Ebooks are powerful for your struggling readers

Giving struggling readers the option of reading ebooks can be immensely powerful – when you read an ebook you are the only one that knows what you are reading, therefore students often don’t feel the same embarrassment accessing easier texts as when they are reading very visibly short paper books. Pictures show very sharply and in vivid colour on screens and this helps to engage tech obsessed young people. Another advantage is the ease of carrying your ebook with you, kids can continue reading wherever they are using an app on their phone or tablet. This helps them make the most of every little bit of reading opportunity, whilst allowing them to give the impression that in fact they are involved in social media …….not doing something as ‘geeky’ as reading! There are many excellent titles available in digital form, here are some suggestions for primary and secondary age pupils.

Primaryboffin boy blog

Boffin Boy and the Invaders from Space (David Orme) – the Boffin Boy series is very popular with both younger and slightly older kids, they are attractively designed to not look like ‘baby’ books and their manga like illustrations are colourful and eye catching.

magic matesMagic Mates and the Puppy Panic (Jane West) – it is a common misconception that only boys struggle with reading but this is definitely not the case, many girls have difficulties reading too. I’m not really a fan of having ‘girls books’ and ‘boys books’ usually, a great story should leap gender boundaries with ease, but it has to be said that some girls do enjoy pink books and there’s nothing wrong with that. The Magic Mates series are targeted at young females and they are plays which is a big bonus, many low level readers enjoy the group reading of a play.

beetlesBeetles (Rebecca Rissman) – Non fiction can be a way in to reading for some children and lots of them are very interested in minibeasts. This title is one of a series called Creepy Crawlies that have a very low reading age but would be fascinating for any lover of insects.

beyond the wall
Beyond the Wall
(Jonny Zucker) – I have always loved using comics and graphic novels to create an excitement around reading and luckily there are some wonderful series that are suitable for younger readers – it’s not all about Marvel and DC! Beyond the Wall is from the Slipstream Graphics series and is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet in its portrayal of a doomed relationship. Good for upper primary aged pupils.

monsters on mercuryMonsters on Mercury
(Tommy Donbavand) – This is one of a new series, Spacehoppers, from the author of another popular series, Scream Street. Tommy has a knack for writing very funny books and this series are amusing and a good first step into reading chapter books. They are short and sure to be enjoyed by those that like humour with their stories – another title in the series , Undead on Uranus, would undoubtedly promote many giggles.

Secondaryhitchhiker

The Hitchhiker (Anthony Horowitz) – Stories from this very well known author in graphic novel form, the Horowitz Graphic Horror series have been reimagined in graphic form very well and despite their low level vocabulary look like any other exciting comic book. A must buy for any school library in my opinion.

babysitter nightmareBabysitter Nightmare (Shoo Rayner) – Shoo Rayner is a well known author and illustrator, I have always associated him with quite lighthearted books but this one certainly isn’t that! It’s one of a collection of plays for older kids, Superscripts and tells the tale of Amy who receives a disturbing text and has to call the police for help. These plays are very contemporary and I’ve used them in the past with struggling readers who want to act out what they are reading.

I dare youI Dare You! (Steve Brezenoff) – Scary books that frighten the life out of you and mystery stories seem to be perennially popular with young adults. Our main protagonist, Kayla is in a gang with 3 friends called the Braves and they take it in turns to dare each other to do things. Kayla is dared to stay overnight in a haunted house but when her friends turn up the next morning she is in a coma and appears to have been poisoned – will the others find out who is trying to kill her in time?

hot or notHot or Not? (Sam Carter) – Amber is a girl – but not a ‘girly girl’, she plays football and lives in sportswear but the boy she fancies isn’t taking any notice of her so she asks her friend to give her a makeover. It works, and Kai asks her out… but the date doesn’t go well, Kai is not the great catch Amber thought he was! She goes back to being her sporty self and realises this is the best way to be; other boys are attracted to her just as she is. Good low level story for struggling secondary girls with a positive message too – win win!

steve sharpMeet Steve Sharp (H L Dube) – The Steve Sharp series suit older readers with a low reading age – their subject matter makes them unsuitable for younger children as they do make reference to drugs and other more adult themes but they are fast paced despite their low reading age. Some older students (would find them interesting, and hopefully their contemporary nature would draw them in to enjoying reading at an appropriate level.

 

It’s often said that there are no real non readers, just people that have not yet found the right book, hopefully these titles will help you solve that conundrum for some of the young people you work with.

This weeks blog has been written by Bev Humphrey, a literacy, school libraries and technology consultant (http://www.bevhumphrey.com/). She is happiest when combining her twin passions for reading and technology and describes herself as a “geeky reader”. Many thanks for your time Bev.

Sian and Bron

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UKLA Book Awards 2016 Shortlist

The aim of the UKLA Book Awards is to celebrate children’s books. These awards are unique as they are judged entirely by teachers, who are able to share the books with their classes and determine what works with young readers.

Sixty teachers were involved in generating this shortlist and they were looking for titles that “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”. The winners will be announced on Friday 8th July 2016.

Titles that are available for students to read on RM Books include:

7-11 Category

UKLA 2016Hercufleas by Sam Gayton and Peter Cottrill (illustrator)

The Imaginary by A.F Harrold (author) and Emily Gravett (illustrator)

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

12-16 Category

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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World Poetry Day – March 21st 2016

Monday March 21st 2016 is World Poetry Day so here are five titles that celebrate the power of poetry to help us see the extraordinary in the everyday, to make us laugh, or to let us know that we are not alone.
World Poetry Day 2

Jumpstart! Poetry by Pie Corbett

Sun Time Snow Time by Grace Nichols

Best of Enemies, Best of Friends by Brian Moses

Cat Among the Pigeons by Kit Wright

The Puffin Book of Nonsense Verse selected and illustrated by Quentin Blake

 

See our full range of poetry for KS1, KS2 and KS3 here>>

Happy World Poetry Day.

RM Books Team

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Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway shortlists 2016 announced

carnegie greenaway 2016

The shortlist for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards was announced yesterday. The Carnegie Medal is dominated by teen-fiction this year with the following titles being available on RM Books:

One by Sarah Crossan

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

See the full list of nominated titles for the Carnegie Medal available on RM Books here>>

The Kate Greenaway Award is for outstanding illustration in a book for children. The majority of the shortlist this year is made up of traditional picture book stories for younger readers. You can read the following titles on RM Books:

Captain Jack and the Pirates by Helen Oxenbury (illustrator) and Peter Bently (author)

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Chris Riddell (illustrator) and Neil Gaiman (author)

The winners for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal will be announced on Monday 20th June 2016.

 

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YA Book Prize 2016 shortlist out now

The shortlist for the YA Book Prize 2016 was announced yesterday. The YA Book Prize was set up by The Bookseller Magazine to celebrate the wide diversity of YA books being written in the UK and Ireland.

Congratulations to Bloomsbury Children’s, David Fickling Books and Usborne Publishing who all have shortlisted titles available through RM Books.

Am I Normal Yet? – Holly Bourne

One – Sarah Crossan

Unbecoming – Jenny Downham

The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo – Catherine Johnson

Concentr8 – William Sutcliffe

The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson

YA Book Prize 2016

 

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NLT study: “Using ebooks increases boys’ reading progress and makes them keener, more confident readers.”

NLT logoToday, the National Literacy Trust has published a new study entitled The Impact of ebooks on the Reading Motivation and Reading Skills of Young People: A study of schools using RM Books. The study is one of the first and largest to explore the impact of ebooks on reading attitudes, behaviour and attainment in UK schools. It illustrates that using ebooks can help boys to make significant progress with their reading, as well as getting reluctant readers to enjoy reading more.

Forty schools took part, using RM Books for their own literacy projects. On average, projects lasted for 4.2 months, and during that time:

  • Boys’ reading levels increased by 8.4 months, compared to 7.2 months progress made by girls.
  • The percentage of boys that felt reading was difficult almost halved from 28.0% to 15.9%, suggesting that confidence in their own reading ability also increased as a result of this project.
  • Twice as many boys also thought reading was cool at the end of the project, increasing from 34.4% before to 66.5% afterwards.
  • The proportion of the most reluctant readers who said they enjoyed reading using technology increased from half (49.2%) to almost two thirds (64.2%).
  • The percentage who enjoyed reading on paper increased fourfold during the project from 10.0% to 40%, indicating that the project has opened up the world of reading for this group of pupils on paper as well as on screen.
  • Boys from this group read for longer using technology too, increasing from 8.1% to 24.5%.

National Literacy Trust Research Manager Irene Picton said: “The study clearly shows that the impact ebooks can have on reading enjoyment, particularly for boys, goes well beyond the novelty of a new reading format.”

Read the NLT’s press release: Using ebooks increases boys’ reading progress and makes them keener, more confident readers

Read the NLT’s final report in full: The Impact of Ebooks on the Reading Motivation and Reading Skills of Children and Young People: A study of schools using RM Books by Irene Picton and Christina Clark

For more information on the NLT study and how RM Books is used in schools click here.

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Penguin Random House UK’s ebook Extended Lending Trial now available to UK schools via RM Books

PRH launchPenguin Random House UK today announced its full catalogue of ebooks are available for libraries to lend.

RM Education, the UK’s leading education technology supplier, today announces that children’s and young adult fiction titles from Penguin Random House UK are now available for schools to add to their school ebook library via RM Books, the UK’s most popular ebook platform designed specifically for schools.

Read the full press release: Penguin Random House UK’s ebook Extended Lending Trial now available to UK schools via RM Books

For more information on how to fill your elibrary with Penguin Random House titles, click here.

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