Letter to Pluto by Lou Treleaven is part of the Maverick Books Junior Fiction range and my final review for you of a lovely collection coming out this Autumn. All three books are ideal for six to nine year olds who are beginning to explore fiction texts.
Half the battle with young readers is convincing them to keep reading, to place a trust in an author who makes them want to read on. Letter to Pluto will, I think, do just that.
Letter to Pluto
When Jon’s teacher Mrs Hall introduces a penpal project at school, he is none too impressed. The situation is only worsened when he discovers he is writing to a girl! However this isn’t a problem for long, as Jon gets to know more about penpal Straxi and her home planet Pluto. He begins to enjoy the project, finding it more exciting than he ever imagined.
Presented as a series of letters between Jon and Straxi, Letter to Pluto is a lively and engaging futuristic adventure. Lou Treleaven’s excellent illustrations are happily dotted around most pages which just goes to prove that, as we know, all the best letters include drawings.
Letter to Pluto is one of those books that just says fun to you as soon as you open it. It certainly put a big, cheesy smile on my face. It’s varied in content and introduces to children an abundance of ways to read and write: as well as the lovely letters we have menus, cookbooks, nature notes for Pluto’s native bird the Blue-Headed Skwitch (a bird well worth seeing if you’re ever in the area), newspaper clips, envelopes, and much more besides. Could this possibly be the solution for kids who think reading is boring?
As a teacher, it brings to mind LOADS of children I’ve taught over the years who would love it, of differing ages and abilities, but all in need of a book like this. Lou Treleaven’s Jon is really genuinely funny and children will like and relate to him. Some of his comments had me laughing out loud, as they will for kids too.
The great thing about Letter to Pluto is that it will work hard throughout the primary age range. There’s nothing to stop children in Years Five and Six enjoying this story too.
We need more books like Letter to Pluto that not only encourage children to read in the first place, but also light the spark that makes them want to read more. Priceless.
Big thanks to Maverick for sending me this lovely book.