Adult New Reader Books

As my first contribution to literacy (before I started tutoring an adult learner in 1999), I wrote sixteen little books for adults who read at the first- and second-grade level. Very short and easy to read, these illustrated books appeal to the interests of adults, not children. Some of them are mysteries, including my first quilting mystery, Dear Mary Ellen. In 1999 I read about how Dear Mary Ellen was used in an ESOL GED class of Latino students learning to read mysteries. I was delighted to find my little story used between Langston Hughes and Guy de Maupassant, and getting raves from the students. In 1990 and 1991 they were published as the Kaleidoscope Collection of Stories by New Readers Press, the publishing division of Laubach Literacy International, and are still used in many literacy programs.

For some time now I’ve been wondering whether anyone would use those stories, now out of print, if they were available as ebooks. Would you as a literacy tutor like to have easy-reader fiction for your learner to read on your device? Might you as a program director be interested in such an option if the price were low enough? I could make that happen, but there’s no point in doing it if no one would use them. Please tell me your thoughts at

Below, shown small, are the first pages of the easiest and hardest of the little books.  They’re both actually mini-mysteries. Laubach put Stop That Woman, in which Tom later cuts the hair of a picky client, at the upper first-grade reading level.


Dear Mary Ellen, in which Joe tells Ruby not to go down the cellar stairs, is upper second, they told me.


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