Secondary reading. Extreme sports and one extremely complicated life

6th April 2007 at 01:00
Download Series 1: Fast Cars, BMX Mountain Biking, Sky Diving, Rock

Climbing, Motocross, Snowboarding, Racing Cars, Formula One

By Frances Ridley

Editorial consultant Cliff Moon

Rising Stars books from pound;5 each

Support materials on CD-Rom pound;150 plus VAT

Starter pack (two copies of each book plus CD-Rom) pound;184 plus VAT. Reading age 6-7, interest 9-14

This series targets young male reluctant readers by focusing on a high-octane sports. The A5 softback format and high-definition photography makes each book attractive.

The texts blend facts, instruction and information, combined with a fiction story illustrated by cartoon-style black and white drawings. This maintains the contemporary magazine feel of the whole package, making it very attractive to their target readers. There is nothing to over-face youngsters, but much to inspire.

The CD-Rom (suitable for whiteboard and PC) is user-friendly. The sections can be utilised with each of the books and there are structured exercises on grammar and spelling. These can be downloaded as differentiated worksheets for classroom use with the books.

Claiming Georgia Tate By Gigi Amateau

Walker Books pound;5.99

This book prickles with issues which criss-cross the life of 12-year-old Georgia Tate. She lives with her undemonstrative, church-going grandparents and believes her mother is dead, but she isn't. Her father, whom she stays with occasionally, is as creepy a case of arrested development that one might ever encounter in teen fiction.

At the core of the book is a lightly-handled debate about what it means to be actively Christian and live a good life, with all the contradictions that needing to be seen to be good might involve. But this exploration never detracts from the narrative drive; everything emerges from the compelling story and humanity prevails. There is much to discuss - child abuse among many other issues - and so much to enjoy. This is a wonderful book, enriched by the quiet and, sometimes gaudy, dignity of its main heroes and heroines.

Jo Klaces teaches English in Birmingham

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