Tag Archives: new readers

Calling the right kind of author…

Adult learners need more than kids’ books.

People who follow us know that Gemma works hard to provide engaging, smart literature for people who struggle to read, comprehend English, or finish a book. We introduce new and emerging readers to stories from best-selling authors and important new voices that can inspire, make us laugh, and sometimes make us weep. Instead of children’s books, adults and young adults need age-appropriate content that relates to everyday experience.

If you are an author and have the interest and the discipline to write a compelling story of 10,000 words or less at a low reading level (we’re talking about third grade, even lower) we are ALL EYES.

We can help with frequent chapter breaks—for a steady sense of accomplishment—and vocabulary. And we can suggest some topics that our audiences ask for all the time: immigration experiences, healthcare journeys, relationships, aging, incarceration, single-parenting, gang violence, coming of age, sports! We’ll help build the book, the eBook, and the audio where appropriate. We ask you to remember the book that made you first fall for reading and try to replicate that feeling for someone who hasn’t had the chance.

Gemma Open Door is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and our books are supported by generous donors as well as low-cost sales to libraries and literacy groups. So, no, there is little money in this. Rather, there is the incredible satisfaction of helping folks experience what so many of us take for granted: the power of reading and the love of books.

Click here for some guidelines and be in touch!

And thanks for all you do to support reading. As UNESCO affirms and we agree, literacy is a human right.

A classic tale from a master teller… raaaaaar!

bear-suit“Don’t we all, secretly, want to transform? To be a bird in the sky, a fish in the river, a fox in the woods?”

Sharman Apt Russell, author and winner of 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing asks us this question as he describes a beautiful new book from Marta Maretich that was published this week. We are delighted to introduce The Bear Suit, “a wonderful and engaging story about being in nature and the wilds of the American West.”

In her extraordinary way, the author of The Merchants of Light and The Possibility of Lions gives new readers a story about transformation, redemption, and release. Rollo, a young man living in his mother’s house, is tired of humans. His dream is to escape to the Sierra Nevada mountains where he can live alone and be free of people. There’s just one problem with the scheme: Rollo’s very human, very hungry stomach. No matter how much food he carries in his backpack, Rollo eventually has to come back to the “messed-up, man-made world” or starve.

Then Rollo finds a dusty old bear suit in a costume shop. He’s got a plan! But what seems like the perfect solution at first will bring unexpected results and change Rollo’s life forever.

And you may have guessed, there is a story beneath the story. This is Ovid. This is Metamorphoses. Marta gives new readers their first look at the classics…and the transformation that humans have dreamed for centuries.

Put a book between those paws!

The young will inherit

lol-headerBy the age of 18, almost 90% of young adults regularly get their news from Facebook and other social media, according to a study by the Media Insight Project. That can’t surprise anyone, but it makes me a little nervous, especially given the dominance of false news. How can we process the vast amount of information flashed at us to make steady decisions about local affairs, insurance choices, personal finances…elections? How do young people figure out what’s true and what’s not? What to worry about and what to let slide?

To make considered opinions, it is important to read widely and then reflect. A passing glance at a phone is not enough to keep someone informed. If a young person struggles to read—or is a reluctant reader—all the more reason to believe that he or she is unable to fully participate in the decisions that determine our lives. 

And that doesn’t begin to address the anxiety young folks feel in a complex world. No matter what your response to recent elections, there is no avoiding the fact that Americans are stressed. The cycle was brutal and persistent, and, as we recognize with deep concern, divisive.

It made me think about so many young people across the globe who feel hopeless, scared, un-noticed each and every day. How would we know about their experience except by reading about them?

Where do we go to understand the implications of a change of government, to find a new way of looking at the world, to seek comfort in the evidence that the world goes on?

Not with a tweet, not with a post, rather with a news article, a story, a book. That is why we take our mission of full literacy for all adults so seriously…and you should, too.

Get a book in that kid’s hand.
 
 
 

About Gemma Open Doors

An innovative program of original works by some of our most beloved modern writers, originally designed in Ireland to promote adult literacy. These fresh stories showcase new writing from both best-selling authors and emerging voices.

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Gemma Open Door for Literacy, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. Gifts and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. EIN #81-1384020