Stig of the Dump

Author:

Clive King

Age range:

8

11

to

Genres:

This is a great next book if your reader:

  • Enjoys stories about friendship and adventure.

  • Loves to empathise with characters.

  • Gets wrapped up in the events and problems faced by the characters.

  • Is intrigued by outdoor adventures set in the countryside.

  • Wants to read a classic story from the 1960s that is still relevant today.

  • Historical fiction, with references to Stonehenge, Stoneage, and life in the 1960s.

Barney wished he was at the bottom of the pit. And the ground gave way...

Everybody had told Barney not to play too near the edge of the chalk pit. But today was one of those grey days when there was nothing to do and nowhere to go. Except to the chalk pit. The dump. And so Barney lands in a cave in the middle of a rubbish dump- and that's where he meets Stig.

Clive King's Stig of the Dump is a brilliant book to introduce children to classic stories.

Published by Puffin, the cover has a fitting slogan 'stories that last a lifetime," as it is still as enjoyable now as it was in the 1960s.  As intrigue and action move at a surprising pace, there are so many questions by the end of chapter 1; even reluctant readers get hooked.

Each chapter is short, with a reasonably large font, making the text manageable for children developing their stamina. However, the vocabulary and content of Stig and Barney's adventures make it essential that an adult is on hand to discuss and explain.

It is an excellent experience as a reader to follow Barney and Stig's friendship as it develops over time. Meeting Stig makes Barney have to think in new imaginative and creative ways. As Stig doesn't talk, Barney finds different practical tasks and through which he can communicate and become friends. The subject of boredom and finding things to do cropped up with my children. We were able to talk about how Barney had managed this without any modern-day technology.

The 'does he, doesn't he exist' mystery, with even Barney doubting himself at times, makes the story more enjoyable and adds another interesting dimension.

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