Review Blog

May 21 2012

Wired series by various authors

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A and C Black, London, 2011.
Drawing a veil by Lari Don. ISBN 9781 4081 5559 2.
Pitch dark by Robert Dodds. ISBN 978 1 4081 5573 8.
(Ages: 11+) Recommended. Quick reads. One in the series, Wired, aimed at lower secondary students with perhaps a need for a quick read or who may have lower literacy levels, Drawing a veil touches on issues within a school community which many students come across. Amina has decided that she will now wear a veil. She wants to be seen and known as a modest Muslim girl, and her friend, Ellie is ambivalent about her reasoning, but when she is bullied stands up for her right to make her own choice.
This little book deals effectively with the issue of a Muslim girl wanting to wear a head scarf, and shows why she has decided to do this, but along the way the book reveals bullying which occurs in a school, and the strength needed to stand together for what the girls believe. The arresting cover in which Amina stares out at the reader will attract browsers.
The second, Pitch dark, tells a highly engrossing story of a boy who moves to a new school, wanting to be selected for the soccer team. When he is rejected he walks home through the now deserted soccer pitch near his home and there exchanges shots with a man in a wheelchair. When he says something about this at school, he is derided as the team that played there was killed in a bus crash, only the coach surviving. This is a neat little thriller, told succinctly and well, and is another easily read offering in this series.
Each of these books is very short, some 60 pages with large clear print and wide margins and a few drawings to break up the pages. Similar to the Lightning Strikes series, these will be eagerly selected by students wanting something quick and easy or one which aims at their lower literacy level, or to a classroom teacher wanting a set of books to have for their students to fill in spare moments or build a lesson round.
Fran Knight

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