In At The Deep End, originally published in a different form as In Deep Water in 1993, focuses on Ben, a boy who has agreed to swim the first hundred lengths of a ‘Swimathon’, largely to impress two boys he aspires to be friends with, Jack and Harry. When they don’t show up for their share of swimming, he is faced with giving up or continuing on his own.
Beside Ben there is an elderly lady called Betty, who encourages him to continue to complete the full two hundred lengths. Ben realises that Jack and Harry were never going to come and were not his friends. He learns from Betty, who is a sweet and friendly character, about his own strength and the importance of self-belief. It is an enjoyable, heart-warming story with a focus on Ben.
Barrington Stoke specialise in ‘super readable’ books which are accessible for those with reading difficulties or who need more confidence reading. It is especially recommended for those with dyslexia and is of an appropriate length. The illustrations by Peter Cottrill feature elongated, mannerist representations of the characters which suits the swimming pool setting.