IBBY Review: Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond and Vladimir Stankovic

Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads, written by David Almond, illustrated by Vladimir Stankovic (Barrinton Stoke, 2014)

I Am Not My Disability: Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities

Every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) chooses outstanding books for and about young people with disabilities. This biennial selection draws attention to books published around the world that address special needs and situations and which encourage inclusion at every level. Outstanding titles, including the one below, become part of The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities. This one-of-a-kind collection is located in Canada at North York Central Library, part of the Toronto Public Library system.

Here is one of the titles from the 2015 list:

Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads
written by David Almond, illustrated by Vladimir Stankovic
(Barrington Stoke, 2014)
ISBN 978-1-78112-269-3

Reviewed by Debora Pearson*

The arrival of Klaus Vogel, a refugee from East Germany, causes a boy who is a member of the Bad Lads gang to reconsider his involvement in the gang and take a stand against bullying in this easy-to-read story. Designed to be of particular interest to struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers, this chapter book incorporates specific features to enhance its readability: cream-coloured paper to minimize glare for readers, as well as generous line, character and paragraph spacing. The fast-paced story is divided into short chapters and accompanied by black-and-white illustrations, which evoke the gritty, rough-and-tumble world that the Bad Lads inhabit. Themes to do with social responsibility and the nature of freedom are seamlessly woven into the narrative and will provoke some thoughtful discussion after readers reach the end of this engaging book.

*Debora Pearson is a children’s librarian at North York Central Library, part of the Toronto Public Library system, where The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities is located. Debora works with Leigh Turina, the lead librarian for this collection, and helps promote the collection through social media. She also conducts IBBY collection visits for school classes and youth groups, provides reference support, and assists with the compilation of the collection’s biennial list of outstanding titles.

This review is © Toronto Public Library, 2016.

More…

Read An Introduction to the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities by lead librarian Leigh Turina.

Read MWD’s monthly reviews of books from the Collection.

Visit the Collection’s website to find out more, including how to visit.

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