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Waiting in hope

ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE. Age range 11 to 16.

Series editor Mike Hamlin. Stanley Thornes Pounds 39.99. - 1356 6393.

What makes this file of English materials unusual is that you don't get the whole pack at once: you have to wait until April to see whether or not your money was well spent, as the resources come as one set of materials each term.

I am not sure what the advantage is. Perhaps the idea is that as new books come on the market, or the set books alter at GCSE, the publishers will be able to respond more rapidly. In other words, you will be glued to these resources, not stuck with them.

Only one section is on a novel, with the rest having very general applications. There are sections on language study and drama as well as genre work and the media. In this area the collection has the feel of an old-fashioned textbook rather than high-quality photocopiable materials or resources based on media issues, such as the press.

Roy Blatchford interviews Anne Fine about her novel writing and Jonathan Neelands offers drama ideas on a short story. They're good, but I can't help feeling the money would be better spent on the excellent books these writers have already had published.

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