Review: Unboxed by Non Pratt

UnboxedTitle: Unboxed

Author: Non Pratt

Pages: 139 Pages

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

The Blurb

Four friends meet up at their old school to open the memory box they stowed there years ago – with five letters inside for four of them, because their friend Millie has died. When they open the box they find a new letter from Millie and discover that she has left them special instructions: permission to open her letter only if they all read aloud the letters they wrote to their older selves, revealing their deepest secrets.

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 13+

The Review

I work in a school and I have the great privilege of working in the school’s library. We are really lucky because I know a lot of schools have had their libraries closed down; they are seen as a costly resource. I always get angry at this because I saw a news report that said out 24 countries in Europe, the UK came 23rd out of 24 for literacy skills. We were nearly at the bottom of the table. Yet valuable resources like libraries are being closed down within schools. To me, that is barmy.

The reason I mention this is that my students always come to me and ask for book recommendations. This is great but the chances are that these students aren’t reluctant readers. They come to me asking me about the YA fiction that I have read and loved. Non Pratt’s Trouble is one such book (I loved it and you can read about how much I loved it here). However, I must admit that I do struggle when trying to find books for some of my students who aren’t as enthused about reading as I am. I just don’t read that many books at that level; I’ve had the love of books and reading instilled in me since I was a young girl.

Now though, I have the answer. Non Pratt’s new release Unboxed is specifically for reluctant readers and it is printed in a dyslexia friendly font and on thick tinted paper. Besides all of these technical details, Unboxed is just a damn good story.

It is the story of friendship and how people and circumstances can change. I suppose because as teenagers we believe we are invincible. Nothing can touch us. Unboxed makes us realise that we aren’t and that we need to make every moment count. It is a coming of age story that is really powerful in its delivery. From the reluctant reader texts that I have read I can honestly say that Unboxed is nothing like them. I have been harping on lately about how modern day YA fiction doesn’t talk down to its readers. Writers are treating readers with respect and making sure that they tackle real world issues. Writers of this genre are not shying away from the harder topics. Non Pratt is one such author.

Unboxed is brilliant. It will make your heart ache and it will make you want to tell everyone you know that they need to read it – reluctantly or not.

Unboxed by Non Pratt is available now.

For more information regarding Non Pratt (@NonPratt) please visit www.nonpratt.com.

For more information regarding Barrington Stoke (@BarringtonStoke) please visit www.barringtonstoke.co.uk.

4 Stars

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