Review Blog

Jul 10 2017

Stage fright by Jo Cotterill

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Hopewell High series. Bloomsbury Education, 2017. ISBN 9781472934130
(Age: 12+) In the second Hopewell High series, we follow the story of Alice, a talented singer and actor in the school play at her boarding school. Alice is supported by her friends who are all in the same year level, and spend most out of class time in The Nest (their living quarters) or practicing for the school play. As the dress rehearsal draws nearer, Alice becomes more and more prone to panic attacks, of which she has a history.
In this High Interest Low Literacy novel, Alice begins to feel overwhelmed by the pressure of the play. Already stressed about remembering lines, her Mum confides that things are not right at home. Alice seeks counselling and is encouraged to talk to an adult. Her panic disorder is not explicitly explored.
In the back of the book, there is a quiz, in which readers could check their understanding of the novel. The resource also has UK reference websites in the back pages, including Childline.
Clare Thompson

Publisher's note: Bloomsbury High Low books encourage and support reading practice by providing pacy, age-appropriate stories for struggling and reluctant readers, those with dyslexia, or those with English as an additional language. Printed on tinted paper and with a dyslexia friendly font, they are aimed at readers aged 12+ and have a manageable length (80 pages) and reading age (9+). They are produced in association with reading experts at CatchUp, a UK charity which aims to address underachievement caused by literacy and numeracy difficulties.

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