The Rapid Reads Model

Rapid Reads is a series of short novels for adult readers. In our increasingly fast-paced world we believe there is a need for well-written, well-told novels and nonfiction books that can be read in one sitting. Rapid Reads feature great writing and great storytelling in a small package.

The inspiration for Rapid Reads springs from the success of Orca's two series for reluctant young readers: Orca Soundings and Orca Currents.

Orca Soundings and Orca Currents are widely recognized as the best hi-lo series in North America. We believe that our books stand above the competition because we focus first and foremost on strong writing and storytelling. We’re confident that this formula will spell success for Rapid Reads as well. The Soundings and Currents series have demonstrated strong appeal beyond the reluctant-reader market. The high quality of these books has made them very popular with strong readers looking for a quick read. The Soundings and Currents series have proved that captivating stories can be told in simple language with short chapters and straightforward storylines.

What People Are Saying About Rapid Reads

"[Rapid Reads] feature memorable main characters and tightly woven plots that grab and hold the reader’s interest. Sentences are short, vocabulary is basic, and the novels can be read in an hour or two. They are perfect for mature reluctant readers, ESL learners, or anyone who enjoys a good story." —VOYA

"The Rapid Reads series for adults is designed for reluctant or low-literacy readers and features low page counts, swiftly moving plots, short chapters, and uncomplicated language and sentence structure. Even avid readers, though, may enjoy losing themselves in the accessible stories, many of which feature underrepresented voices in fiction. Each title hooks readers with a dramatic start... With rare voices and taut suspense, these titles provide accessible choices for struggling and strong readers alike." —Booklist

"Rapid Reads are...a welcome change from the much less engaging novels that until recently were all that was available for reluctant readers and teen and adult English language learners...Readers can relate to the well-written stories...They also look and read like a typical adult paperback. There is no stigma to reading them. These books help encourage students to read for enjoyment." —Aimee Jeffrey, literacy librarian at Kitchener Public Library

"The idea behind Rapid Reads…is so simple it’s hard to believe no other Canadian firm thought of it before: to provide reluctant readers with entertaining subject matter they can connect with…" —Quill & Quire

"Plot rather than character driven, easy-to-read, high-interest, and short, about a third the length of a regular novel." —CM Magazine


From the Web

ABC Life Literacy

ABC Life Literacyis a non-profit organization that "inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills." By working with business, unions, government, communities and individuals, ABC Life Literacy is a resource for literacy statstics and research, programs and initiatives, and literacy events across Canada. Visit site.

Canadian Literacy & Learning Network

The Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (formerly the Movement for Canadian Literacy) is "the national coalition advancing literacy and essential skills across Canada." (CCLN) CCLN partners with other national organizations to develop projects and research to advance literacy skills in Canada, specificlly in the areas of literacy and English and a Second Language, Family literacy, and the literacy field as a sector. Visit site.

Family Literacy Day

Family Literacy Day takes place annually on January 27. The goal of Family Literacy Day is to encourage adults and children to read and learn together and to spend "at least 15 minutes enjoying a learning activity as a family every day." (ABC Life Literacy) Visit site.

Adult Literacy: Get the Facts

Recent studies suggest that nearly 50 percent of North Americans struggle with literacy to some extent.

• Over 10 million Canadians are working at marginal levels of literacy
• Over 90 million Americans are functionally illiterate

With adult-oriented books written between a 2.0 and 4.5 reading level, literacy programs will have unique tools to help combat these statistics. Rapid Reads is committed to providing books that will help adults achieve their literacy goals in an interesting and accessible way. Having low literacy does not mean that a person cannot read. The majority of people with literacy issues can read to a certain degree, “but not at a literacy level required for full engagement at work, at home and in the community,” (ABC Life Literacy). Literacy skills can deteriorate over time; they are maintained and strengthened through regular use.

For more information on Canadian Literacy, visit the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network's statistics here.

For literacy statistics in the USA, read the National Center for Education Statistics' findings on a national adult literacy survey.