Book Title: Griffin Gate (available here)
Author: Vashti Hardy
Illustrator: Natalie Smillie
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication Date: October 2020
Most Suitable For: Lower KS2, or struggling readers in UKS2 (also especially formatted for dyslexic readers)
Reviewer: Natasha Kendrick
All Grace Griffin wants to do is be recognised as a warden alongside her courageous mum and brother, but she is told she is too young and inexperienced so must keep training. The last two generations of the well-loved Griffin family have been wardens fighting crime using their teleportation map. Grace spends her time training and honing her crime fighting skills, but longs to be able to go on a solo mission to fight crime across Moreland.
When her mother is called away and her brother busy, Grace finds herself the only person in the map room when an emergency call comes in. Without thinking, she teleports with her mechanical raven, Watson, and cannot wait to tell her mum and brother how she single-handedly resolved the problem, however things do not quite seem quite right and Grace finds herself in a tricky situation with no help. What will she do now?
The story is one of adventure, family and the desire to prove one’s self. There are lots of exciting elements - like a technologically advanced Griffin map linked by portals - and Grace is a smart and curious heroine to whom many readers will readily relate. The adventure is full of exciting plot twists which keep the reader engaged in the story and wanting to read more. The detailed illustrations throughout add a deeper layer to the story.
I would recommend this book as a class reader or as a stimulus for writing an adventure story with a plot twist. The book is easy to read due to the tinted colour of the pages, the line spacing and the font and this would be recommended and very suitable for children with Dyslexia.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.
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