Elsa tells herself that it was just a little white lie - all to get her mum's boyfriend off her back when she was late home. But now Amy, a girl from school, has gone missing and a man who may be innocent has been arrested. Can Elsa get herself out of this mess? And who really abducted Amy? Gripping thriller.
This is the story of how telling lies can get out of hand. Elsa lies to her Mum’s boyfriend and gives the excuse of almost being kidnapped on the way home to explain why she’s late. But then someone she knows is kidnapped, and the police want her evidence to help catch the “kidnapper”.
Barrington Stoke are a publishing house that publish books for reluctant and struggling readers. Twisting the Truth is a short story of 75 pages for 14+ readers with a reading age of 8, but this doesn’t mean the story is dumbed down at all. I am neither a reluctant nor struggling reader, and I really enjoyed it! It’s a quick burst of thrills and fear on such a serious subject. Elsa is a very identifiable character for young teenagers, and although she makes some mistakes, I was completely swept up in her story. What is Elsa going to do? Who has kidnapped Amy? What’s going to happen? It was nothing if not exciting and disturbing.
I don’t know any struggling readers, but I do know reluctant readers, and I think this is the perfect story for them. You’re not bogged down with excessive description, dialogue, or long, difficult words, the focus is completely on the kidnapping. It’s also a story I think reluctant readers would get swept up in, in the same way that people shout at the television when watching a movie and the main character does something stupid. Barrington Stoke publish their books in their own font, and the books are written with short sentences and short, spaced out paragraphs, which make the pages fly by; there’s no time for a reluctant reader to get bored, because it’s quick, sharp, and focussed. For struggling readers, the short sentences and paragraphs would make just one more paragraph not seem too difficult, especially as there are no long or difficult words.
Reading for myself, I would have liked the book to have been a little longer, just to find out what happens after the last page, but for the target audience, I think it ends at just the right moment; the story has been resolved, we know what was going on without the story getting too disturbing. A really good book to get those who struggle to read and those who aren’t too keen on reading turning the pages.
From Once Upon a Bookcase
- YA book blog