About the books

The books consist mainly of original stories written by a combination of novice and experienced writers. New writers were developed through attendance at residential writing and editing workshops run by New Readers Publishers. Stories written at these workshops were mainly written in African languages and selected stories published for sale and distribution.

(There is also a small set of teacher guides to some of the English and isiZulu books.)

The focus of New Readers Publishers has always been on the promotion of reading in all South Africa’s official languages with an emphasis on ABET Level 1 books (equivalent to Grades 1 to 3 in school).

This is in line with the philosophy that reading is best developed through structured teaching as well as early access to reading engaging and interesting stories. The stories cover a wide range including: humour, drama, love, crime, autobiography.

In terms of design and levels, careful attention was paid to the importance of illustrations in enhancing interest and enabling clearer understanding of the stories. Print versions of the books were of high quality with full-colour covers and high quality durable paper. This was to ensure that the books did not appear in any way to be second-rate or contribute to the stigma often associated with adult literacy learning and reading.

The design and layout was developed to assist reading comprehension with the 3 levels grouped as follows:

ABET Level 1 / Grade 1 – 3
Aimed at beginner readers, the books have one or very few sentences per page in large print accompanied by plentiful illustrations.
Approximate number of words: Up to 800 words.

ABET Level 2 / Grade 4 – 5
The books have full pages of text in large print which is well-supported by illustrations.
Language and style are simplified.
Approximate number of words: 800 – 1 600 words.

ABET Level 3 / Grade 6 – 7.
The books have full pages of text in slightly larger than normal print with some illustrations.
Language is still simplified but more difficult than previous levels.
The books are longer with more complex sentences and style.
Approximate number of words: 1 600 – 4 000 words.

Note on viewing and printing the books

Most of the books have been designed to be viewed in two page spreads.
You may need to set your Adobe Acrobat (pdf) viewer for this.
     View > Page Display > Two page view

To print a two-page spread on one sheet you may need to set your Adobe Acrobat print instructions thus:
     Print > Page Sizing & Handling > Multiple > Pages per sheet > 2

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