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Barrington Stoke is a publisher of thin octavo volumes specifically designed to help young people who have dyslexia to gain a love of reading. The books are written by authors who are already known in the publishing world, and include people like Michael Morpurgo, Philip Reeve, David Almond, Malorie Blackman, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Kevin Brooks, and Meg Rosoff to name just a very few.

Not only are the books slim, they are printed on off white paper, which prevents glare, and the typeface is such as to make it easy to read. They edit the text too so that as much as possible there is a reduced likelihood of words of a similar type being used in the same paragraph.

Lastly, (and possibly more importantly), the subject matter and plots are interesting and they seem to try to cover as many interests as possible.

To that end they have two indicators on the books – an Interest Age and a Reading Age – usually noted just beside the bar code.

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The Interest Age, is the age of the reader – after all someone aged 5-8 is probably not going to be interested in something written for a teenager or young adult. The reverse is also true. So the Interest Age gives an indication of the type of age group for which the book has been written.

The Reading Age, however, gives an indication of the reading ability. So you may have someone who has an Interest Age of 12 or 13, but a Reading age of 7 or 8 and with the help of the codes on the back of the books you can fine tune the books that are purchased for them – so that they are both interesting and are suitable for their ability.

I am regularly astounded by the number of parents’, carers and others who are looking after young readers with dyslexia who are not made aware of this publisher. There is nothing like actually enjoying and finishing a book to encourage you to try another.

I am also beginning to suggest these books for some of my customers who have children who are just not interested at all. Not necessarily because they have dyslexia, but just because they haven’t experienced the joy of really enjoying a book and are becoming even more unwilling to try as they begin to come under pressure from their school and adults around them to at least ‘…finish one book!’

So I thought I would publish a post about it, to make people aware of this wonderful and thoughtful publisher.

The Internet site for Barrington Stoke is http://www.barringtonstoke.co.uk and is easily navigable – do take a look at the site, it may well be the start of a love affair with reading, and I sometimes think there is nothing quite like the pleasure of reading a good book.

Which on consideration, is quite astonishing.

I started to read aged 8, but that’s another story….

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