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Minute Review: Wild Song (Jane Eagland)

The Deets:
Audience: MG or YA, lower level readers/ struggling readers
Pages: 73
Publisher: July 1st 2012 by Barrington Stoke
ISBN: 9781781120446
Source: eARC from Netgalley

Wild SongAn atmospheric historical romance for teens, from a gifted and acclaimed author. Beautifully packaged with a foiled jacket. Anna is living a lonely life on a small island with only her ageing mathematician father and his helper Max as company. When Rob washes ashore after an accident, Anna's world is turned upside-down. Is Max really devoted to her father? Is Rob the love she's been waiting for? Could she really leave the island? Drawing inspiration from The Tempest, Jane Eagland has woven a rich and moving story of mystery, love and deception.Particularly suitable for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic teens.

I really appreciate what Stoke Books is doing. They are putting together high-interest stories for struggling readers. Being a teacher that works with lower level readers in a middle school setting, I can advocate for this need!

It's very important to grab the reader's attention from the first page. It's even more vital when that reader typically does not like to read (or want to read). Wild Song starts off with action, which is a great hook. While it is certainly geared towards female readers, it could also work for students interested in Shakespeare. Wild Song was a loose retelling of The Tempest.

The plot and characters are pretty straight forward. There isn't a lot of depth or character building. That may bother some readers, but if you keep it in context of the intended audience, then it makes sense. Struggling readers do not have the stamina for pages upon pages of descriptive writing and character building.

I have to say that Wild Song is not my favorite Stoke Book so far, but it wasn't bad. I think it will have a limited appeal because of the setting and characters. Boys will probably not run to this one, but I can picture several of my female readers enjoying it.


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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