I love finding good quality, interesting reading books for the kids and I especially love it when the books have a good positive message in them. My Journey across the Indian Ocean: Band 17/Diamond (Collins Big Cat) is just that. The book is well written with some new interesting words included (like bioluminescence) but it is also a positive story.
A story about how someone overcame a serious illness and went on to row across the Indian Ocean. It is a story about perseverance.
It starts with how they came up with the idea of rowing unsupported across the Indian Ocean and why the chose the Indian Ocean. He also talks about his illness, he developed Guillain-Barré syndrome when he was 14 years old. Both the kids and I found this fascinating that someone who at one stage was paralysed went on to row across the Indian Ocean. What a positive, encouraging message for young children.
The journey itself is well set out. The highlights and the hard moments. As you can imagine there are not a lot of photographs in the book but they have included a number of illustrations which helped the kids to imagine how cramped and small the boat must have been.
Towards the end of their journey they do capsize and lose everything but they get rescued by some fishermen and it all ends with them being reunited with their families in Mauritius.
The book is 56 pages long and includes a glossary at the back as well as a map showing the journey and the significant events that occurred.
I think this is one of my favourite young readers that we have come across. It is part of a reading scheme, so the aim is for kids to practice reading and it does that. But it is so much more than a reader. It is a story that extends their vocabulary, they learnt about Guillain-Barré syndrome, some new ocean terminology, what life out on the ocean would be life and what it means to be not give up. It is a reader fill of positive messages which for me is just the best kind of book for children.
My Journey Across the Indian Ocean is part of the Big Cat reading series (UK based series).