Big Bully Then?

Ref: 7143

How will Olly the bull help our hero defeat the bully Darren bishop? A great story about doing your best. Reading Age 8+, Interest 8-10, 61pp Paperback
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Worry Angels

Worry Angels

by Sita Brahmachari
illustrated by Jane Ray

Ref: 2880

Amy's parents have separated, she and her mum have moved away, Secondary School looms and Amy's anxiety levels are being pushed in to overdrive. So much so that Amy becomes a school refuser. But then comes the opportunity to attend Grace Nuala's Art School. She is soon joined by Rami, a recent refugee to the UK from Syria, a witness to and victim of some of the worst humanity the world has to offer. And yet, Rami insists on and claims an identity beyond 'Refugee'. Together, these two girls form a friendship which slowly, delicately but determinedly transforms them through its strength and balm. Brahmachari at her best- full of her trademark compassion for and respectful honouring of young people's lives and voices. 'An excellent book- I read it in one sitting!' (Sylvia, Children's Social Work Director, LL reviewer). Age 8-12, Interest 8-12, Paperback 96pp
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