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Helena Aalto Saskatchewan Literacy Network Knowledge Exchange Conference November 24, 2010

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Helena Aalto Saskatchewan Literacy Network Knowledge Exchange Conference November 24, 2010. Short—less than 100 pages Fast-paced Original stories Top Canadian authors . For adult learners Reading level grade 3 to 6 Stories for adults, not kids Engaging reading experience

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Presentation Transcript
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Helena Aalto

Saskatchewan Literacy Network

Knowledge Exchange Conference

November 24, 2010

slide2
Short—less than 100 pages
  • Fast-paced
  • Original stories
  • Top Canadian authors
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For adult learners
  • Reading level grade 3 to 6
  • Stories for adults, not kids
  • Engaging reading experience
  • Accessible vocabulary and story structure
slide4
Also for fluent readers who are
  • Too busy for full-length books
  • On the go, commuters, travelers
  • Fans of the authors
slide5
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
  • Inspired by Quick Reads in the UK
  • Brenda Livingston TPL
  • Pat Campbell Grass Roots Press
  • Margaret Eaton ABC Life Literacy Canada
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ABC Life Literacy Canada

VISION

  • We envision a Canada where everyone has the literacy skills they need to live a fully engaged life.

MISSION

  • We inspire Canadians to increase their literacy skills.
  • We connect and mobilize business, unions, government, communities and individuals to support lifelong learning.
  • We achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships.
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ADULT LEARNERS

To provide adult learners with the tools and resources they need

EMPLOYERS AND UNIONS

To engage employers and unions to implement literacy and essential

skills training in the workplace

PUBLIC/MEDIA/INFLUENCERS

To influence decision makers, opinion leaders and the public to

understand and support adult literacy and lifelong learning

LITERACY FIELD

To collaborate with and support the literacy field by providing tools

and resources

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SERIES NAME CRISIS
  • Quick Reads UK
  • Quick Reads Canada
  • Quick Reads US classroom literacy program
slide9
SERIES NAME CONSULTATION
  • Project Advisory Group
  • Literacy Practitioners
  • Adult Learners
  • AFLIG Librarians
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SERIES NAME DEVELOPMENT
  • Pathway Reads
  • Read Up
  • Page Turners (Turn Page Books)
  • Brain Sparks
  • Northern Lights
  • Good Reads
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WRITING GUIDELINES
  • Widely diverse audience, including ESL
  • Genre and style of author’s other books
  • Assumptions about what readers know: provide background information
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YES
  • Engaging story to hook readers
  • Plot twists, tension and pace
  • Chronological narrative
  • Few characters with distinct names
  • Dialogue: identify speaker
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NO
  • Complex metaphors
  • Leaps back and forth in time
  • Shifts in points of view
slide14
PUNCTUATION
  • Punctuation to guide meaning
  • Period, comma, apostrophe, exclamation & question marks
  • Not too many commas in a sentence
  • Dash, colon, semi-colon, ellipses
slide15
WORD CHOICE
  • Fleish-Kincaid formula for Grade 3-5
  • Familiar one and two syllable words, but too many short words is choppy
  • Use three syllable words sparingly (unless very familiar)
slide16
EXPRESSIONS
  • Idioms
  • Colloquial words and phrases
  • Swearing
slide17
SENTENCES & PARAGRAPHS
  • Sentences 15 words or less
  • Paragraphs 5 sentences or less
  • Simple sentences: subject, verb, object
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CHAPTERS
  • Short: 6 to 10 pages
  • Chapter breaks relate to content
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CHALLENGING WORDS
  • Tarpaulin
  • Boa
  • Discreet
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COVERS
  • Eye-catching
  • Look like regular books
  • Appeal to adult learners
  • Also appeal to fluent readers 

INTERIORS

  • Legible font style and size
  • Spacing between lines of text
  • Wider margins
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DEBORAH ELLIS
  • The Breadwinner, Parvana's Journey, Three Wishes
  • Political activist and philanthropist
  • Lives in Simcoe, Ontario

In from the Cold

  • Realistic and poignant
  • Homeless mother and daughter
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GAIL ANDERSON-DARGATZ
  • The Cure for Death by Lightning, A Recipe for Bees
  • Lives in Shuswap, BC
  • Personal interest in adult literacy

The Stalker

  • Thriller, adventure
  • Vancouver Island setting
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MAUREEN JENNINGS
  • Detective William Murdoch series set in 1890s Toronto
  • Murdoch Mysteries TV series
  • Born in UK, lives in Toronto

Shipwreck

  • Set in1873 and modern day
  • William Murdoch as a boy
  • Strong plot and characters, historical details
slide24
RABINDRANATH MAHARAJ
  • The Amazing Absorbing Boy, A Perfect Pledge, Homer in Flight
  • Born in Trinidad, immigrated in 1990s, lives in Ajax, ON

The Picture of Nobody

  • Immigrant family in suburbs
  • Impact of racism: humiliation, suspicion, revenge fantasies
  • Brown skin = terrorist
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LOUISE PENNY
  • Inspector Armand Gamache mysteries
  • Lives in QC Eastern Townships
  • Personal interest in adult literacy

The Hangman

  • Set in fictional village of Three Pines, Quebec
  • Armand Gamache story
  • Many familiar characters
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GAIL VAZ-OXLADE
  • Til Debt Do Us Part on TV
  • Bestseller Debt-Free Forever
  • Lives in Toronto

Easy Money

  • Personal planning
  • Day-to-day saving, credit card debt, “payday loans”
  • No-nonsense advice, shoot-from-the-hip style
slide27
READING GUIDES

Reading/Teaching Guide for each title

Discussion questions, activities to enhance classroom and individual experience

Free download on Grass Roots website

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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVES

Experienced authors who understand the editing process

Editor takes the blame: “Help me understand…”

Queries may change author’s perspective on novel’s direction

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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVES

Flexibility is part of the editing process

Fiction doesn’t always follow guidelines

Readers don’t read in gulps

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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVES

Literacy-challenged readers often have good memories and notice slips in continuity

Editor keeps chart of the details: dates, eye and hair colour, numbers, ages

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MEDIA INTEREST

Toronto Star

Globe and Mail

CBC Radio

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Regina Leader Post

…everywhere!

slide32
PUBLICITY & MARKETING
  • Author tours
  • Bookmarks, posters
  • Website
  • Literacy community outreach
  • Advertising in publications read by literacy practitioners
slide33
FALL 2011
  • Joseph Boyden
  • Marina Endicott
  • Joy Fielding
  • Robert Hough
  • Anthony Hyde
  • Frances Itani

JOSEPH BOYDEN

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