Postalector is an interesting subscription service that allows you to purchase ‘batches’ of themed print and digital reading material. It’s primarily aimed at younger teenagers to encourage them to read and explore the classics in literature, as well as introducing them to new and contemporary work. Instead of sending them a traditional printed book, Postalector have adopted a much more visually engaging approach through the use of postcards, maps, illustrations and exercises to help them to understand the subject.
They have a wide range of different ‘batches’ available, all with different themes based around well known characters in the classic world of literature. Each batch also briefly introduces the reader to other characters, which can provide inspiration for the choice of next month’s subscription option, and there’s also a contemporary digital comic book that’s unrelated to the theme to further encourage reading for pleasure.
I received the David Copperfield batch from Postalector which included all of the following:-
A large double-sided, fold-out poster that explores ‘The Role of Children in Literature: The Sweet Dark Side’. On side provides short profiles on Charles Dickens, the characters of David Copperfield and James Steerforth, and explains some of the elements of why David Copperfield is an autobiographical novel.
On the reverse side, there are four reading exercises to complete based on the understanding of the information provided on the other side (the character profiles and biography of Charles Dickens etc). At the bottom, the answers are revealed so you can check that you’ve answered the questions correctly.
For the new and contemporary element of the batch, there was a download link to a digital comic book called ‘The New Age Of The Dream’. The comic follows a young boy called Manuel who wants to find a job so that he can help his parents make ends meet, but they instead encourage him to do more educational and fun activities instead so he can make friends easier with kids his own age.
It’s a short and entertaining tale, with good illustrations and one that I think will appeal to younger teens who perhaps haven’t gotten into the habit of reading for pleasure. The fact that it’s an e-book, means that it can be viewed on a variety of devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Lastly, there were three high-quality printed postcards included in the batch which features illustrations of well known people and characters such as two different versions depicting Alice In Wonderland (one contemporary and one more traditional) and a portrait of the English Queen Victoria.
I gave this Postalector batch to my 13-year-old nephew to have a look through and he said he enjoyed the digital comic book the most. He wasn’t sure what to do with the postcards so these were given to his younger sister who loves to collect these sorts of things to put on her bedroom wall. The batch does feel a little disjointed and a bit of a mish-mash, but I think the different elements could work for an open-minded child or split between two children to share. I haven’t come across a subscription service like this before, so it’s very unique in that respect and I’m more than happy to recommend anything that helps to encourage reading as I’m a keen bookworm myself!