Canada's Own Quick Reads

Quick Reads
Long time readers of this blog will know I'm a fan of the original Quick Reads series (see Quick Reads and Guided Reading with Adult Learners). Click here for the U.K. site - here's some Irish content. There are also some ideas about how to use the book here, though these add-ons don't really appeal to me. Like many in the general reading public (check out the reaction on this Doctor Who fan site, for example, or this post by ProfMike who blogs about novels), I and my learners just enjoying reading the Quick Reads; sometimes more than once. For a look at the most recent titles offered through Grass Roots Press, check out this page.

But, the real news is that work has begun on a Quick Reads Canada project (media release here).

I'd hoped to take part in the ABC webcast announcing this project, but it happened amidst my BellAliant adventures. Here's the text of Pat Campbell's address (link):

Quick Reads Canada was inspired by similar publishing initiatives in the UK and Ireland. In the UK, publishers, libraries and the media shared a common goal. They wanted to transform reluctant adult readers into passionate readers. Best-selling authors were commissioned to write short, fast-paced books with accessible language. The first set of Quick Reads books were launched in 2006. In the past three years, over a million Quick Reads titles have been distributed and over a million titles loaned from public libraries across the UK.

In Canada, millions of adults find it difficult to read. The first step in getting these adults hooked on reading is to provide them with compelling books that are easy to read. Librarians and educators have expressed frustration about the shortage of books for adults who are struggling readers. And imagine the frustration for adults with low literacy skills. When they pick up a book, the first question that crosses their mind is probably: ”Will I be able to read this?” That is why Quick Reads Canada is like a dream come true. Grass Roots Press, in partnership with ABC CANADA and with support from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, will ensure that all adults, regardless of their literacy skills, will have an opportunity to access good literature.

Over the next two years, Grass Roots Press will publish 12 Quick Reads titles. The books will be contemporary and will address the themes we have come to expect in literature such as love, loss, freedom and courage. Grass Roots Press will release six titles in the fall of 2010 and six more in the fall of 2011. We are very grateful to the authors who are participating in the Quick Reads Canada initiative. Perhaps now, adults who find reading difficult can tell their friends, "You know, I didn’t get to sleep till 1:00 a.m. last night. I was reading this book and just couldn’t put it down.”

One of the authors is Joy Fielding who wrote Whispers and Lies, a trade fiction book several of my learners enjoyed and passed around between themselves.

Anyway, it sounds great. Thanks, everyone. We need more good, accessible books. And while we're waiting, maybe I'll give Pat a call and see if she'll sell me this

Quick Reads

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