Barrington Stoke specialises in publishing dyslexia-friendly books. To this end they use thick, cream-coloured, low-glare paper which is lovely to touch; grey rather than black print; and have a roomy text layout to minimise visual stress. The font, spacing and editing process are all geared towards making reading a pleasurable experience for dyslexics. The text content of Barrington Stoke books is ‘high-low’, meaning that the content is appropriate to the actual age of the readers, but the text has been edited to suit a lower reading age. The publisher's website (www.barringstoke.co.uk) has a very helpful guide for identifying the reading age of your dyslexic child or student and sourcing books of interest to them.
Partners in Crime is categorized as Teen Interest Age (IA) with a reading age of 8. Perry, Todd and Marco have been friends since primary school. Their descent into crime is initiated by Todd, a ‘Nelson Muntz’-type feared since early childhood for his bullying ways and physical presence. Marco is the beautiful innocent, an Italian orphan with a glittering academic future, and Perry, the narrator, is a misfit whose primary motivation is to have friends. They become involved in drug dealing, gang-land wars, and murder. The crisis of the story is precipitated when all three fall in love with the same woman, a Russian immigrant they call Lady. This is a big story condensed into a small, readable book, and is highly recommended for its target audience of dyslexic teenage boys.