Moon Chase Bridge Reader (A Fellhounds of Thesk Story)

'Highly Recommended'' (The English Association/University of Leicester)

'This story follows the adventures of Wil Calloway, a young teen trying to prove his innocence after being accused of the murder of another young boy. Set in a mystical land and part of the ‘Fellhounds of Thesk’ series, this particular version has been adapted for the Bridge Readers programme, a fantastic scheme which aims to ‘bridge the gap between learning to read and reading to learn’. The author has worked extensively with ESL and SLCN children and the careful adaptation of this tale is wonderful for engaging the less confident reader, or those moving towards Young Adult and Adult fiction. This makes it an ideal tool in the classroom to help weaker and improving readers, whilst keeping their interest through the intrigue, twists and creative language used within the story. The tale is full of mythical and real animals, including the heroic Irish Wolfhounds (the fellhounds named for the series), the vicious and sinister ‘Wraithe Wolves’ and a magical Crow named Pricilla. Alongside these animals, the story focuses on the journey of Wil in his quest to prove his innocence whilst protecting the town of Saran from the wolves of Tel Harion, and, equally importantly, follows the development of his relationships with his comrades in battle as part of this ‘Moon Chase’. I loved the inclusivity of genders in the story (both female and male role models play equal parts in this tale), and there is lots of opportunity for discussions around morality and difficult choices in the face of adversity (personal interests versus loyalty to others), which would make it great for SEAL or PSE sessions. It is a great introduction to the fantasy genre, and includes an appendix for more challenging words. I would highly recommend this to schools to help bridge the gap in reading material for the developing reader.' 

Laura Davies, Project Development Coordinator for Fair Foundations, Chwarae Teg
Online review 2014 The English Association website (University of Leicester)


'A Godsend'  - Review by Liz Howell (Speech and Language Teacher)

'It can be quite a challenge to read books with pupils with Language Impairments. Many of the pupils in the Speech and Language Unit have very poor literacy skills in addition to receptive and expressive language difficulties. Even books written for much younger children often have language that is hard for pupils with SLCN to understand and it is very difficult to find age appropriate texts that are at a suitable level.

Moonchase was a godsend! Although there were words that the pupils did not understand, the glossary was fantastic and by the end they were very used to flicking to the back of the book to find the meaning of the more difficult words. It took us a long time to read the book as we packed in a lot of literacy activities as we were reading. As well as the great comprehension worksheets provided, I used the text to support teaching of onomatopoeia, alliteration, use of apostrophes, adjectives, adverbs and narrative structure.

The story line was brilliant – it kept us enthralled. I couldn’t believe how many things happened to the characters, just as you thought the problems were resolved along came another one! The characters were well developed and you really felt that you were there in the story with them. There were some comic moments that lifted the mood in what otherwise might have been quite a dark story. There was enough gore to keep the boys interested and the use of the animals as central characters in the story really kept the girls engaged. 

I would thoroughly recommend this book. Not only for teenagers, but also for adults – the staff in school could not put it down! The teaser at the end of the book was almost too much to bear and I cannot wait for the next book to come out!'

 

 'Extraordinary - a story that is burning to be told'  (Teach Secondary)

'Sourcing genuinely appealing reading material for learners at Y7 and beyond who are still having trouble with the basics of written language can be hard.  There are some superb series out there created with expertise and imagination for precisely such an audience – but no matter how carefully packaged, there is no getting away from the fact that they are ‘different’.  A chance conversation with a teenager frustrated by her inability to connect with stories as presented to her by standard publishing inspired author Cathy Farr to ‘translate’ her beautiful, exciting YA novel, Moon Chase, for young people in the process of overcoming barriers to literacy.  The result is extraordinary; starting with a story that’s burning to be told, rather than an idea of who might be reading it, gives a wonderful credibility to the narrative – and a Teacher’s Workbook is also available, with a free audio CD, packed full of activities and ideas to support struggling readers.’ Helen Mulley, Teach Secondary July 2014


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