Monthly Archives: May 2016

Blog Posts: 1–11 of 6
  1. Lock and Key

    Lock and Key

    Posted on: May 31, 2016
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    Taz Jessop and her mum move into Avalon Tower – a block of ultra-modern city flats controlled by a central computer. But Taz hates her new life and misses her friends. She finds the tower block sinister and spooky.

    Then Taz meets Luke, the mysterious, exciting boy from the top floor, and things start to look up.

    For a while.

    Taz is in deadly danger – but has she realised this too late?

    This creepy tale by Daniel Blythe will have readers on the edge of their seats right up until the cliff-hanger ending! At 14,000 words, this is one of our longer Teen Reads, giving more of the appearance of a YA novel than a quick read – this was as the result of direct feedback from students and teachers.

    But like all our Teen Reads, I Spy is appropriate for teenage reluctant readers with a reading age of 8-9. The story appears on off-white paper to reduce visual stress, and the text is broken into easily-digestible chunks that are generously spaced out. The reader can work their way from one paragraph to another without ever losing their way.

    What's more, the cover of I Spy is so intriguing that we are confident that the most reluctant of readers will want to pick it up! See for yourself below.

    Daniel Blythe is the author of 20 books, including several of the Doctor Who novels, as well as Shadow Runners and Emerald Greene and the Witch Stones. He is originally from Maidstone, but now lives with his wife and teenage children in Yorkshire. He has been published in 12 countries including the USA, Germany and Brazil, and he has led writing days and workshops in over 400 schools.

  2. Into the woods

    Into the woods

    Posted on: May 31, 2016
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    If you go down the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise...

    Introducing you to Werewolf Hunt by Tim Collins.

    In this instalment of our brand new series, The League of Enchanted Heroes, the team visit a friendly little village deep in the forest. All seems pleasant enough, until they discover the villagers are actually WEREWOLVES! Good thing Red Riding Hood has some experience with wolves. Just check her CV.

    Enter a world of familiar fairy tale characters having unique new adventures!

    Tim Collins's imaginative stories, expertly illustrated by James Lawrence, are ideal for reluctant readers with an interest age of 9-12 and a lower reading age of 6-7.

    These short reads are packed with features to aid and engage reluctant readers, enabling them to gain the confidence that comes from persevering with and finishing a book. Features include a vocabulary and character introduction page, interesting story facts and questions, clear sentences and alternate pages of text and illustrations.

    Most importantly, the stories in this series are fun and light-hearted, designed to foster a love of reading in those who might be otherwise put off.

  3. Coming September 2016 – new Teen Reads!

    Posted on: May 24, 2016
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    Following the continued success of our Teen Reads series we are extremely excited to announce we are publishing a new series this September!

    Featuring ten edgy and engrossing stories at varying lengths designed to engage less able teenage readers, Teen Reads V are accessible reads for those who have a reading age of 8-9 years.

    With themes touching on loneliness, mental illness, amnesia, crime, being a young carer and dystopia there really is something to appeal to everyone.

    Below is a sneaky peek at the upcoming titles and authors!

    • Blank by Ann Evans
    • Living the Lie by Ann Evans
    • Wasteland by Tim Collins
    • Painkiller by Tim Collins
    • Fascination by Daniel Blythe
    • Death Wheels by Jon Mayhew
    • Vanishing Point by Cheryl Lanyon
    • The First Martian by Iain McLaughlin
    • I Spy by Daniel Blythe
    • Silent Nation by Beverly Sanford

    We have been asked by teachers and pupils if we could lengthen some of the stories to give a more substantial, novel-like look and feel – and we have listened! In the new series you will find a mix of word counts ranging from 6,000-14,000.

    Keep coming back to find out more about individual titles!

  4. A nice problem to have choosing books for super-confident readers

    A nice problem to have choosing books for super-confident readers

    Posted on: May 23, 2016
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    Naturally we spend a lot of time worrying about our struggling readers and what reading material to give them. We endeavour to provide books at the seemingly appropriate ‘interest level’, rather than the reading age, calling these Hi-Lo books (high interest, lower reading age). At the other end of the spectrum, where readers are reading fluently at a younger than expected age or stage, it can be equally challenging. Similarly the problem again lies with what is deemed to be the appropriate ‘interest level’ for the reader’s age and maturity and what is therefore suitable or not-suitable. Only last week, a teacher from Hertfordshire talked to me about her anxiety of choosing books for fluent readers in Year 2, and I understood exactly what she meant. I had the same issue with a child in Reception who could read anything and everything put in front of him. It had benefits – like reading in the Christmas play – but I had nothing suitable in my classroom for him as all of the other children were at various stages of the Book Band system we had in place. Most children were starting their progression up the bands – Yellow or even Blue in a few instances, but this child would probably have been at Lime or Brown level (if you were trying to hold him back for the sake of comprehension of the story).

    As we know fluent readers are not necessarily taking in the story, or making the same inferences that a more mature reader would do. Comprehension aside, where we have readers that are gifted or advanced for their years, how can we make sure they are reading the right books? ‘Right’ meaning that they offer the reader a good level of challenge whilst keeping them engaged, but without exploring themes that children are not ready for emotionally. Scaring them silly so that they can’t sleep is not the ideal outcome.

    It isn’t easy is it? How do you monitor an individual’s book selection in the school library at all times? What if a parent complains? Ther

  5. Series Announcement: The League of Enchanted

    Posted on: May 20, 2016
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    Move over Marvel, there's a brand new group of superheroes in town!

    A story about this unlikely band of fairy tale characters featured in our popular series Once Upon Another Time..., but the potential for exciting adventures was simply too great for one book – these characters needed a whole series!

    Enter The League of Enchanted Heroes:

    Jack Mayer used to be an ordinary schoolboy. But when he crossed into Anotherland, he became Jack the Giant Slayer.

    Now he's joined the most legendary crime-fighting team ever.

    There's Hansel and Gretel with their fearsome magic powers; Rapunzel, who can battle villains with her strong, long hair; Red Riding Hood, the world's number one wolf-fighter; and Tom Thumb, the smallest, toughest, rudest hero around.

    Together, they're The League of Enchanted Heroes.

    The bad guys don't stand a chance.

    Written by Tim Collins, this superb series is full of exciting, perilous encounters with werewolves, dragons, giants, evil magic mirrors and even the 'real world', this fantastical eight-book series is ideal for reluctant readers aged 9-12.

    Each book in this series has a low word count of 750 as well as a simple sentence structure and imaginative illustrations by James Lawrence, all appropriate for a reading age as low as 6-7. The series has lots of other fun features to engage reluctant readers such as a general series introduction, vocabulary page, character introductions, story questions, a full-colour map and an author and illustrator blurb – not to mention stimulating and accessible storylines!

    Check back here as we reveal plot details, illustrations and more about this series!

  6. Extra, Extra – Read All About It!

    Extra, Extra – Read All About It!

    Posted on: May 12, 2016
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    Best friends Logan and Eva along with Otis the dog, otherwise known as the Strange Town crew, are running late on Match Day. It had taken Eva ages to find her Strange Town F.C. scarf!

    As they approach the stadium, they can see a beautiful rainbow that seems rather curiously to be coming from inside the venue itself.

Blog Posts: 1–11 of 6