It is the summer of 1812, and Richard Sharpe, newly recovered from the wound he received in the fighting at Salamanca, is given an easy duty; to guard a Commissary Officer posted to an obscure Spanish fort where there are some captured French muskets to repair.
But unknown to the British, the French are planning a lightning raid across the River Tormes, and they reckon the obscure Spanish fort, which guards an ancient bridge across the river, will be lightly guarded. Sharpe is in for a fight.
Bernard Cornwell OBE is a global bestselling historical fiction author of more than 50 novels. His Napoleonic Wars series following Richard Sharpe was made into much-loved TV series starring Sean Bean. More recently, the BBC adapted his Last Kingdom series, set in King Alfred’s Anglo-Saxon kingdom.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
This format of the ever-popular Sharpe adventures is dyslexia-friendly adult historical fiction. The background, font, spacing and length of this book make it accessible. The story captures the essence of the enigmatic Sharpe and his adventures in the Napoleonic wars. I like this series, but if you are a new reader, this provides an enticing introduction to the characters and their stories.
Dyslexic-friendly fiction for adults by BOTH Press
Following their successful “Open Dyslexia” Kickstarter in 2021, which led to publishing eight dyslexia-friendly fiction titles, BOTH Press is launching on June 7th 2022, their second Kickstarter “Open Dyslexia: the sequel” with more high-profile authors than ever before, lasting 30 days and finishing on the July 4th 2022
The Kickstarter aims to publish eight more titles of high-quality fiction from bestselling authors: including household names such as Bernard Cornwell and Peter James.
The line-up includes many front-list authors such as Gareth Powell, J.M Alvey(aka Juliet Mckenna), Scott Oden, Snorri Krisjanason, and James Bennett.
Peter James will also be doing an introduction for the 2022 collection.
There are very few initiatives for reading for pleasure for adults. The eight titles BOTH Press has already published are the only readily available dyslexia-friendly fiction for adults in the UK and can be found in libraries and any bookshop. The scale of accessibility is not nearly enough, as around 10% of the UK population deal with some form of dyslexia.
Despite Jay Blades’s (the Presenter of ‘Repair Shop’) unique telling of his learning to read in the documentary ‘Learning To Read At 51’, which the BBC recently aired, there are still few or no resources for adult dyslexia. A glance at Adult dyslexics charity websites and reading charity websites indicates there are few resources on reading fiction for pleasure for adults with dyslexia.
“It is frustrating that we now have children’s books in dyslexia-friendly formats. As adults, we apparently do not require books in the same form.”Dyslexic blogger Suzy Taylor who writes for Dyslexia Scotland
There needs to be a choice for people to read for pleasure, where there are books designed to be friendly to them and are not dumbed down, are high quality and enjoyable fiction, which people can chat and socialise about with friends and family.
“This book shop is doing incredible things and helping people to fall in love with reading again” [and] “I love the fact and the thought that has gone through on these [titles] with the spacing, the font, with the colour of the paper and the way that the book just flows.”Darren Clarke, the director of Succeed with Dyslexia.
BOTH Press has had many heart-warming responses about how the books have impacted their lives.
“Many individuals who have told us their stories do not want to be mentioned due to fear of stigma about their struggle to read. For example, a man in his 50s in Scotland had not read a book since he was a child. His partner found us and bought him one of our titles. He read it. Then called us up to order another. He was so happy to actually read. In fact, the partner wrote us a letter explaining how much of a difference it is making and then ordered the four more for a Christmas present.”Dr Alistair Sims
BOTH aim to raise £16,000 to publish eight titles. Though looking to the future, they will need more than £20,000 a year to keep publishing eight titles regularly. All funds go toward the book production/ life cycle to make them readily available. The bookshop Books on the Hill and their manager Alistair Sims, who created BOTH Press, receive no profits from the project.