Barrington Stoke is an independent, award-winning children’s publisher and for over 20 years, we’ve been pioneering super-readable, dyslexia-friendly fiction to help every child become a reader. From our specially designed font to the colour of our paper, accessibility is at the heart of everything we do!
As you may have noticed, for the past few months I’ve been reading and reviewing some titles from Barrington Stoke. This interest has mainly been sparked by some of my favourite authors releasing titles with this publisher, but it’s really opened my eyes to some of the wonderful titles that are available!
I first became aware of Barrington Stoke when I was a bookseller; each section had a few dyslexia friendly books and I was intrigued about how they’re different and also I loved how it was often popular and established authors who were writing these novellas. I would often recommend them for people with children/teens who maybe had dyslexia or struggled with reading. However, one thing that I didn’t realise before is that Barrington Stoke titles are for more than just this audience with their novellas being accessible to reluctant readers, people for who a “normal” book may be just a bit too daunting or too much to concentrate on and even for those of us who are simply in a reading slump and need something that’s quicker to read but just as engaging as a full-length novel. I definitely fall into that last category. I’m fortunate enough to be a very able reader, but I do find that with attempting to be an adult I just don’t have as much time or energy to get lost in a big book. I’ve found every time that a Barrington Stoke title is one that I can get really stuck into and enjoy and for that I am very grateful!
Anyway. The reason for me writing aaaaall of that is that I want to share some love and light on Barrington Stoke. Dyslexia Awareness Week is the perfect time to do this; fundamentally that’s what this amazing publisher is all about. Today I will be sharing some of my favourites as well as some of the biggest titles from Barrington Stoke for all ages.
Picture Books – For 3+
MAD IN THE BACK by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Richard Watson
A brilliantly funny snapshot of family life as two siblings drive their mother to distraction on the car journey from hell … All together now: “Are we nearly there yet…?”
MOLLY ROGERS, PIRATE GIRL by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kasia Matyjaszek
Ferocious pirate Captain Firebeard and his crew rule the high seas. But the dastardly pirates meet their match when they kidnap a small, feisty girl named Molly!A wonderful colourful book bursting with pirates, adventure and whole lot of girl power!
Little Gems – For 5+
THE UNLUCKY ELEVEN by Phil Earle, illustrated by Steve May
Everything’s going wrong for the Saints this season, and Stanley’s team-mates think they finally know why. They have been cursed! A great sporty first chapter book with the power of teamwork at its heart.
MARIELLA, QUEEN OF THE SKIES by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Katy Halford
Fun and funny, science inspiration for girls and boys alike, as super-smart Mariella tries to put a stop to bed time once and for all! But without sleep will Mariella’s ideas disappear completely?
THE GREAT TELEPHONE MIX-UP by Sally Nicholls, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey
When the village wires get crossed after a storm, there’s a lot of confusion and plenty of missed connections. Can the villagers learn to love their neighbours and could the great telephone mix-up really be a blessing in disguise? A big cast of diverse characters light up this charming story all about community spirit.
Middle Grade – For 8+
ANTY HERO by Barry Hutchison, illustrated by Tom Percival
Ant isn’t like all the other kids and he’s hiding a strange secret behind the giant sunglasses he wears every day … But when his science teacher catches a glimpse behind the oversized green lenses, Ant is in grave danger. Can his new friends Zac and Tulisa save the day?Maybe not one for those afraid of creepy crawlies, but this unique friendship adventure is sure to make you laugh!
WORRY ANGELS by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Jane Ray
Amy May knows about worries – so many people she meets have them. By being brave enough to open up her own worry box, can Amy May help those around her to find a way forward?Beautifully written and with a touching message about friendship, this is definitely a story to share with any young worriers.
WINGS: FLYBOY by Tom Palmer, illustrated by David Shephard
On and off the pitch, Jatinder always plays it safe. The football summer school is meant to change all that. But when Jatinder opens an old book about ace fighter pilot, Hardit Singh Malik, he’s propelled into an adventure more thrilling than any football match! A perfect pick for history buffs who like a little fact with their fiction …
OWEN AND THE SOLDIER by Lisa Thompson, illustrated by Mike Lowery
Owen and his mum are struggling. It’s just the two of them at home now and they’re finding it difficult to ask for the help they need. When Owen discovers a crumbling stone soldier in the local park, it feels like he finally has someone he can talk to about his worries. But the town council cant’s see how important the soldier is and they
want to remove him. Owen’s scared that he’ll be left on his own again, but can he find the courage he needs to save the soldier before it’s too late?
Owen and the Soldier is the title that introduced me to reading Barrington Stoke books, and I ADORE it! As I’ve said before, considering that it’s such a small book, it packs so much emotion and a wonderful story into its pages. Lisa is a fantastic author and I’d love to read more novellas from her.
Teen – For 13+
WHAT MAGIC IS THIS? by Holly Bourne
Sophia, Mia and Alexis are clinging on to a spark of hope that maybe – just maybe – magic truly does exist. But when they meet to cheer-up heartbroken Sophia, long-held secrets are revealed, hard truths start to hit home and their night of bewitching quickly takes an unexpected turn.With all of Holly’s signature wit and wisdom, this novella of sisterhood, secrets and spells will definitely enchant.
THE LIAR’S HANDBOOK by Keren David
River’s life is blown apart when his mum invites her new boyfriend into their lives. River is instantly suspicious of Jason – he seems fake, too good to be true, so River begins The Liar’s Handbook, and an investigation into Jason. But the truth he uncovers is nothing he could have predicted … Gripping and filled with twists, this is book you won’t be able to put down!
OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck
A completely unabridged edition of Steinbeck’s stunning novella, formatted to be dyslexia-friendly and super-readable for all – ideal for anyone studying this great American classic at school or university.
BECAUSE OF YOU by Eve Ainsworth
Poppy’s having a nightmare at home. Her parents have split up and her mum’s new boyfriend is moving in. Dad is the one who’s always been there for Poppy, but now he’s drifting further and further away. It seems like things can’t get any worse until it all goes wrong at school as well and Poppy finds herself being targeted by spiteful bullies. As the vicious online comments keep coming, who can Poppy turn to for help?
WOW! So many wonderful titles, and that’s just naming a few! Thank you very much to Kirstin at Barrington Stoke for your help with this post, recommendations and for reigniting my love of reading with some of these titles!
If any of these books have taken your fancy or you want to try something from Barrington Stoke, then I have a code for you! If you buy any single titles directly from the Barrington Stoke website you can get 15% off with the code DAW2019. I’d definitely recommend taking a look!