Publisher: Oxford University Press/Barrington Stoke
When his mum is released from prison, teenager Al is hopeful that they will have a fresh start in their new flat, away from the negative influence of her old friends. He is devasted, therefore, when she is sent back to prison for shoplifting. He blames their downstairs neighbour, Brayker, for alerting the shop’s security guard and is determined to get revenge, so formulates a plan involving his beloved pet rats, Venom and Vulture.
This absorbing tale provides a moving insight into Al’s world, which is shaped by poverty, neglect and crime. Despite the challenges he faces, he eventually learns to trust those around him and discovers the importance of community spirit, tolerance and kindness.
A What do you think? section at the end poses several questions to help readers explore the novel at greater depth. There is also interesting background material on different elements of the tale, a brief synopsis of key characters and a short quiz. Books in the Super-Readable Rollercoaster series combine a dyslexia-friendly font with engaging stories, which are expertly edited to remove barriers to comprehension and are accompanied by free online teaching resources.