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Friday, June 7, 2013

Wild Song by Jane Eagland & an Introduction to Stoke Books

13638213 Living in a creaking castle on a remote, windswept island off Scotland, Anna has never known anyone other than her father, his assistant and their two servants. She is kept away from books, pictures and other children by her father, a mathematical genius, who is slowly losing his mind. Then one wild stormy day a boy washes up on the shore, a boy who will change her whole world and make her question everything she has ever believed in. With her eyes opened to life outside of the island Anna soon realises that someone close to her is determined to destroy what is left of her father’s fragile sanity. Determined to protect him Anna faces her fears and, with the help of her new-found friend, breaks free from her isolation.

This atmospheric short story inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest will hook readers from the first rain-drenched paragraph. The wild storms and the isolation of the island are images of Anna’s passions and her pains, much as The Tempest uses an island as a literal image of banishment, and a magical storm as the manifestation of a magician’s anger and desire for revenge.(taken from NetGalley)

This terrifically taut and short novel is targeted for reluctant/struggling readers or kids with dyslexia.

Book Details:

Title: Wild Song, Author: Jane Eagland, Publisher: Stoke Books, ISBN: 9781781121825, Format: Paperback $6.95, Released: April 2013, Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, How I Read It: E-Arc via NetGalley, Rating:

My Thoughts:

Living on a remote island, Anna’s only connection to the outside world is through the banned books someone has been smuggling in for her. When a boy, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, washes up on the rocks below Anna’s window, not only does Anna find a secret companion, she discovers a secret within her own household that has the potential to destroy all that her father has been working for.

I found this book to be a charming historical romance that teen girls will love. Wild Song, loosely based on The Tempest, is a lyrical atmospheric novel that could—if parents and educators use this book wisely— be a springboard to introduce readers to the works of Shakespeare and gothic fiction. With mystery, romance, and a touch of adventure, Wild Song will capture the reader’s interest.

While Wild Song was intriguing, the main reason I wanted to review this book was to draw attention to the wonderful work Stoke Books is doing. They are publishing attention-grabbing stories for struggling readers.

As soon as the book opens, it grabs the reader’s attention and when you are a struggling or dyslexic reader that is the kind of book you want to give them. The plot and characters are easy to follow, as is the wording. While some young adult readers may feel that these books are lacking in depth and development, they are the perfect books for the audience they targeting.

During my late teens, I worked with young adult readers who struggled to read due to reading disabilities. I often found that the only books they could read were limited mainly to early reader books, which were well below their age limit. I wish that I had known about Stoke Books, or had access to something such as they are publishing, when I was working with struggling readers.

I hope that teachers, librarians, and parents will look into Stoke Books for their struggling readers.

Please note that Stoke Books are created specifically for reluctant or dyslexic readers. The books are short and action-packed with compelling narratives. This book is aimed at kids aged 13 and up with a 3rd grade reading level.

More about Stoke Books being dyslexia friendly:

Dyslexia is a learning difference that can affect the ability to read, write and spell. Speech, maths, motor and organisational skills may also be affected. This does not mean that dyslexic people are any less intelligent than their peers but rather that they may have different strengths and need different support to realise their full potential.

Our books can help dyslexics get to grips with reading. Our cream paper reduces glare, which is a factor in visual stress and may make words seem to ‘jump around’. Dyslexia can make it hard to remember the shape of words and letters on the page, so our font and spacing are carefully designed to make everything as clear as possible. We use very thick paper so that words and illustration don’t show through from other pages and confuse the eye. Our edit process is also very special and has been developed by dyslexia and speech and language experts in response to research and feedback from thousands of readers on hundreds of Barrington Stoke manuscripts over the years.

Most importantly of all, we pitch our stories at the ‘real’ age of the reader and not their reading age. People who experience difficulties with reading can experience low self-esteem and even depression as a result. We believe that no child or adult who struggles with reading should have to read books written for children many years younger than themselves. (taken from the publishers website)

You can discover more about Barrington Stoke Books HERE


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