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Don’t Stop Thinking About the Future


Stevie and Hafiz both have problems: Hafiz is an asylum seeker who has had to leave his family behind. Stevie’s mum suffers from depression and cannot be a proper mother to Stevie.  They become friends and support each other.  

There are signs of hope all along the way. As well as finding refuge in each other Stevie’s music and Hafiz’s football give them a purpose.  Hafiz eventually learns that his parents are on the way from Syria and Stevie’s mum’s mood lightens a little towards the end. We don’t know of course whether Hafiz’s parent s will make it and whether Stevie’s mum’s improvement is permanent. 

Hafiz and Stevie seem authentic. They each tell their story in fit person narrative in alternating chapters. The chapters are pleasingly short. 

The novel tackles some interesting themes and could lead to useful classroom discussions.
The book has 342 pages.  The text is blocked and in an adult font.     


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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 …