Contact Details

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One response to “Contact Details

  1. Alexandra Pratt

    Hi Kim,
    What an interesting blog! I’m pleased to see more and more people are paying attention to the issue of ‘ reluctant readers’. I’m a professional author, and two of my books were written for this group. There are some more ‘technical’ things that can help, which haven’t been covered by your other comments.

    It’s well known that boys make up the majority of reluctant readers, and that they often prefer to read non-fiction. This is a neglected side of publishing for children, but if you make an effort to explore it, you’ll find that there are specialist publishing companies and authors who write books that are designed to help these struggling readers through.

    What makes these books different from any other book that is written to engage children? Well, for a start reluctant readers are often reading at a level that is below what is expected for their age. This means that the books they CAN read, they don’t want too, as they are too ‘babyish’. So, books for reluctant readers will have a ‘reading age’ of say, 8 years, but an interest level of say 14 years (this is the group I write for). This means they stay engaged with the text, but without getting stalled by language that is so challenging, they discard the book. This is quite a challenge for the author, as it means making the books read in a more adult way in terms of tension, plot, character etc, but using simple language in a manner that is not patronising, or too obviously ‘simple’

    Secondly, there are a range of other techniques I use to ensure the reader stays with he book. It’s about walking a fine line between challenging them enough so their vocabulary grows, but not overwhelming them. Choosing each word carefully, so that more difficult words can be ‘sounded out’ easily is one of the things I do, or using short sentences.

    These books, as they are aimed at children in their early teens, or even later, are ideal, as it’s impossible to tell from the front cover that the book has simpler language inside. The topic is age appropriate, and, for specific ranges, designed to appeal to boys. For books of this type, try looking at the specialist publisher Barrington Stoke (whose books are printed in a typeface and on a colour of paper that is also designed to help dyslexic readers): and my own e-book imprint for reluctant readers:
    Alexandra Pratt

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