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The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie Blackman

Kyle encounters death when a train is derailed as he is travelling on a school trip. The only way to avoid death is to live in the nightmares of the other passengers.
Malorie Blackman admits that she has based the nightmares on some that she has had and that she has used some of these in other stories she has written. A full list is provided on the copyright page.  She also admits that she has been able to pinpoint the real life events that have led to the nightmares.  This is all discussed in the Author’s Note at the end of the book.  Possibly the book could lead to a discussion on the interpretation of dreams.
There is plenty of tension and pace throughout the novel and Blackman keeps us guessing as to whether Kyle will survive and if others in the train crash will live.
The hardback version is 338 pages long, uses a serif font, size 13/14 and the text is blocked. The chapters are reasonably short.    


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …