12th January 2007 at 00:00
Whether it's literacy or history you're tackling, fun is a vital ingredient

First Flight series

Various authors

Badger Publishing pound;4.25 each For 10-plus with lower reading ages Level 1 pack including copymasters pound;49

You're 12, with a reading age of seven. You can't read the books your mates read and the ones you can read, you are not interested in. To the rescue comes the First Flight series: high-interest, low-reading-age books, with particular appeal for boys.

With eye-catching covers, punchy titles and illustrations throughout, the 1,000-word texts cover a range of genres. The non-fiction text Mad About Money has just the sort of outrageous but inconsequential trivia that boys of all ages enjoy. My favourite is that in 2004, pound;175,000 in bank notes were washed away or eaten. In similar style, The Biggest Lies Ever is about the "fabulous fibbers" who thought up pranks, from the Hitler diaries to the Loch Ness monster.

Chip Boy (not about childhood obesity - they are computer chips) is a spooky sci-fi story, while Robert and the Werewolf is a play about a dad who turns out to be a... "noooo!" Obvious but funny. The trademark of the series is humour that appeals to the target audience.

The Ghost in the Artroom, a narrative poem with no rhyme and no regular rhythm, doesn't hit the spot as effectively, but the series overall was enjoyed by the children who tried it

Kevin Harcombe is head of Redlands Primary, Fareham, Hampshire

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