A children's story whose main characters happen to have dyspraxia, dyslexia and autism

A children's story whose main characters happen to have dyspraxia, dyslexia and autism

Book Summary

Description

A children's story whose main characters happen to have Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and Autism/ASD/Asperger's (not made explicit). Will relate to children who feel different and left out at school. The book's real purpose is one of catalyst to help parent and teacher discuss with children, in a gentle way, what it is like to have a learning difficulty.

Format

Published Jan 2017
184 pages
Around 70 black and white illustrations

RRP

6.99 GBP
7.99 EUR
8.99 USD

Audience

Aimed at 7-9 year olds
Years 3 to 4 in Key Stage 2 in the UK
Grades 2 to 3 in the US

The Blurb

Vera McLuckie hates school. Mainly because she struggles with stuff the other kids find easy. Oh, and because she keeps getting into trouble for doing what she is really good at. Daydreaming.

So when Vera gets the chance to show just how extraordinary she is, will she dare take on the coolest, smartest girl in the whole of Acorn Bank Primary?

Extract from Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club

Extract from Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club

Book Objectives

This book works on several levels. It is a lovely story in itself that most children will relate to, dealing as it does with lack of self-belief, peer pressure and the bullying that goes along with not necessarily being the most popular kid in class. These issues can be readily picked up in school and discussed in circle time and PSHE (citizenship) lessons.

But it goes deeper. Whilst not named in the book explicitly, the three main characters exhibit dyspraxic, dyslexic and autistic (Asperger's Syndrome) tendencies respectively. So the story can be used by parents and teachers as a catalyst for discussing what it is like to have a specific learning difficulty. In schools, teachers can use the book on a one-to-one, group or class basis to help raise awareness and improve well-being.

Book Background

Both author and illustrator are keen to raise awareness of specific learning difficulties in a way accessible to children. The illustrator is herself autistic.

Book Reviews

The reviews below were kindly received prior to publication. But if you would like to leave a review, that would be amazing! The following are great places to leave book reviews (with direct links to the book!): Goodreads, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com and Google Books

Ultimately, this is a story about friendship, difference, and as the book says, believing in yourself, no matter what. As such, this is another book in the ‘Your Stories Matter’ series that will prove useful to, in particular, young people who experience themselves as being different, their family, friends and teachers.

I whole heartedly recommend this book and will be taking it to our next post-diagnostic support group where some of the parents in the group may wish to share this with their own children.
— Dr Linda Buchan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Director of Axia ASD
As someone with dyspraxia myself, I could relate a lot to Vera’s character! Teaching children about accepting and understanding difference is so important, and this book does that perfectly. The story itself is thoroughly engaging, with brilliant illustrations throughout. I loved this book and I wish I’d had it to read when I was younger!
— Natalie Williams, Dyspraxia advocate and blogger
The book really highlights the day-to-day struggle of school when your way of learning differs from the norm ... This book is a reminder of how life-changing it can be for a child with fragile confidence when their individuality is recognised by an interested adult and their talents encouraged. A feel-good, motivational story.
— Kathy, Support for Learning (SFL) Teacher
Jane Evans’ Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club is a superb children’s book celebrating the importance of diversity and exploring hidden disabilities ... Through Evans’ powerful storytelling and Ruth Mutch’s captivating illustrations Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club will be able to relate to many young children and inform them that their uniqueness is a superpower.
— Jake Borrett, Dyspraxia advocate and blogger
I absolutely loved your book. I thought it was highly original and it will be so uplifting for kids to read something to show how everyone has strengths no matter what. The way the characters portrayed characteristics of children with specific difficulties without explaining what they were in black and white was very clever. I imagine there will be many children who will be able to relate to at least one of the three main characters. It was very moving too and there were tears in my eyes over the power of the messages the book gave out.
— Sarah Matthews, Primary School Teacher
I always welcome books for children that talk about difference in a largely positive way whilst still introducing the concept of difference and difficulties. It is through children that perceptions (and ultimately acceptance) will change so it is great to see an author with this at the heart of her message … I like the book, it is friendly and positive and realistic. I would recommend it as a read in all classrooms and for parents and families of children who are ‘quirky’ or that little bit different … Certainly a story I would recommend to our members and supporters.
— Gill Dixon PGCE, MA, BHSc(Hons), RGN, Dyspraxia Foundation Trustee
This is a great wee book; nicely written and beautifully illustrated. The combination of everyday life and fantasy worlds will make it appealing to younger readers and the story is one that is many children will relate to. The characters are interesting and well drawn, in both words and images, and the font that is used for the text makes it easier to read for people with dyslexia. Having dyslexia myself I often find I have to read things a couple of times or more to be sure I’ve got it right but I had no such problem with this. I also really liked the fact that once you finish reading the story readers are given a good reason to go back and review the pictures. All in all this is a lovely book and I hope we get a chance to read more about Vera and her friends in the future.
— Celine, Art Tutor, Project Ability
Q: What was the best thing about the book?
A: The personalities of the characters.

Q: What did you enjoy most about the story in the book?
A: That Vera’s story became real.

Q: If you met the characters, do you think you would like them?
A: Yes!

Q. What words or phrases would you use to describe the book?
A: Interesting. Unusual things happen in it. You want to know what happens next.

Q: Would you recommend this book to a friend?
A: Yes definitely.

Q: Who would enjoy this book?
A: Both boys and girls because it is a really good book, but it’s not for very young children. I think it would be a yellow on Accelerated Reader, the third hardest rating.

Q: Can you think of any similar books you have read?
A: No it’s unique.

Q: If you saw another book about Vera would you want to read it?
A: Yes, I would give this one 5 stars out of 5.

Q: If someone asked you to describe what happens in the book, what would you say?
A: Vera enters a writing competition and when she tries to tell everyone in the Daydream Club they have to close their eyes so she won’t be worried and her story becomes real in the Storyland. The story controls what you think, see and hear. A penguin in the dream hands her this pebble and tells her what to do in tricky situations.

Q: What is the Daydream Club?
A: It is the club that Vera, Max and Harry make after school to help each other with homework and have a chat.
— Joe, 8 year old boy, somewhere in England

Book Resources

Currently under development

Book Availability

Most bookshops throughout the English-speaking world and of course Amazon. Contact us for a discount if you are an educational or support organisation wishing to purchase in bulk for resale or otherwise.

Paul Johnson

A moving short film explores what it’s really like to live with ADD/ADHD

A moving short film explores what it’s really like to live with ADD/ADHD

Scientific explanations of Dyslexia

Scientific explanations of Dyslexia