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Best Loved Dyslexia Friendly Books

Best Loved Dyslexia Friendly Books

To honour this year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week (Monday 14th October to Sunday 20th October 2013), Book Walrus will be recommending our best-loved Dyslexia friendly books.

Every day will feature a different book, as recommended by one of Book Walrus’s young Dyslexic friends.

If you have other suggestions, please let us know below. We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

This is the final day of Dyslexia Awareness Week 2013 and Book Walrus has learnt a lot from talking to Dyslexic children and reading Dyslexia Friendly Books, about how small details like relevant illustrations, shorter chapters and clear, good-sized font can make books far more accessible for struggling readers.

Book Walrus is more impressed than ever by the work of publishers Barrington Stoke ( http://www.barringtonstoke.co.uk/ ). The books we have featured this week are just the tip of a wonderful iceberg of fantastic children’s (and adult) literature they have created, and we look forward to reading and reviewing more of their books in the future.

 

SUNDAY OCTOBER 20th, BEST LOVED DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOK #7

 

Book Walrus wanted to close our Dyslexia Awareness Week recommendations with a child-friendly book about Dyslexia. This is not a new book (it was published in 2003) and may be tricky to get hold of (though not impossible – Amazon lists alternative sellers), but it was the one that several people recommended, so here we are

 

Dyslexia by Althea

 

 

 

 

 

DYSLEXIA, by Althea

Published by Happy Cat Books

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Dyslexia by Althea is designed for children and explains what Dyslexia is in a child friendly way.  Six children explain what it’s like for them to have Dyslexia. They talk about how they struggle with reading and writing. They explain that they are not lazy but just have to try that bit harder. One boy talks about how he plays with magnetic letters on the fridge door to help him practice spelling words, another how green lenses helped stop the words jumping around on the page when he was reading. It talks through problems that a child with Dyslexia might experience and explains that many famous people like Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci had Dyslexia.  It is great for an older child to read through by themselves or for a parent to read to a younger child. It offers lots of practical advice to help your child overcome the barriers that Dyslexia poses and to learn new skills.  Lots of strategies for both home and school are offered. Illustrations are bright and colourful making it appealing for  readers of all ages.

ALTHEA BRAITHWAITE SAYS:

“When my son was born, I realised there was a lack of factual books for young children. This was in the early seventies, and much has changed since then. Some of my books, such as ‘Dyslexia’ are written to explain new or difficult situations to children. The books were researched with children as well as experts, but written from the children’s point of view”.

BOOK WALRUS SAYS:  

According to one Dyslexic young friend, “This book is so good that when I showed it to my teacher she bought a copy for the school library!”

Book Walrus is a big fan of any book, fiction or non-fiction, that can help young Dyslexic children understand there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with them and they are one of millions of kids and adults who are wired slightly differently, bringing both advantages and disadvantages.

 

 

SATURDAY OCTOBER 19th, BEST LOVED DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOK #6

Queen's Tale

 

 

 

 

 

THE QUEEN’S TALE by Kaye Umansky

Published by Barrington Stoke

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

The Queen is fed up with Snow White. She’s so sickeningly soppy and trilling and she turns her father the King into a gibbering fool. So when a run-of-the-mill magic mirror tells the Queen that Snow White is more beautiful than she is, Snow White has got to go! Laugh-out-loud comedy from a hugely popular author. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 8+

KAYE UMANSKY SAYS (WHEN JUDGING THE ROALD DAHL FUNNY PRIZE):

‘I don’t think funny books are given nearly enough clout. Laughter really matters. It is a relief of tension and children especially really need it.’

BOOK WALRUS SAYS:

This book was recommended to us because ‘it is funny and the wicked stepmother is totally evil.”

Book Walrus loves the idea of well-known tales told from a different point of view and Kaye Umansky’s books are always worth a read. If you like this one, Kaye Umanksy has written another funny fairy(ish) tale – The Wickedest Witch in the World

 

 

FRIDAY OCTOBER 18th, BEST LOVED DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOK #5

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SCRUM!, by Tom Palmer

Published by Barrington Stoke

AMAZON DESCRIPTION: 

One boy, two codes – How will he decide? When Steven’s mother remarries and moves down south, Steven is torn between loyalty to his dad and a relationship with his mum’s new husband. Maybe even worse, he might have to leave his beloved Rugby League behind for a new Rugby Union team. A fab story from the sports master Tom Palmer.

TOM PALMER SAYS: 

‘I wasn’t keen on reading when I was young. My mum was worried about me because I didn’t do very well at school. She encouraged me to read about football in newspapers, magazines and books. Gradually I came to love books.’

BOOK WALRUS SAYS: 

This book was recommended because “it’s about rugby so it’s more interesting than normal books, and the story about Steven’s family is really good too.”

Book Walrus thinks it’s great that Tom Palmer is getting boys (and girls) who aren’t necessarily interested in reading interested in reading! It’s brilliant when one area of interest, such as sport in this case, can be used to encourage reluctant readers, and make something difficult feel much more enjoyable. Book Walrus also thinks it’s very inspiring that Tom himself struggled from dyslexia as a child, but went on to do A-levels at night school, then a degree in European Literature! He must have tried (get it?) really hard. Thank you Tom! And sorry for the rubbish joke.

 

 

THURSDAY OCTOBER 17th, BEST LOVED DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOK #4

Cheesemares by Ross Collins

 

 

 

 

 

CHEESEMARES, written and illustrated by Ross Collins

Published by Barrington Stoke

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

Hal is determined to get to the bottom of his terrifying cheesemares in this hilarious comedy for younger readers from author/illustrator Ross Collins. Hal is convinced there is a connection between his well-loved cheesy snacks and the horrible nightmares he keeps having. Hal sets off on a mission to solve his cheesemares once and for all, but will he ever escape from the horror he faces in The Evil House of Cheese? Here Ross Collins’ two talents for writing and illustrating combine in this fun romp where evil cows meet Frankenstein. Quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.

ROSS COLLINS SAYS:

Barrington Stoke make ‘cracking books for dyslexic and struggling readers’

BOOK WALRUS SAYS:

This book was recommended by one of our younger readers, because “it’s just brilliant and funny, that’s all.”

Book Walrus is always impressed when books are written and illustrated by the same person and Ross Collins is extremely talented at both (he has won the Macmillan Children’s Book Prize and the Scottish Children’s Book Award). Cheesemares is laugh-out-loud funny with so many jokes that Ross Collins had to hide some of them beneath the cover flaps!

 

 

 WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16th, BEST LOVED DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOK #3

anne fine

 

 

 

 

 

HOW BRAVE IS THAT? by Anne Fine, illustrated by Vicki Gausden

Published by Barrington Stoke

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

Tom wants to join the army, but he has to pass his exams first! When he turns up without proper uniform on exam day, strict Mrs Dell threatens to send him home. There are spare clothes available, but is Tom brave enough to face the exam hall – in a skirt? Touching comedy for low ability readers. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 8+

ANNE FINE SAYS:

“Some children take to reading like ducks to water. They start with a mish-mash of sound-it-out phonics and word recognition (“I know that word!”) and off they go, improving steadily.

For others it’s a far, far harder road. So much effort has to go into the business of working out what those black marks on the page actually mean that they easily lose track of the story. And that makes things even more difficult.

These readers are just as bright and sophisticated as others their own age. It’s just that the way their brains work doesn’t mesh well with the decoding of the printed word. They need good stories that don’t patronise them, or treat them as younger than they are. But until they finally take off, they really do need a simpler, more straightforward form of writing to give them confidence and win them round to being happy with reading.

It’s a real challenge for an author, and one I very much enjoy.”

BOOK WALRUS SAYS:

This book was recommended because “it makes you think about what being brave is all about and it has a good picture of a boy using his ruler as a gun.”

Book Walrus is a huge Anne Fine fan and has read both Goggle Eyes and Flour Babies several times over, so we’re delighted to make How Brave Is That? our third ‘Best Loved Dyslexia Friendly Book’. Hooray for Anne Fine, Vicki Gausden and the marvellous Barrington Stoke.

 

TUESDAY OCTOBER 15, BEST LOVED DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOK #2

Sweetness and Lies, Karen McCombie

 

 

 

 

 

SWEETNESS AND LIES, by Karen McCombie, illustrated by Jessica Secheret

Published by Barrington Stoke

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

Tilly has just started at her new secondary school and she’s the luckiest girl in the world – she’s found her new BFF, Mia. But when Amber joins their class a few days later, Mia starts to act a little oddly – a thoughtful story of friendship and trust. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 8+

KAREN MCCOMBIE SAYS:

“Barrington Stoke publish short novels that are either great as a quick read, or are especially good for anyone with dyslexia (the paper they print on is a special creamy colour that’s easier to read than black on white – scientific fact-lette! I’ve written three books for them: Candy Girl, Running from the Rainbow and Sweetness and Lies.

BOOK WALRUS SAYS:

This book was recommended to us because “the main character, Tilly, is like someone I’d know and her problems are like real school problems and the illustrations are good.”

Book Walrus loves books that show the importance of thinking for yourself and doing what you think is right. This book gives a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to start a new school and explores the feelings of loneliness and uncertainties involved, while also revealing the joy of true friendship. As with all Barrington Stoke books, Sweetness and Lies follows the guidelines of the British Dyslexia Association for dyslexia friendly text. The short chapters and fun illustrations help keep struggling readers interested and it makes Book Walrus feel all warm and mushy to see a girl who’s not a natural ‘reader’ find a book she can love.

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MONDAY OCTOBER 14. BEST LOVED DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOK #1

young merlin

 

 

 

 

 

YOUNG MERLIN, by Tony Bradman

published by Barrington Stoke

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

Merlin has the power to shape the future – if the King doesn’t kill him first. Action packed first instalment of a series plotting Merlin’s journey from his youth to his mastery of magic. Merlin’s always known that he is different – his mother tells him he is special and he makes the townspeople nervous, they think there is something odd about him. So, when Merlin is summoned by the King, he feels that this must be his time to fulfil some great destiny. But not even Merlin imagined that he would befriend a dragon and be entrusted to save the kingdom from the Saxons. Thrilling retelling of a classic myth. With a reading age of 8, it is particularly suitable for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic readers.
 
TONY BRADMAN SAYS:
I’ve always been interested in the Arthurian stories – and for me the character that stands head and shoulders above the rest is Merlin, the original Celtic wizard. We usually think of Merlin as an old man, grizzled and grey and bearded, but I often found myself wondering about his beginnings. In the original Welsh legends there’s a story about his boyhood and how he discovered his magic powers and his destiny in the story of Britain. I thought it would make a powerful story for young people, especially the scene deep underground where Merlin witnesses the great, mythic battle between the red dragon of Wales and the white dragon of the Saxons. There was a natural sequel to Young Merlin, and in Merlin and the Ring of Power I’ve told another story about him – the one in which he builds Stonehenge overnight to defeat a Saxon army. I was then very pleased to hear that the first book was to be translated into Welsh, the language of Merlin’s homeland – and it was great to see a finished copy of Myrddin, y Bachgen Arbennig (‘Merlin, the Special Boy’) – my publisher Barrington Stoke has done a great job on the covers. They have a phrase in Welsh – ‘Cymru am byth!’ – which means ‘Wales forever!’. All I can say is… ‘Myrddin am byth’ – ‘Merlin forever!’

BOOK WALRUS SAYS:

We have been reliably informed that this book is “Completely brilliant!” – not too long, and full of excitement and adventure (and printed on yellowy paper to make it easier to read).

We are delighted to make Young Merlin our first recommendation. Book Walrus has the highest respect for publisher Barrington Stoke, who bring us great books by top authors, ensuring the language, vocabulary, font, layout and paper colour used are easily accessible  for reluctant, struggling and Dyslexic readers of all ages. And Book Walrus is thrilled to recommend a book by an author Book Walrus loves more than mollusks – the wonderful Tony Bradman.

One Comment

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    I most certainly will highly recommend this website!

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