Book reviews

VANITY FAIR By William Thackeray The novel contrasts the fortunes and responses to life of the wealthy, passive Amelia, and the ambitious, scheming and energetic Becky.

Becky is the mainspring of the book's action, the character around whom all the men play their parts.

The book, for Forms 2 and 3 students, has both an introduction and a question section at the back. The text has full-colour illustrations and photographs. (Longman. 74 pages. $34) STORIES FOR READING COMPREHENSION 1 By L.A. Hill One of the titles of a three-stage reading comphrehension series, this first book is aimed at Forms 1-2 students.

There are illustrated reading passages, comprehension exercises and a grammar section.

Detachable answer keys are included, making the books suitable for self-study or class use.

Accompanying cassettes contain readings of the passages in British and American accents. (Longman. 44 pages. $28 book; $135 cassette tapes) PERSPECTIVES By Andy Hopkins A writing skills book for Forms 2-4 students, the material is designed to develop students' ability to write effectively for different purposes.

Students can tackle longer and more demanding pieces of writing: short stories, essays, letters of complaint, etc.

It uses process techniques of drafting and re-writing to build up students' confidence to experiment and become proficient in a variety of writing skills.

(Longman. 80 pages. $78) ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS By Scott O'Dell The island-girl Karana tells her story, one that begins with sadness and the noise of battle.

But it goes on to describe Karana's life with Rontu, the dog, Won-a-nee the sea otteer and the friendly birds and dolphins that have their homes on her beautiful island.

The book is illustrated with photos and drawings to arouse readers' interest. Target readers are students in Forms 4 and 5. (Longman. 88 pages. $34)