Dick Turpin: Legends and Lies by Terry Deary - Barrington Stoke Book 26

Terry Deary is famous for the incredibly popular Horrible Histories series. Horrible Histories and their spin-offs are great for reading partnerships. Plenty of grizzly facts and information, and the non-fiction format means you can dip in and out.

Dick Turpin: Legends and Lies, is a bit different. A fictionalised telling of the hanging of Highwayman Dick Turpin. Told in the first person by a poor boy aged about 12 who probably shouldn't be watching a hanging at all. He learns about Turpin's life from the other crowd members. Opinions are mixed from the very start, is he a hero or a villain?

This story-within-stories approach is very fitting for a man who was such a myth, even whilst he was alive. It is very hard to get a picture of the real man. An epilogue shows that most of the story is based on facts that have been twisted over time.

The hanging does not bring the revenge people want, just more bitterness. Even after his death, Turpin's story is not simple. His body is stolen from it's grave. A crime our narrator gets very involved in. There are some nice historical details, and plenty of gruesomeness. But they aren't the main reason to keep reading, because it is an enthralling story from beginning to end.

In doing a bit of research I looked-up Terry Deary's website. It has a whole load of resources that you could use in reading partnerships; jokes, recipes, songs, plays, quizzes, stories and more. Great stuff.

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