TORONTO – September 28, 2010 – ABC Life Literacy Canada, in partnership with Grass Roots Press, and with support from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, today launched the first six (of 12) titles in the innovative Good Reads series for adult literacy learners.
“Being able to connect adult learners to bestselling Canadian authors is an incredibly powerful experience for all involved,” said Margaret Eaton, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “The Good Reads series provides a valuable resource for emergent readers and literacy practitioners in Canada and the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the authors to the adult literacy cause has been tremendous.”
Good Reads is a series of fiction and non-fiction titles written by outstanding Canadian authors, expressly for adult literacy learners. The short, easy-to-read books (about 100 pages) use simple vocabulary and sentence structure, allowing for immediate reader engagement in the story.
The Good Reads book series is written for the approximately 16 per cent of working-age Canadians, those between 16 and 65 years of age, whose reading skills approximate a Grade 6 reading level or lower (according to the 2005 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey). Written with adult characters, perspectives, themes and subjects, Good Reads is a resource to help these Canadians improve their reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary as well as increase their reading confidence.
Good Reads offers more reading choices for adults with developing literacy skills who often have to read books written for children or teenagers. With an award-winning list of Canadian authors writing Good Reads specific books, emergent readers are exposed to an outstanding quality of writing from a uniquely Canadian perspective. Additionally, Good Reads will also be of interest to people who do not have time for full-length books, or who are simply fans of the authors.
“Good Reads address the acute shortage of books for adult literacy learners. With adult characters, perspectives and subjects, Good Reads are enjoyable and accessible for adult learners, which will increase reading confidence and encourage reading practice,” said Dr. Pat Campbell, President of Grass Roots Press, the publisher of the series.
Acclaimed Canadian authors with Good Reads books include: Gail Anderson-Dargatz (The Stalker); Deborah Ellis (In From the Cold); Maureen Jennings (Shipwreck); Rabindranath Maharaj (The Picture of Nobody); Louise Penny (The Hangman); and Gail Vaz-Oxlade (Easy Money). Good Reads books by Joseph Boyden, Marina Endicott, Joy Fielding, Robert Hough, Anthony Hyde, and Frances Itani will be published in the fall of 2011.
Authors Joy Fielding, Robert Hough, Maureen Jennings, Rabindranath Maharaj and Louise Penny attended the launch, held in the inspiring Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. The authors spoke about their motivation and excitement when writing their Good Reads books, and the challenges of writing for a new audience.
“The written word is a powerful tool in everyday life,” said Maureen Jennings, whose Good Reads book features her popular Detective Murdoch character. “Words can inform and inspire, and even transform reality. I am proud that my words can positively impact emergent readers and inspire a love of reading.”
Good Reads titles are available to literacy programs, libraries and adult education programs through Grass Roots Press. HarperCollins Canada distributes Good Reads to bookstores and other retailers.
For additional information on the Good Reads Series, or to order the books, please visit www.GoodReadsBooks.com.