Swan Song

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Dylan feels weighed down by the pressure of secondary school and is almost relieved when he is expelled for punching a classmate. He and mum go to stay with Grandad in a small Welsh fishing village, where there is nothing to do and everyone seems to know all about him. When Dylan reluctantly agrees to go out on his grandfather’s boat, he is surprised by how much he enjoys it.

Over time, Dylan finds comfort in the beauty and tranquility of nature and begins to find his way again. He is particularly entranced by the arrival of whooper swans from Iceland for the winter, so is devasted when their feeding ground is threatened, but feels helpless to save the birds he has grown to love.

This moving novel sensitively explores some of the pressures faced by teenagers and their potential impact on mental health. The relationship which develops between Dylan and his grandfather is touching and the descriptions of the natural world are exquisite. Expertly edited to minimise barriers to comprehension, this story is printed on tinted paper using a dyslexia-friendly font, ensuring it is extremely accessible to a range of readers.

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