Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Schools community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book love and reading recommendations for your students and children.

You can create your own school's page, develop tailored reading lists to share with peers and parents...all helping encourage reading for pleasure in your children.

Find out more

A Most Peculiar Toy Factory

Written by Alex Bell

Illustrated by Nan Lawson

Key Stage 2 Crime / Mystery Horror & Ghost Stories

LoveReading View on A Most Peculiar Toy Factory

An abandoned toy factory, evil teddy bears, a girl who bravely uncovers the truth – this deliciously creepy novella melds Enid Blyton’s spirit of adventure with Roald Dahl’s invention

Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8

Nothing is what it seems in Alex Bell’s spritely, spooky novella that sees a girl figure out the sinister secrets of a toy factory. An atmosphere of underlying mystery is keenly evoked from the off: “The children of Cherryville all knew the factory was an evil place. Something awful had happened inside five years ago. It was something kids still whispered about in the playground and used to frighten each other at sleepovers.” And in the way of all creepy rumours, “None of the children in the town knew the truth for sure. They just knew that they should stay away from that factory.”


Unfortunately for Tess, she and her younger siblings are forced to work in the factory when its reopening ominously coincides with her family’s farm falling on hard times. With its eccentric Willy Wonka-esque owner mysteriously only employing under twelve-year-olds, what else can they do? Inside the factory, it’s not long before all manner of terrifying events unfold, and all creepy fingers point to the teddy bears being behind them. 


Though short in length, this is big in impact: how’s this for an evocative description: “And the smell of damp gave way to the scent of goblin, which was something like black pepper and toffee apples mixed up together”? The story sprints to tense end, with a final twist in the tale that would give Roald Dahl a run for his money. And, being published by Barrington Stoke, it’s written and designed with reluctant and dyslexic readers in mind.


Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

Joanne Owen

More About This Book

Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers.  Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category.

Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.

A Most Peculiar Toy Factory Synopsis

Shadows of teddy bears flit across windows. Dolls whisper behind closed doors. Something has gone very wrong at Hoggle's Happy Toys. But five years after shutting its doors, the toy factory is opening again, and Tess Pipps has found herself a job there. As she and her siblings start their first day of work, they are about to discover what dark secrets are lurking inside the factory's walls ... A creepy mystery adventure packed with Willy Wonka-inspired humour and characters.

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781128756
Publication date: 4th September 2019
Author: Alex Bell
Illustrator: Nan Lawson
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 120 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Crime / Mystery, Horror & Ghost Stories

About Alex Bell

Alex Bell always wanted to be a writer, but embarked upon a Law Degree as a back-up plan, writing no fewer than six novels during her time at university. Now the published author of The Ninth Circle and Jasmyn, Alex happily dwells in an entirely make-believe world of blood, madness, murder and mayhem.

More About Alex Bell

More Books By Alex Bell

Cover for The Polar Bear Explorers' Club by Alex Bell
Cover for Charlotte Says by Alex Bell
Cover for The Haunting by Alex Bell
View All Books By Alex Bell

Share this book