Smile by Mary Hoffman
Published by Allen & Unwin|Murdoch Books
Date: 24 January 2018
Smile is exactly what I did when I finished reading this book, because I knew that this was truly an accessible title and I found the story to be an insight into Mona Lisa and the possibilities of her life.
This story follows the fictional life of the Mona Lisa, the women whose smile has captured the hearts of people across the world, and caused much speculation on who she may be. This historical novel combines fact and fiction as we learn about ‘Lovely Lisa’s’ first meeting with Leonardo Da Vinci, her friend Michelangelo, and her growth into a women and wife.
While there are facts in the book that are true of the time, this imagined story takes a life of its own and I like the Lisa that the author has created. While little to nothing is actually known about the real Mona Lisa, Mary Hoffman has created a story about a beautiful women who is strong, loyal and Leonardo Da Vinci’s greatest and most well known works.
This book is recommended for Ages 12 plus, and is in a super readable format.
When I was reading this book I noticed that the writing didn’t flow the way that it normally does when I read. It wasn’t until I had finished it I decided to do my research and this is where I discovered that it was dyslexic friendly and for children/teenagers who struggle to read. I was thrilled to learn more about Smile and its origins, and compliment Australian publisher Allen & Unwin |Murdoch Books for advocating for all when it comes to access to reading.
About Barrington Stoke
Barrington Stoke is the UK publisher of Smile and they unlock the world of books and reading for young people with Dyselxia or those who find reading challenging. The company was founded by a mother and Mother-in-law team who developed a dyslexia friendly font and use tinted paper, which began the birth of accessible books.
This book will appeal to anyone who likes historical fiction/non-fiction and would be a good book to read in a school/classroom setting. I fully recommend this book and others from this collection. Reading and books should not be limited to those that can do so with ease, I believe it is the right of everyone to read in some format regardless of their ability.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin|Murdoch books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Want to know more?
Dyslexia is NOT a disease, it is where people struggle with writing, spelling and reading. There is no cure but there are ways we can actively be making it easier for people with dyslexia, including making dyslexic friendly books readily available.
You can learn more about Dyslexia through the Australian Dyslexia Association
Pages of Interest:
Other Dyslexic and reluctant reader friendly books & authors of interest:
Judy Keen – Rip Rap Novels
Liz Pichon – Tom Gates Novels
Michael Morpurgo – Various books
Roald Dahl – The Twits
Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid series