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Real Reads

Real Reads are accessible texts designed to support the literacy development of primary and lower secondary age children while introducing them to the riches of our international literary heritage. The books can be enjoyed by able readers in middle primary, and allow older children with literacy difficulties to engage with great stories. The books are also useful in the teaching of English as an additional language. Each book is a retelling of a work of great literature from one of the world’s greatest cultures, fitted into a 64-page book, making classic stories, dramas and histories available to intelligent young readers as a bridge to the full texts, to language students wanting access to other cultures, and to adult readers who are unlikely ever to read the original versions. These works are not lightly called ‘classics’, nor does Real Reads shy away from ‘difficult’ texts and strange foreign works. They make the world’s greatest literature, from William Shakespeare to Mark Twain, from Jane Austen to the Ramayana, from the New Testament to the Chinese classic Journey to the West, readily accessible through masterful retellings.

Each Real Reads title reflects the depth and power of the original story, and retains much of the author’s vocabulary, style and tone. Real Reads bring great books to a wider readership, while always honoring the context and structure of the original. Each is richly and intelligently illustrated, each illustrator carefully chosen for their ability to convey the mood of the original text. The wonderful pictures, always historically accurate and laid out to complement the text, enhance the reader’s understanding and enjoyment.

Real Reads embody cultural values and traditions from around the world. They foster cross-cultural understanding and help the reader connect with the world’s most important literature and history. Each book has a section called ‘Taking things further’ which provides historical and human context, suggests links to useful resources, and asks the reader challenging and insightful questions relating to the story. Real Reads are physically robust, giving the reader a sense of holding a beautiful book rather than a cheap paperback. They are section-sewn so they won’t fall apart with regular reading, and printed on heavyweight paper with board covers and an elegant dust jacket. Real Reads are a joy to handle, works of art in their own right.