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New Books for Children Who Struggle to Read, and a New Novel for Those Who Don’t
There’s a great deal of controversy surrounding the colonization of America. It was either the settlement of a new land of promise for the masses of people who came from Europe and elsewhere to try to establish for themselves a better life, or it was the brutal enslavement and terrorization of tribes of indigenous peoples who were native to the land and who acted as stewards of its great bounty—or both. No matter where you fall on this issue, however, an interesting fact remains: the “discovery” of America was an unhappy one for nearly all of the early explorers who encountered it. It was a giant land mass that stood in their way as they sought to establish a water route from Europe to China.
Eventually the explorers changed their minds, of course. The true discovery was not that there was a continent blocking their path but that the land within it held incredible resources that offered opportunities for anyone willing to take a risk. Most of the early explorers stumbled upon their discoveries, oftentimes unaware of the significance of what they had found, such as the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Salt Lake. Now we have published a new book that tells some of those stories: Explorers in a New World.
Explorers in a New World is offered both as a biographical novel and as a series of dyslexia-friendly books that are a part of our larger Adventures on the American Frontier collection. The dyslexia-friendly books contain special features for children who struggle to read, including the use of a special font called OpenDyslexia, large type, wide margins, and QR codes at the bottom of each spread of pages that link to audio of the books being narrated, enabling children to follow along. In addition, all of the books, including the novel, are illustrated.
This series is particularly expansive, beginning with Columbus and ending centuries later with the mapping of the entire contiguous United States. As such, it is comprised of ten books, each of them short, offering children bite-sized stories that will allow them to gain confidence as they read.
These books are not dry lists of names and dates. Both the dyslexia series and the Explorers in a New World novel give children an interesting way to learn about American history by teaching it to them through the stories of the people who were there.