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Blade ISBN: 9781842993385
Marks, Alan and Powling, Chris
Published by Barrington Stoke, 2005
This short, easily read story, printed on Barrington Stokes' quality cream paper is aimed at older kids with reading difficulties and is truly creepy. Told in the first person, it is a flashback of the author and his friend Lee's experiences years ago - a time he still has nightmares about. Lee had been born with one eye and must wear a patch. When the boys go to Upper School they are warned straight away about Toxon - to avoid him at all costs. When Rich (the author) strays onto Toxon's patch, he is confronted by the bully and his two 'minders'. And he is introduced to Blade, Toxon's flick knife. Made to read a hymn upside down, with the knife inches from his eyes, Rich gets by because he knows the hymn by heart, but his terror is palpable. When he tells Lee what happened, Lee is very angry and decides to take on the bully - which he does by convincing him that he has no fear of Blade because he has already lost his eye from a battle with a knife. Toxon's two buddies fade away when their hero turns chicken, and Toxon is diffused. We are warned at the end not to try this because 'We can't all be best mates with a mad kid who wears an eye patch'. Black and white sketches add to the menacing atmosphere.
Age: 10+