Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wild Song by Jane Eagland

I received this e-galley from Netgalley and Myrick Marketing and Media in exchange for an honest review. I was intrigued by the Stoke Books premise that it is geared toward children who have dyslexia and reluctant readers. It is difficult to find books for those who do have learning disabilities that are on their level and have material that will appeal to them. Wild Song is on a 3rd grade reading level, but does have teen appeal. I also liked that this is inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest. I could see the potential in using this particularly in a Read 180 class as a way to relate to the classic.

Anna has been trapped on an island with her father, his assistant, and two servants. Her father barely clings to his sanity, driven to hate the outside world by the theft of his life's work. He will not let Anna study anything but math and recoils when she suggests subjects like geography. Anna begins to think she is falling for her father's assistant Max, even though he is a good deal older than her. She believes Max brings her secret books, books her father would not want her to read. As she begins to have feelings for Max, a boy is shipwrecked on the island. The boy, Rob, is allowed to stay until he can recover from a broken leg, but Anna is not to go near him. She sneaks to meet Rob and as he tells her of the outside world, she longs to break free of the island. As she gets closer to Rob, she learns she may not know Max at all and this could prove dangerous for herself and her father.

The story reads like a gothic story, but with a very easy to read structure. The sentences are short, but not choppy. The story has a sort of cliffhanger, so it could have a sequel. The books is only 69 pages long, which makes it the perfect size for a struggling reader and could work for both a middle school or high school student. This is a definite purchase for the library and I think it will appeal to reluctant teen readers.

Favorite Character: I think the character of Anna was well-developed and even in the short number of pages, you grow to care for her. She is strong and determined to do what is best for herself and her father.

Favorite Quote: "But for Anna, math was like a big, black cloud hanging over her." Haven't we all felt this way! :)

This was a quick read and perfect for a reluctant reader. 4 cups of cocoa.

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