Review by Cameron who is 13 and also dyslexic.Brock is about a boy called Nicky, whose brother, called Kenny has a disability because, he didn't have enough oxygen when he was born. One morning Kenny wakes up Nicky and takes him to a forest that everybody calls the Corpse. When he gets there Kenny is very excited because some people called Jesbo, Rob and Rich say that he is going to play with badgers. They end up digging up the badger set and killing some.
They find a baby badger and a dog called Tina and take them home to live in the shed. In the end the badger is released to its set and Kenny is allowed to keep Tina the dog.
My favourite part of the book is when the badger is returned to its home and the mean people, Jesbo, Rob and Rich have to do community service. Also another part I enjoyed juice six months later when Nicky and Kenny's dad finds a girlfriend and they go to where the badger set is and they meet the badger that they set free six months earlier.
I think that: the thick coloured paper is much easier to use because you can't see through their page to what's on the other side; The pages don't flick around so much therefore, it's easier to keep your page; also, the book isn't very long so I can easily read it in a day; the text is large and well-spaced out so it's hard to get the words jumbled up when you are reading, this is why it is easy for dyslexic people to read.
I think people should read it because it is easy to read and it has a very clear plot and you're constantly thinking about what's going to happen next. So you're never going to get bored. Also all of it is possible and it could happen to you. It tells you what is right and what is wrong to do in life.
Brock - Adult review
At SOTB we like to look at the book as a whole, the story is the most important thing, but we believe if you’re reviewing a book, you need to review the whole package, so with that in mind I’m starting with the cover. Brock has an amazing cover – you don’t need to read the blurb to know what to expect, the cover says it all. The photograph is bleak yet hopeful and on top of that it's aesthetically pleasing. Then you open the page to thick tactile paper printed with large easy to read print (which to me being dyslexic really made the reading even more pleasurable), this is accompanied by a lovely countryside illustration which instantly sets the scene.
So once wowed by the cover, pages and text and quite frankly feeling a little envious that Barrington Stoke weren’t about when I was a challenged teenage reader, I began to read. WOW! What an opening chapter, starting with...
'The Old Male shifted in his sleep. He was fighting again those long-ago battles, back in the days when his teeth were still sharp.'
When the old male wakes to the sound of dogs and the chapter concludes you know he’d going to his last battle.
'Yes, there was still one last fight in those old bone.'
Chapter two leaves the badger behind and effortlessly transports you into the life of Nicky, as he woken in the cold dreary morning by his brother Kenny. Within the first paragraph you know these boy’s lives aren't easy.
‘I wanted to stay in bed where it was warm. Ever since the boiler bust the morning had been hell. In the night your breath would freeze on the inside of the window so you could write your name in it …’
Nicky voice is hard yet sympathetic; he talks tough but he’s a good lad. Anthony show’s this beautifully through Nicky’s relationship with his ‘Simple’ brother Kenny, and how he takes on a parental role, looking out for him, and following him into the middle of a copse in the early hours of the morning.
This is where we catch up with chapter one. The next few chapters are the harrowing scene of Nicky watching helpless as Kenny in his naivety helps village bad boy’s Jezbo, Rob and Rich (and their dogs) bate the baggers. The scenes are purposely brutal and written expertly to show the horrors of bating and the complexities of bullying and fear. This is an exhilarating and at times uncomfortable read due to its raw emotions and relenting honesty, which expertly balanced to portray the grizzly scene.
With the bating past, and Jezbo, Rob and Rich long gone, Nicky and Kenny find wounded Jack Russell, Tina, and a single badger cub snuffy. The brothers take the two vulnerable creatures and nurse them to health. Whilst Nicky works on a plan to reunite snuffy with his family, Kenny’s naivety attracts the wrong kind of attention from Jezbo, Rob and Rich.
The story is plotted in way that leads to an exciting and fulfilling ending, reaffirming family values in age of broken homes and recession.
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