Monthly Archives: December 2014

Blog Posts: 1–11 of 6
  1. Running with the pack

    Running with the pack

    Posted on: Dec 19, 2014

    London detective Matt Blake recounts his last case: it all began with a strange theft...

    Barbara Catchpole uses a first-person narrative to really put her readers in the shoes of her main character. She uses short, punchy sentences and packs her story full of action, just like a classic detective tale, but all condensed into 600 words!

    The bold illustrations really complement this story, highlighted with blocks of red for a graphic-novel look and feel. These will certainly help to hold the interest of very reluctant readers, coupled with text at a manageable reading age of 6-7.

    Barbara's story utilises the classic 'werewolf' concept but with a clinical twist, and plays on the horror not just of the monster, but of becoming the monster.

    We feel this is perfect for teenage readers with a low reading age. We hope you do too.

  2. Are you going to answer that?

    Are you going to answer that?

    Posted on: Dec 17, 2014

    A literary cocktail of peer pressure, friendship, guilt and a deep, dark secret pulse through Tommy Donbavand's Dark Read, perfect for attracting and holding the interest of struggling teen readers! Tommy is no stranger to crafting spooky and captivating stories for children and teenagers and this latest offering has cleverly brought the haunting beat of The Tell-Tale Heart, a paranormal classic by Edgar Allen Poe, into a contemporary and relatable setting.

    Ben and Darren are best friends who do everything together. But when a dare goes horribly wrong, Darren is left haunted by his final decision. What will it take to make it right?

    Black, white and yellow are the sole colours used in this story and this simple, partial colour usage is designed to draw attention to certain characters and objects in the story in order to deliver maximum impact. This is a popular technique used in graphic novels such as Sin City.

    The short chapters and low word count, together with

  3. Cruises are dead boring...

    Cruises are dead boring...

    Posted on: Dec 15, 2014

    Zombie passengers and crew staggered towards them, teeth bared, arms outstretched...

    Join Zac, Seth and Callie as they battle the terrors of the living dead – on water! This tale sees these three teenagers trapped on a cruise ship with no-one to help them as the zombies close in.

    Alex Woolf, one of our new authors, has woven a story based around the mythical walking corpses known as zombies. Though slow-moving, they are relentless, and Alex has cleverly placed them on a cruise ship, isolating our heroes and escalating the suspense in order to pack this punchy story into such a small word count.

    Ship of the Dead features bold illustrations with thick black lines and blue highlights running throughout – much like a graphic novel. The full-page illustrations sit opposite a page of text averaging less than 50 words.

    With a reading age of 6-7 years and an interest age of 12-15 years, this is an ideal story to grab and engage the most reluctant of reluctant readers!

  4. The Ugly Side of Art

    The Ugly Side of Art

    Posted on: Dec 12, 2014

    Ann Evans cleverly crafts a thrilling tale, loosely based on the story of Dorian Gray, in her first Dark Read; a new series aimed at teens with a reading age of 6-7 years and an interest age of 12-15 years.

    Nick Gray is a petty crook and he's rather good at it. His thieving starts off small but after he gets away with an expensive oil painting, his lust for looting grows, the risks increase and he starts to use intimidation to get what he wants. However, a strange presence torments him at home, something he just can't shake off. Will he really get away with all his crimes and is he truly in control of his own fate?

    This short story of 500-600 words will appeal to reluctant readers with its gripping plotline and powerful illustrations, specifically designed to be popular with teens who live in such a visual world!

  5. Titles and Authors Revealed!

    Posted on: Dec 10, 2014

    Our Dark Reads series introduces a new author to the Badger Learning team; Alex Woolf. His title, Ship of the Dead, definitely doesn't disappoint with its gripping plotline designed to hold the attention of even the most reluctant of reader!

    Here is your first, exclusive look...

    Blood Moon by Barbara Catchpole
    Doctor Jekyll and Little Miss Hyde by Tony Lee
    Red Handed by Ann Evans
    Ringtone by Tommy Donbavand
    Ship of the Dead by Alex Woolf
    Straw Men by Ann Evans
    The Black-Eyed Girl by Tim Collins
    The Girl in the Wall by Tommy Donbavand

    This series focuses on adult themes to appeal to teenagers including relationships, demons, bullying, murder and age-old curses. All are written by experts in developing stories for struggling readers who have cleverly woven thrilling plots into familiar settings.

    Keep visiting our blog as we share author interviews and reveal sneak previews of each Dark Read in the run up to our Spring 2015

  6. Series Announcement!

    Posted on: Dec 10, 2014

    Reading Age 6-7, Interest Age 12-15, Word Count 500-600

    Due to be published Spring 2015

    We are delighted to announce a brand new horror series for teenagers called Dark Reads! We've listened to lots of teachers regarding the needs of their students, and therefore, by popular request, these bite-sized tales are aimed specifically at teenagers with a very low reading age.

    We know that reading can be a daunting activity for some, and it is our aim that this series makes reading an accessible and enjoyable experience – not merely a task to be completed.

    We've also worked hard to ensure that our readers do not feel patronised by the low word counts and simple language in these books; rather that they are gripped by the tense plotlines and chilled by the eerie events appropriate for their age group. To further grab the interest of reluctant readers, each title has the look and feel of a 'real' book, accompanied by exciting two-tone illustrations - much like a graphic

Blog Posts: 1–11 of 6