Barrington Stoke specialises in 'cracking reading', publishing super-readable children’s books that break down the barriers that can stop kids getting into reading. Our first-rate short fiction brings together the very best children’s authors and illustrators in the UK with a host of unique accessibility features to offer cracking reads accessible to more children including those with dyslexia or visual stress.
Our books are designed to help, with:
• Tinted pages to reduce visual stress, which may be more common in people with dyslexia and can make words seem to jump or dance on the page
• A special font that helps prevent people with dyslexia confusing letter shapes
• Special spacing to help minimise confusing, blurring and switching
• Thick paper to make sure words and pictures don’t show through from other pages and confuse the eye
• Special editing to help minimise barriers to comprehension. This process was developed by dyslexia and speech and language experts in response to research and feedback from thousands of readers on hundreds of Barrington Stoke manuscripts over the years.
Browse a list of titles with extra classroom & teaching resources here >
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by Tanya Landman
It's 1848 in the Deep South of America. Fair-skinned Rosa is a slave but can 'pass for white'. With the help of Moses, her husband, she disguises herself as a young white man - and Moses's master. In this guise, the two of them must make their way out of the South, explaining away their lack of literacy, avoiding those they have encountered before and holding their nerve over a thousand miles to freedom. Inspired by the amazing true story of Ellen Craft who escaped a life of slavery through a daring disguise and won freedom for herself and her husband.
by Gillian Cross
A fun-filled adventure celebrating friendship and the great outdoors, from a Carnegie Medal-winning author. It's Art Week and Lara's class is off for a week's adventure in a big house in the middle of the woods. Mr Mac is keen to catch every moment on film - even the coach turning up and Mrs Bikila racing to catch it. Everyone gets stuck in to a big art project but when Lara's friend Ted lets her into a project of his own - a magical treehouse high up in the branches - the race is on to keep it secret as long as possible.
by Bernard Ashley
A brilliantly diverse story of life in multicultural modern Britain, inspired by a true story of a little girl's connection with her Mum. Lena's mum is expecting a new baby but Lena is more interested in her own concerns, most pressingly her quest for as many Scout badges as her sleeve can hold. When Lena's mum goes into labour, the midwife is caught in traffic and dad's out of range, Lena suddenly faces a challenge like no other.
by Phil Earle
A lovely celebration of father-son bonds and the importance of family, wrapped up in a wonderful extraordinary story that is sure to appeal to young superhero fans! Stanley is a normal little boy, whose dad just happens to be the greatest superhero on the planet. Six days a week, Dad saves the world from disasters, aliens, and bad guys. Friday is his day off and he always spends it with Stan. But one Friday, Dad and Stan meet a series of people desperately in need of Dad's help. Soon Stan finds himself saving a lion stuck up a tree, rescuing a monster truck from a ditch and taking on shark-infested floodwaters. That's right: Stan is a chip off the old (superhero) block!
by Chris Priestley
A second World War Two-set chiller. During the Blitz, Bill wishes he had a brother rather than his sister. After the raid, the family find and adopt a badly mutilated boy, his face so heavily bandaged that they can see nothing but his eyes. The boy's behavior grows more sinister by the day until one day he takes off the bandages - and Bill is horrified to see his own face staring back at him.
by Alan Gibbons
A brilliant, topical sports fiction-with-facts story. Josh is at the Europa League match at Old Trafford and hears Manchester United fans chanting about Hillsborough. Enraged, he starts a chant about the Munich Disaster of 1958. His dad is angry and teaches his son a lesson about Hillsborough, sectarianism in football, stadium disasters and more.
by Siobhan Dowd
A stunning graphic novel adaptation of Siobhan Dowd's moving story of prejudice and violence, the uncertainty of lives lived on the fringes of society, and of love in its many forms. Jim and his family have halted by Dundray and the education people have been round mouthing the law. In school the
Traveller kids suffer at the hands of teachers and other pupils alike, called 'tinker-stinkers', 'dirty gyps' and worse. Then the punches start. The only friendly face is Kit, a settled girl who takes Jim under her wing and teaches him to read in the great cathedral chamber of the cave below the town. With Kit and the reading, Jim seems to have found a way to exist in Dundray, but everyday prejudice and a shocking act of violence see his life uprooted once again.
by Jean Ure
A heartwarming and insightful story for pre-teens from one of the best writers of the genre, expertly told with a strong message of friendship and forgiveness at its heart. When her family's circumstances suddenly change, Abi finds herself moving to the large and
intimidating local high school. She's pretty nervous on her first day but soon meets someone she thinks she could be friends with - even best friends. But as the two girls bond over Abi's treasured snow globe, prejudices and stereotypes might just tear them apart.
by Alexander McCall Smith
International treasure Aleander McCall Smith joins up-and-coming illustrator Zoe Persico in this utterly adorable story of family, acceptance and difference. Jane has always been just a little bit different - she has springs in her knees! She bounce, bounce, bounces
all over town and they call her Springy Jane. She wins all the high jump competitions and can reach the top book shelf, and if anyone stares too hard she just bounces right over them! But a terrible flood and a trapped old lady mean Springy Jane is called on for help - will her springs save the day?
by Jonathan Meres
Grandparents take centre stage in this charming tale as a young boy and his grandfather let their imaginations take flight for an afternoon of space exploration, with beautiful artwork from Hannah Coulson. Sherman loves the moon and he loves his grandpa even more - who has actually been to the moon! Grandpa was an astronaut and has a chunk of moon rock on his mantlepiece. Playing space games with Grandpa is one of Sherman's most favourite things ever so he's thrilled to hear that's exactly what a visit to Grandpa will involve.
by Tom Palmer
Third in the action-packed Wings trilogy. Sisters Maddie and Jess are new to the football school and can't stop bickering with each other. But the airfield has other ideas and soon the sisters find themselves in Typhoon fighter jets and have to watch each other's backs or be shot out of the sky.
by Tony Bradman
An exciting historical thriller drawing on little-known events of William Shakespeare's early life. Young Will Shakespeare knows that his family's existence hangs by a thread. His father's business often struggles, and his mother insists on practising the old faith, which isn't a popular choice any more. Will jumps at the chance to leave the oppressive atmosphere of home and join a troupe of players, but he finds that it's not so easy to escape the ghosts of his past.
by Sally Nicholls
An utterly charming tale set in 1950's rural England, full of heart and whimsy. Billy Button has always dreamed of being a telegram boy. He loves their smart uniforms and shiny bicycles, but he's too young for the job. So when the regular telegram boy breaks his arm and Mr and Mrs Button are in urgent need of a new boy, Billy jumps at the chance to don the Royal Mail badge and ride his very own bicycle. But will Billy be able to keep all the village residents happy with his deliveries? He might have to work some
magic to make grumpy Mr Grundle smile...
by Steve Cole
Slick fantasy meets heart-pounding action in this gripping title from the bestselling author of Young Bond. Luke's always been good at knowing things. He could guess at a right answer in class or pick up on things other people couldn't. But now it's sharpened into something much more. Now Luke can actually hear people's thoughts. And there's a weird new girl hanging around who seems to know exactly what he can do. She wants something from him but can he trust her? Not everything is as it seems in this high-octane thriller, perfect for fans of Alex Rider.
by Chris Bradford, illustrated by Chris Maslanka
Second in the Bulletcatcher trilogy. In the face of a ruthless 'Fight Against Fear' campaign, the terrorists have gone to ground. But a lone sniper is assassinating key figures of the all-powerful City Council. When a Bulletcatcher dies protecting the chief councillor's son, Troy and Scarlet wonder if Medusa has been telling the complete truth about their abilities. How long will Troy be bulletproof for? Action-packed futuristic adventure.
by Tom Palmer
Second in the action-packed Wings trilogy. Greg is happy when he's playing football but training is over, his iPod is broken and he's on edge. Steve, Greg's post at the football academy, tries to get him interested in an Airfix kit and suddenly he's in the cockpit of a Spitfire, fighting for his life in the skies.
by Paul Dowswell
Written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme by a prize-winning history author who brilliantly captures the reality of war. Interlinks the story of two modern-day boys with the story of their ancestors enslisted to fight in the First World War. A powerful and moving tale, poignantly told.
by Alan Gibbons
Jimi loves books and he loves football. His favourite books are about the great African-born footballers and he dreams of pulling on the white shirt of the Lions of Senegal. He has his sister to coach him and his uncle to inspire him but will Jimi's dreams come true? Interweaves Jimi's story with facts about the history of football in Africa.
by Anne Cassidy
Brilliant reworking of classic Of Mice and Men. Lennie and George drift from town to town and dream of opening their own music shop. But Lennie has the mind of a child and accidents are never very far away. Tragic and beautifully-written modern-day retelling.
by Catherine Fisher
Sequel to At the World's End. Caz and Will struggle to fit in at the Settlement where the genders are strictly separated. After the battle to arrive, it seems that they may be setting out into the frozen world once again. Gripping YA dystopia from the author of Incarceron.
by Sophie McKenzie
A thrilling football crime story by the award winning Sophie McKenzie. Blake's the star of the football team, but he and his mum are in trouble - they can't make the rent and it looks as though they'll have to move. So when a stranger offers Blake cash to fix the match, it seems like an easy solution, right? Wrong. If Blake goes along with it, he stands to lose more than just the game. Will he do the right thing?
by Kevin Brooks
Gritty urban drama about a teenage detective. Johnny wants to be a detective, and he's got it all figured out. So what is he to do when two of the most beautiful girls in the world give him a job to investigate? Investigate it of course. But quickly things spin out of Johnny's control, and he gets tangled up with the local gangs. Can he work out how he's ended up in this mess?
by Michelle Magorian, illustrated by Peter Cottrill
A story about believing in yourself. Ben is desperate to impress Jack and Harry, that's why he said he'd do the first leg of the swimathon. But when Jack and Harry don't turn up, Ben has to face some tough truths about his 'friends'. And then Ben finds friendship in an unexpected place.
by Karen McCombie
Thrown together for a school project, Jessie, Zarah, Rose and Shanice don't think they have much in common until they start moaning about their mad - and maddening! - mums (and a step-mother too in Jessie's case). When the girls jokingly decide to band together as the OMG! Support Group (Our Mums - Grr!) things quickly escalate and soon they are posting their frustrations on the OMG! blog. But the mums aren't best pleased when they find out...
by Malorie Blackman, illustrated by Matthew Griffin
Powerful future drama exploring what it means to be human. Mitch and her mother live among a peaceful race who avoid fighting through the 'peacemaker' chips inserted in their arms. But when an alien ship confronts Mitch's home, they need a champion to defend the ship. Can Mitch step up?
by Tony Bradman
A lively and compelling novel published to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, woven from the few known facts of his young life. Brilliantly illustrated throughout and jam-packed with quizzes, art tasks and other fun activities to spark a love of Shakespeare in young readers. Life's not much fun for young Will Shakespeare. His father's money troubles at home and a stuffy master at school mean it's all a bit of a struggle. But then a band of travelling players arrive in Stratford, bringing with them a world of energy and colour. Will dreams of joining their ranks and forging himself a glittering future in London. But his father has other ideas.
by Anne Fine, illustrated by Vicki Gausden
A funny and thought-provoking Little Gem from national treasure Anne Fine, with sensitive and charming artwork by up-and-coming illustration star Vicki Gausden - Anne's collaborator on 2015's The Gingerbread Star. Hugo wants a gerbil, but his dad says it's cruel to keep an animal in a cage. Hugo doesn't agree, and so Dad challenges him to spend a day cooped up in his room. The countdown has barely begun when Hugo starts to go stir-crazy. Warm, witty and wise to the impatience of childhood, this is Anne Fine on great form, encouraging young readers to develop imagination and empathy.
by Tom Palmer, illustrated by David Shephard
First in the Wings trilogy. Jatinder seems to be living his dream - he's training for his team's youth squad, and his host parents Steve and Esther are really great. But the other kids are always on the alert for anything that makes a player different, and Jatinder is definitely that. Steve reckons it's good to be different - look at his own hero, Hardit Singh Malik. That night Jatinder wakes up in a seriously surprising situation - flying Hardit's WWI fighter plane into enemy airspace.
by Eoin Colfer
A fun, playful and charming Little Gem with a touching and thought-provoking message at its heart. Eoin Colfer's trademark light touch and perfect gift for unforgettable child voices are perfectly complemented by Matt Robertson's beautiful limited-palette artwork and high production values. Anna Liza likes to help cheer up her mother's psychiatric patients with her 17 top knock-knock jokes and cheerful songs, but when she meets Edward, she hits a brick wall. Edward's dad is so sad since his mum left; he says his life isn't going anywhere any more. Anna Liza has a plan to get him on the move again, if only she can manage to evade her mother's attention long enough.
by Jeremy Strong
A silly and delightful tale of ostrich-related chaos from King of Comedy Jeremy Strong (The 100-mile an Hour Dog, My Brother's Famous Bottom), with added moustaches. Warning: moustaches may fall off due to snorts of laughter. Pudding Lane may be the only primary school in the UK with a real, live ostrich for a mascot. She comes to the school as an escapee from the ostrich farm and soon wins a place in the hearts of staff and pupils alike. Rival schools and Ofsted beware as Pudding Lane prepares to deploy its tall, feathery secret weapon against all comers. Brilliantly illustrated in black-and-white by Sarah Horne, this Conkers edition includes jokes, quizzes and traceand- cut-out activities including false moustaches.
by Jenny Oldfield, illustrated by Gary Blythe
A touching and compelling tale of a young girl's love for her horse. Brilliantly illustrated in soft and sensitive black and white by the fabulously talented Gary Blythe, this is sure to delight all young pony fans.When Anna's mum Kerry gets sick and faces big hospital bills, her dad Rex says they need to sell off their most valuable horses. Anna knows her own horse Blue Moon is the best on the ranch, and so she and her best friend Lee hide him in an abandoned barn. Rex is horrified that Anna would ever think he would sell the horse but when they go to retrieve Blue Moon, the horse is gone.
by Michael Morpurgo and Sam Usher
Children's book legend Michael Morpurgo teams up with amazing illustration newcomer Sam Usher for an adorable story with counting activities for parents and children to share. This has the makings of another Morpurgo classic. The frogs always beat the toads at long jump but the toads don't mind - anything for a quiet life. But then the children - and Mutt the dog - come in search of some good jumpers, and the toads see an opportunity to get their own back. Soon the poor frogs have been gathered up and put in an ice-cream tub, and they're hopping mad!
by Ian Beck
A jewel of a book illustrated throughout in silhouette and colour by award-winning Ian Beck (Tom Trueheart). Pictures and words weave together to create a hymn to colour, light and life. Everything on the Island of Ashes is grey, from the weather to the castle, the grass and the flowers. But then the red boat arrives, and with it a young man who believes he is cursed - everything he touches turns to colour. Princess Opal and the people of the island are enchanted, but the King is suspicious and imprisons Wendell. Opal must find a way to escape to a life filled with love and colour.
by Caroline Lawrence
A thrilling tale of danger, friendship and loyalty from Roman Mysteries bestseller Caroline Lawrence, set against the backdrop of the ancient world. Gorgeous and evocative, this captivating new teen novel imagines the life of a heroine of early Rome. Few have ever seen her, but all of Laurentum knows the story of Camilla - tied to a spear and thrown across a river by her father as he fled for his life. The Goddess Diana saved the baby, and now it is Camilla's turn to save Laurentum as the Trojans march on the town. But Camilla is a wild girl from the forest, not the Amazon they imagine, and so Acca must step in to help her new friend adjust to the great destiny before her.
by John Agard, illustrated by Michael Broad
A warm, charming and ever-so-slightly batty celebration of family love, inspiring teachers and the great characters who make all our lives more interesting. Featuring the same family as 2014's All Sorts to Make a World. Shona likes most creatures in the world but for some reason she's terrified of bats, and so she's a bit concerned when her new teacher announces they're about to begin a bat project. But that's nothing to how she feels when a colony of the pesky flappers turn up in her own attic! Luckily Miss Bates turns out to be a bat expert and she's soon on the case.
by Michaela Morgan
A fun caper from a popular author, with brilliant illustrations from the master of creepy black-and-white inky doodles, Chris Mould. When Robbie and Gaz hear a strange howling sound in the woods behind Robbie's house, they decide it's their chance to take a photo of a big cat and make a fortune selling it to the papers. Nothing quite goes according to plan, but Robbie and Gaz end up famous for entirely different reasons.
by Brian Patten
A stunning prose retelling of the Beowulf legend from award-winning Brian Patten with fabulous artwork by new Children's Laureate Chris Riddell. Jacket foiling and neon pantone print interiors combine for a really fabulous Little Gem. The monster Grendel has awoken and the townspeople are terrified. Even the King has abandoned his great Hall. Hero after hero comes to slay the monster, but no one can outwit Grendel. Only Beowulf has a chance. But when Beowulf finally triumphs, an even greater horror awakens. Grendel's mother, the Hag, wants revenge on the slayer of her son.
by Mary Hooper
A richly atmospheric page-turner from the author of Fallen Grace. The maze-like, mysterious world of Victorian London is the perfect setting for the story of a girl who becomes a boy to ensure her survival in the darkest trade of the underworld - the body business. Gina knows that Victorian London is no place for an orphaned girl - there are those that would literally steal the hair off her head. And so Gina finds work with Thread and Spider as 'George', selling burial outfits stripped off rich corpses. The work is dangerous and illegal, but it is better than starving. But then Thread and Spider's demands increase and friendship with blind beggar girl Anna means that Gina has something to lose. Mary Hooper weaves her trademark spell on her readers with this enchanting book.
by Sita Brahmachari
An honest and heart-warming tale of family, growing up and 'difference' from prize-winning author Sita Brahmachari (Artichoke Hearts), set over the course of one life-changing day. Tender-hearted and necessary, this gem of a teen novel is a rollercoaster ride for the heart. Hudson is a skilled reader of books, but not so much with people. Mum's new bloke Louis is keen to help, and in turn Hudson passes on what he learns to future sibling Zed (for zygote). This all comes in useful at granddad's funeral as Hudson deals with grief, his dad's feelings of guilt and his own sadness about his parents' separation. Hudson's self-awareness about his Asperger's and how it affects him (and others) gives him a distinctive and insightful voice that offers an astute and ultimately uplifting take on the world.
by Chris Bradford, illustrated by David Wyatt
A breathtaking tale of martial arts action from prize-winning author and black belt Chris Bradford (Young Samurai, Bodyguard), crammed with fantastic extras for young ninja fans. Vividly detailed and tense, this packs a serious punch. Taka's got a problem: he can't pass the Grandmaster's test and earn his black belt. But then a much more serious situation arises, and it seems his whole clan is under threat. At last Taka has a chance to prove himself, but he and his friends Cho and Renzo will face terrible danger on the way. A fantastic adventure that will floor boys and girls alike from the first page and keep them reading long after lights out. Illustrated in stunning detail by David Wyatt, this Conkers edition includes ninja facts and activities to satisfy martial arts-mad Bradford fans.
by Anthony McGowan, illustrated by Staffan Gnosspelius
A bleakly poetic and powerful teen drama, from the best-selling author of The Knife That Killed Me. Mog clings to the social fringe by association with Chris. But when Chris befriends loser Duffy and threatens Mog's status, Mog takes drastic action. There will be consequences... A new edition of tragic tale of betrayal, sparsely and finely told by a master of teen storytelling.
by Pete Johnson
Hilarious, laugh-out-loud look at teenage life in all its glory, from the author of bestselling How to Train Your Parents. Spencer is disgusted at the idea of being a teenager. He's not interested in girls, skateboards or huge trainers - he'll be an (un)teenager instead! Cracking new author-branded edition of a comical take on the highs and lows of being a teenager, from a hugely popular teen author.
by Pete Johnson
Hilarious, laugh-out-loud sequel to Diary of an (Un)teenager, from the author of bestselling How to Train Your Parents. Spencer's back, and the (un)teenager plan has been derailed a bit by the fact that he kissed Emily at the disco. What will he do now? Is Spencer doomed to becoming a 'proper' teenager?