The Disconnect

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Would you give up your phone for a thousand pounds? Esther would have said no – but then a rich woman visits their school and sets the whole year group a challenge. Give up their phone for six weeks, and they will win a thousand pounds. For Esther, who uses her phone to keep in touch with her dad and sister in New York, it’s a real wrench, but she decides to make the effort. Only it seems that some people aren’t playing fair…

This short, snappy and entertaining book has an irresistible premise which many teenagers will find relatable. It takes a healthily balanced view of the pros and cons of mobile phone and social media usage. Among other things, it includes a heartwarming theme about the importance of family. Esther gains, and loses, unexpected things from giving up her phone.

The book is written with dyslexia-friendly features, but it will appeal to teenagers of all reading abilities. It could well be read as a whole-class short story, and would easily support discussions about social media, friendship and peer pressure.

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