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Blamehounds by Ross Collins is another in the series of Barrington Stoke’s Little Gem books, which I reviewed a few of a couple of months ago.  Barrington Stoke are an independent publisher that print a wide variety of books for children with reading difficulties. The books range in age from picture books to books for teens. They are tailored to specific reading abilities and tastes but all share the core production values that make them easier for children with reading problems to get to grips with.


Blame Hounds is aimed at children aged 7-10. It is smaller than the average novel, more of a short story, but divided into chapters, with a series of ink drawn illustrations.

Blame Hounds tells the story of Norman, a much put upon dog, and his best friend Ringo. They discover that if there’s trouble brewing in the house, they are always likely to get the blame. They realise that if they actively take the blame for things they haven’t done, they can get rich on the proceeds donated by grateful humans, so they do, with hilarious effect.

This is a wonderfully funny, irreverent book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was introduced to it by some boys in a year five (aged 10) class that I hear read, and in the space of one afternoon, three boys read it to me, so I’d say it’s a fair bet if you’re looking for something to attract any reluctant readers you have who may be boys.