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Ted Rules the World by Frank Cottrell Boyce

2015, first published 2008,  

This book is produced by Barrington Stoke. This publisher asks established writers to compose stories and then they adjust them to suit the reader. This is one of their Little Gems. These texts offer several aids to the struggling reader:  short chapters, double –spacing, text formatted ragged right, a plain font with simple ‘a’s and ‘g’s, and numerous full-colour pictures which illustrate and aid understanding.  The text can be defined as a high-low.  The content is for a mature primary school child but the text is for a less confident reader.  A notice at the end of the book reminds us that these texts are tested by young people.  

The story explores some quite complex issues in a fun way. A female, populist Prime Minister tries to please the average person.  They use Ted as a test case.  However, he is not quite as average as he at first appears.  He is a redhead. This is a virtue, not a problem. But whilst he is deemed to be average several changes happen in his favour.

Ted has to learn a few life lessons.  For example if life is made easy for him it will become harsher for others. If red-heads are favoured what happens to the blonds?      


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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 …