Mini review Monday: the squirrel edit

The amazing squirrels of Barrington Stoke sent me some amazing books recently and I had a lovely time reading them!

For anyone who doesn’t know, Barrington Stoke is a small, independent and award-winning children’s publisher. For over 20 years they’ve been pioneering super-readable, dyslexia-friendly fiction to help every child become a reader. Their books are printed with a specially designed font and are printed on accessible coloured paper. I love their mission statement and I love that there are books for the children who could otherwise find reading a little overwhelming. If you’d like to find out more or check out their amazing collection of books, please check out their website:


Hetty and the Battle of the Books by Anna James

The library is Hetty’s very favourite place in school, and since falling out with her best friends Ali, Mei and Rocket she’s been spending even more time there. So she’s absolutely horrified when she learns that her head teacher is planning to close it down, claiming there aren’t enough funds to keep the library going. There’s no way Hetty’s going to sit back and let this happen. But can she repair her broken friendships and build support for her library campaign?

I loved this!! I’m here for kids fighting for their library – I know myself the power that books and stories, so I was totally here for this story and these amazing kids. I’m also totally here for kids having honest conversations about friendship. I love a book that shouts for the importance of libraries and stories. Anna James is a wonder and I could read her writing forever! I thoroughly enjoyed this and will be using it as a whole class reading book!

Resist by Tom Palmer

As the brutal Second World War stretches on with no end in sight, life for ordinary Dutch people in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands is perilous and full of hardship. There is very little to eat and they face the constant threat of arrest and enslavement. After the murder of her beloved uncle and the capture of her brother by the Germans, Edda is determined to do anything she can to help the resistance fight back. But how much risk is one teenage girl willing to take?

Well, I’m finished, and emotionally spent. Tom just writes the most amazing families, stories and people. I loved Resist. Edda is the bravest and kindest. She’s standing up for people despite being afraid. This was tough to read at times (especially the retelling of her struggles with the lack of food), but incredible. I loved how despite all the darkness there was still light and hope to be had – in kindness, in passion and in people.

Dragonracers by Peter Bunzl

Twins Kitty and Harris Hawk have grown up at the airfield where their father works as an engineer. Kitty in particular is obsessed with the idea of becoming an aeronaut but her father thinks children should stay firmly on the ground. When the twins discover a strange and unusually large egg from which a dragon hatches, little do they imagine that this is the first step on a journey that will see them taking to the skies and competing in the first long-distance air race. Can they win the huge prize that’s at stake and will their daring adventure lead their father to change his mind about Kitty’s future?

Well this is just a delight! I raced through it exceptionally quickly and was very sad when it was over. This is full of so many brilliant things! You’ve got dragons, brave kids, loads of interesting information about flights and flying and a lot of tenacity! Who wouldn’t wanna find a dragon and fly it? I loved this! I can’t wait to get a copy for school cause I think my class will just adore it!


And that was my whistle stop tour of 3 of my reads from the squirrels at the Stoke!

Have you read any of these?
Have you heard of Barrington Stoke books?
Who would you love to see write a Barrington Stoke book?

A massive thank you to Barrington Stoke for these books!

S x

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