We have used quite a few of the Oxford University Press Rollercoaster books this past year. We enjoy the stories and I really appreciate the Free to download resource packs that you get to use with each book. So when I heard about the new set of Super-Readable Rollercoasters I was intrigued. The idea behind these 5 books is that they have been created to try and encourage more reluctant readers to engage with a book. So they are a bit shorter in length and they are published using the Barrington-Stoke dyslexia-friendly font in an attempt to build reading confidence and enjoyment.
One of the five books in this super-readable series is Edgar and Adolf written by Phil Earle and Michael Wagg. The story is about a young seventeen year old boy (Adi) who travels to England to meet an old friend (Edgar) of his deceased grandfather (Adolf).
And then the story unravels as the old friend and the young boy talk about the unlikely bond that formed between the Englishman and German man during the build up to the Second World War. The pair became friends after playing a football game against each other but they remained friends because of the deep respect they had for one another.
It is a story which deals with friendship, loyalty and touches on the fact that the Second World war was awful on both sides (and yes there is also a bit of football thrown in). The friendship between these two was the part of the story that really gripped us but I also enjoyed the way the authors brought in the War. How they spoke about the bombings on both side, how the spoke about people on both sides wanting the war to be over and how both sides struggled to put lives back together afterwards. There was also an interesting bit where young Adi talks about the embarrassment of being a German after the war and not feeling like you could go to England (something which I am sure was the case for many). I liked this. I liked the fact that it gets the kids to think about the effect of the war on both sides.
Edgar and Adolf is 121 pages. It is an easy, enjoyable read. And after the story they include some nice extra bits of information about the authors and the background to the the story. They also include a quick quiz and a word list of words which some readers may have struggled with.
The Resource pack is similar the other Rollercoaster packs that we have used in the past but it has had a bit of a “spruce up”. And they now include some sample answers (which I think is really useful). Inside the pack you get a suggested way in which you can breakdown the story into 10 lessons and they include a suggested lesson plan and worksheets for each lesson. We have not used this resource set ourselves but I have paged through the set and it does look really useful.
I really like the idea of the Super-readable Rollercoaster books. And even if your kids are not reluctant readers they are still good quality shorter stories which all young people can enjoy.
You can buy all of the super-rollercoaster books directly from the Oxford University Press site – Edgar and Adolf or you can also buy them direct from Amazon Edgar & Adolf (Super-readable Rollercoasters) (I have not been out to bookstores lately so cannot comment on that).
Admin Bit – I was sent a copy of Edgar and Adolf but whether we decide to write a post on it is up to us and our enjoyment of the book.
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