To celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Week 2021, we’ve chosen three of our favourite books recently published by Barrington Stoke. With over twenty years of experience publishing dyslexia-friendly books, Barrington Stoke have a huge list of titles to choose from, including picture books for early readers, illustrated chapter books, magical middle-grade stories, gripping Young Adult novels, and exciting new takes on classics. With tinted pages, wide line spacing and a specially designed font, these books are designed to make reading more accessible, while still telling great stories. Reading a Barrington Stoke book always feels a little like magic, every sentence perfectly formed, creating complete worlds and characters in just a few pages.
Alongside their books, Barrington Stoke also offer a fantastic selection of free resources for parents, teachers and children, as well as lists of recommended books and chapter samples. They even host a live chat on their website from 11am-1pm on weekdays.
Given the popularity of dyslexia-friendly books with our subscribing schools, we always ensure that we keep our collections topped up with new releases and popular titles. Please get in touch if you would like to add more of these super-readable books to your school library or reading corners!
Albert Johnson and the Buns of Steel by Phil Earle
Interest age: 5-8
Albert’s dad is a Master Baker. Sporty Albert is definitely not. When Albert turns down his dad’s request for help in the bakery, his dad secretly builds the Doughmaster 5000, a gigantic robot programmed to do their baking bidding. But the Doughmaster 5000 isn’t as compliant as he seems, and it soon becomes necessary to pit cricket bats against baguettes in a fight to the jammy end…
The genius title – Albert Johnson and the Buns of Steel – should tip you off that Phil Earle’s latest book in the Little Gems collection will be one to savour. The conversational voice, high-stakes (high-bakes?) action, and short chapters, complete with punchy titles and cliffhangers, make it a hugely enjoyable read for children age 5 and above. The full-page colour illustrations by Steve May are an extra treat, hilariously depicting the characters and their battle with the Doughmaster 5000, jam grenades and all (look out for Albert’s increasingly bemused cat). As ever with Barrington Stoke, the production design is high-quality, with illustrated end papers and an eye-catching cover design. A book that truly rises to the occasion!
Noodle the Doodle by Jonathan Meres
Reading ability: 8+
Interest age: 8-12
Remember the excitement of seeing a dog in the school playground? How would you feel if that dog became one of your classmates? When Mr Reed brings Noodle (who is some kind of doodle) into the classroom, it is the ‘biggest surprise ever’. After a few accidents (RIP Shakira’s pencil case), Noodle soon settles in, becoming an excellent reading companion, especially to shy student Lou. When Mr Reed organises a school trip to Snoreham-on-Sea, Noodle is put to the test. Will Noodle behave himself or will a beach full of tempting smells, sausages and sandcastles be too much for one pup to take?
It’s impossible not to love Noodle the Doodle. It’s a scrappy, chaotic hug of a book, filled with warmth and humour. The hilarious dialogue between Mr Reed, the children and Noodle helps readers to race through the story, one WOOF! at a time, while Katy Halford’s illustrations add real energy to Noodle’s escapades. The book has a lovely message about understanding and appreciating other people, no matter how different they may seem from yourself. And dogs, of course. We can all agree that Noodle is a superdoodle!
The Royal Rebel: The Life of Suffragette Princess Sophia Duleep Singh by Bali Rai
Reading age: 8
Interest age: 8+
I felt unworthy of their blessings. I was caught between my English upbringing and my Sikh heritage. I was not my grandfather, or my father. I had done nothing to deserve the praise of others.The Royal Rebel, p. 69
Based on the real life of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, Bali Rai’s The Royal Rebel is a fascinating look at one of history’s forgotten heroes, and the legacies that haunted her life.
After a life of exile in England, far removed from the Sikh empire, Sophia’s father’s falls into debt, the luxuries of the family home sold off and the palatial grounds left to run. The family’s misfortune continues as Sophia’s father abandons his children and wife, beginning a string of tragedies that sees Sophia struggling to belong in either India or England. Increasingly aware of her family’s heritage, and the cruel and long-reaching consequences of British colonialism in India, Sophia uses her position to help refugees. She later joins the Suffragette movement, fighting for equality and the rights of women.
In telling Sophia’s story, Bali Rai shows readers a different side of Victorian England, a place where people are displaced, caught between worlds and identities, often at the mercy of those in power. Sophia’s fortune, once dependent on the good favour of Queen Victoria, becomes her own. However, there is no neat happy ending. The injustices of society are too great to ignore.
The Royal Rebel never talks down to its readers. Instead, Bali Rai brings history to life, giving forgotten or silenced voices the space to speak.
Post by ELS librarian Samantha
Browse more great fiction on our online catalogue. If you need any further book recommendations, or would like to find out more about the service we offer to subscribing schools, please get in touch.