The Griffin Gate by Vashti Hardy, illustrated by Natalie Smillie

Publication Date: 01 October 2020

The Blurb

For years Grace’s family have been wardens of the Griffin map, using its teleport technology to help people and fight crime across the land of Moreland. At thirteen, Grace is too young become a warden, but she longs to go on missions herself. After all, if her brother Bren can do it, why can’t she?

So when Grace finds herself alone with the map when a distress call comes in, she jumps at the chance to prove she’s up to the task. But the map transports Grace to a remote village where nothing is quite as it seems. Has she landed right in the middle of a treacherous scheme?

The Review

A gripping sci-fi adventure with all of the amazing world building and characterisation we have come to know and love from Vashti’s storytelling in a quick read, perfect for Key Stage 2 and beyond.

Mystery abounds as Grace breaks all of the rules and goes it alone, determined to prove herself worthy as a warden. In a world where every day objects have been reengineered, and logic, problem-solving and attention to detail are vital, we have been treated to a line of pioneering women in STEM, starting with Grace’s grandmother who invented the Griffin Map – the key to peace and security within Moreland.

Vashti captures the essence of family life, from sibling rivalry and jealousy to the love they share, and the lengths they will go to to protect each other.

Natalie Smillie’s illustrations bring Vashti’s characters to life, capturing the heightened emotions felt as the treacherous plot unfolds.

I cannot wait to return to Moreland and see what Grace and her family get up to next!

Huge thanks to Barrington Stoke for sending me a review copy.

About Barrington Stoke

Barrington Stoke books are designed to help dyslexic and reluctant readers, with:

  • Tinted pages to reduce visual stress, which may be more common in people with dyslexia and can make words seem to jump or dance on the page
  • A special font that helps prevent people with dyslexia confusing letter shape
  • Special spacing to help minimise confusing, blurring and switching
  • Thick paper to make sure words and pictures don’t show through from other pages and confuse the eye
  • Special editing to help minimise barriers to comprehension. This process was developed by dyslexia and speech and language experts in response to research and feedback from thousands of readers on hundreds of Barrington Stoke manuscripts over the years.

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