Thursday, September 10, 2020

Emiline, knight in training by Kimberli Johnson

  This slight fantasy graphic novel is meant specifically for readers struggling with dyslexia.

Emiline, a sturdy young girl with light brown skin and puffs of brown curls, is heading back to school with her friends on her pudgy unicorn, Fluffkin. She's accompanied by several classmates, one black boy on a sheep, a green-haired elf on a dragon, and their red-haired teacher on a horse. 

Emiline struggles to read, but with her own courage and determination and the help of her classmates and teacher, she works to conquer her disability and together they enter the school grounds, save some dragon eggs, and find a safe place to wait while the ice giants finish their stone-throwing competition.

The art is a little amateurish, but will be very attractive to kids who like lots of fantasy touches, unicorns, and pretty dragons. The story is brief and simple and is written specifically to encourage struggling readers. The font is OpenDyslexic and the speech bubbles are clearly shown on a light cream background, standing out against the soft pastels of the art.

Verdict: This is unlikely to garner a huge audience, but it will be attractive to fantasy lovers, especially those who are unable to read the more involved fantasy stories that are popular right now. Even if your school district does not identify dyslexic students, it's extremely likely there are some - as many as 15% of Americans are dyslexic - and this is a nice resource to add.

ISBN: 9781620106440; Published 2019 by Oni; Purchased myself for review; Donated to the library

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