Published in Barrington Stoke’s ‘super-readable’ and dyslexia-friendly style, this is a short chapter book that readers will find easy to pick up and hard to put down.
Jake stands out from many of the other children at his school and Christmas is a time that is especially difficult for him, with the bright lights, loud noises and changes in routines causing him a great deal of anxiety. When Jake befriends a lost dog, which he calls Susan, a beautiful bond begins to form that helps Jake to stay calm and cope with the difficulties he faces. After a while, Susan’s real owners turn up to reclaim their missing dog and Jake and his family needs to find a way forward while their world feels like it has fallen apart.
This is a touching and inclusive story that is well suited for the 6-8 age bracket or for less confident readers in the upper primary years. The narrative sensitively explores the idea that Christmas is not an easy time for everybody, while also drawing out festive values of family, kindness and compassion for those in need.
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