Zack has always found school difficult. Even though he is good at maths and excellent at flicking elastic bands, trying to read and write is like trying to fight a kraken. One day, when he discovers the rest of his class infected by a mysterious sleeping sickness, Zack draws on his strengths resulting in some unexpected consequences . . .
This engaging story, suitable for readers aged 8–12, explores some of the challenges faced by learners who find literacy unusually difficult. Alongside the practical difficulties of living in a world that assumes good levels of literacy, it explores some of the psychological impacts of struggling to achieve a skill that most children acquire with relative ease. Ultimately, it shows children that they can draw on their strengths and overcome the challenges in their way.
Also available as a set with a supporting guide, this book operates as a fun and entertaining standalone story, as well as an educational opportunity. The range of vocabulary means it can be used flexibly, for independent, paired or whole-group reading. It is a must-have book for every classroom.
Plum Hutton is a chartered educational psychologist and former learning support teacher. She holds a doctorate in educational psychology. She has more than 15 years of experience working as a local authority educational psychologist and latterly has transferred to independent practice. Through her work she has pursued and delivered training on many areas of professional interest, including supporting children with persistent anxiety, attachment difficulties, literacy difficulties and sensory processing differences.
Plum is a keen storyteller. She has gathered inspiration for her writing from her work, the challenges of parenthood and also through a nomadic existence as an Army wife, which has taken her to many locations across the UK and as far afield as East Africa.
"A Nasty Dose of the Yawns is beautifully written, illustrating how difficult it can be for a child or young person living with dyslexia. The story is heart-warming, empathic and yet filled with humour. It provides subtleties of how adults can support a young person struggling to read and write, focus on their strengths and maintain confidence and self-esteem. The book appeals to school pupils and adults alike."
Karin Twiss, Senior Educational Psychologist and Strategic Lead for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Conditions.
"Dr Plum Hutton has used her wealth of knowledge and experience of dyslexia to deliver a book which is informative but also amusing and captivating for children. Weaved throughout the story are the challenges faced by the hero who has dyslexia, but his strengths are highlighted as he saves the day!"
Jane Jackson, Head of Learning Support, Dragon School
"It has been so refreshing to read such a clear explanation of the different aspects that make up the dyslexia concept. This is a gift to parents and schools who need a professional but easy-to-digest understanding of dyslexia. This understanding is then put into a living context, by the hilarious, imaginative and emotionally intuitive story about a child surmounting the barriers that dyslexia-type difficulties can cause."
Caro Strover, Educational Psychologist
"I can honestly say I now know an awful lot more about dyslexia and the unique challenges it brings – it was a really interesting, accessible read and will be useful both personally and professionally. Thank you!"
Emma Judge, Parent