By Author / Illustrator
George Orwell, David Wardle
Barrington Stoke Ltd
Paperback / softback
Orwell's powerfully unnerving and enduring allegory of oppression and rebellion, brought to life for a new age of readers in a stunning dyslexia-friendly edition.
\"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others ...\"
When the lazy and drunken Mr Jones of Manor Farm forgets to feed his livestock the down-trodden and over-worked animals unite to take back their freedom. Led by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball they imagine this rebellion as the start of a life of prosperity and plenty. But as a cunning, brutal, hidden elite begins to take control, something new and unexpected emerges ...
Animal Farm is one of those titles that features on every 'Books to Read Before You Leave School' lists. And rightly so. It's an original, influential and highly readable dystopian story about a group of animals, abused and neglected by the terrible tyrant farmer, Mr Jones. Unable to stand such cruel treatment any longer the animals plan an uprising, intent on creating the new community dreamed of by the pig, Old Major, in which each animal can be equal, free and happy. They soon find themselves betrayed by the power-hungry Napoleon and his truth-twisting sidekick, Squealer, and their lives become even more miserable.
With huge universal themes of injustice and freedom, power and self-interest, political corruption, false promises and moral bankruptcy, Animal Farm is as timely and relevant now as it has ever been. As a powerful allegory of oppression and rebellion, inspired by the Russian Revolution of 1917, it is guaranteed to appeal to every teenager's innate sense of justice and fairness - and utter conviction that they know best.
Obviously, all teenagers deserve to access such an important story and Barrington Stoke has done a stunning job of removing the obstacles for those students who struggle with dyslexia, visual stress, language issues, or just reading reluctance. This new unabridged edition, with its striking and sophisticated cover artwork, is extremely pickupable, avoids looking intimidatingly chunky and is completely accessible for all. The specially designed dyslexia-friendly font, the increased spacing between and around the text and the heavier weight, dark cream tinted paper guarantee that all readers can enjoy this book.
Extensive accompanying classroom resources on the Barrington Stoke website provide ideas for guiding readers through the story, and promote understanding and provide opportunities for class discussion and written work including pre-reading questions. Clearly and attractively presented, these free-to-download resources are exceptionally well-designed and include cultural and historical background, information about key characters, themes and scenes - all evidenced by quotations from the text.
This new super-readable edition will more than earn its shelf-space - useful across the curriculum for English, History, Geography, Politics, Ethics and tutor time reading programmes. It's sturdy enough to work as a class set too, unlocking literature for all, without drawing attention to those who find reading trickier than most.
Animal Farm is the latest in this dyslexia-friendly series designed to unlock the classics. Other titles available currently include Of Mice and Men, A Christmas Carol, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are also available as superb retellings by outstanding author, Tanya Landman.
256 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Eileen Armstrong, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+