Barrington Stoke are a publisher who specialise in publishing books for dyslexic children and children who are simply struggling to read.
They use a variety of methods to help such readers:
The books are printed on colour tinted pages. Dyslexic children often respond better to text printed on coloured rather than white paper.
There are fewer lines of text per page, with larger spacing in between. Dyslexic children often have issues with orienting themselves on the page, and if the lines of text are too close together this can add to the confusion.
There is more blank space on the page in proportion to regular books. This has been proven to help some dyslexic children navigate their way round a page of text better.
The fonts are sans serif. This means they do not have the twirls and curly bits which are standard in serif fonts. It makes the letters easier to distinguish from one another.
There are more illustrations. Illustrations break up the monotony of the pages, and give the struggling reader a breather. They can also provide valuable clues to what is happening in the text if the child is struggling to decode meaning from the words.
The paper they use is thicker than regular books. It means that there is no chance of text or images from one page ‘bleeding’ through into the page of text behind or in front of it, which can confuse children.
The subject matter is geared towards a child’s real age rather than their reading age. Many older children who struggle, find it stressful to be reading books which are far below their real or emotional age because their technical skills lag behind. Barrington Stoke specialise in what are sometimes called ‘high interest, low ability’ texts which reflect what children are really interested in.
Their books are tested on children, parents and educators before they are chosen for publication, to make sure that they really are appealing to the readers, and not just something that marketers and publishers think children will want to read.
Words and editing style are deliberately chosen with dyslexic readers in mind. The books use a simpler language than normal that gives the struggling child a higher chance of success in finishing a book.
The chapters are deliberately short and easy to manage so that the child can get a real sense of achievement from having read so many chapters. Self esteem is a massive issue with struggling readers and building confidence in such readers is a key success criteria.
There is a whole section of the website dedicated to showing you how to choose the right book for your child. The books are banded in two ways, across age range, and across content.
You can buy books directly from Barrington Stoke, and their publication list is fairly extensive. They have deals for schools and promotional book bundles which are competitively priced.