Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Storm Swimmer by Clare Weze



Ginika’s parents are in deep trouble.  The family is evicted from their home and her mum and dad have to live in their old camper van.  She has to go and stay with her grandparents who run a seaside guest house.

Whilst visiting the beach she meets Peri, a sea person. She shows him the joys of life on land but he becomes ill. With the help of some unlikely friends – pushy Scarlett whose family  own the local caravan park and Ted who is recovering from an operation to remove a tumour form his spine – she manages to help Peri find his family again.

The story has an upbeat ending: Ginika’s dad finds a new job. Peri is retuned to his family and Ginika becomes firm friends with Scarlett and Ted. There is the hope that she can come back to the seaside and Peri will also meet her there again next year. Meanwhile, she will return to London and her beloved Docklands Light Railway.        

  The text is blocked and uses a serif font which has difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s. It is 308 pages long. Above each chapter heading is an illustrative sketch. End pages include a description of some of Clare Weze’s research and an extract form another novel, The Lightning Catcher.   

Thursday, February 16, 2023

We Don’t Eat This by Sue Graves and Alan Brown



emergent reader, ages 5-7,  lower primary, animals, Graves  Sue, Brown Alan, Reading Champion, Green   

Jack and Ben are on holiday at a farm. The farmer becomes ill and the two boys volunteer to feed the animals. However they give the wrong food to the animals.  The farmer has to come and help them to get it right.  

We have an engaging story here and also some hints about caring for farm animals.

This is Green Reading Champion book which the publisher designates as being for Age 5+ and having approximately 450 words.  “There is now more text on each page, than on earlier levels, with some pages having no illustration at all. (However, in this book there are pictures on every page. )This gives the child opportunity to read like a reader across longer passages of text. You will see that where there are pictures, they may only depict one aspect of what is going on in the story, as the plots become more complex. Talking to the child after they have read to ensure they have understood is important here as the stories become longer and more detailed.”


“Green” is important. This shows where the child is on all reading schemes and a parent and teacher can be confident of this book is suitable for a “green” reader.  


The story is 65 pages long but the book has four pages of other text at the end. The text is formatted ragged right. The font is large and plain with simple ‘a’s and ‘g’s.

Illustrations mainly reinforce meaning though there are a few instances of extra story in the some pictures.  The pictures are two dimensional in comic book style, something the child also needs to   learn how to decipher.    

At the end of the book a series of picture invites the reader to retell the story. There are also two pages of notes for parents or guardians.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

  2012   teen, upper secondary   Key Stage 4, ages 14 -17, Dashner   James, science fantasy, thriller This is the second book in the Maz...