Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

What is a “Reluctant Reader”? An introduction to Orca Books

Reluctant readers are those who, for whatever reason, do not like to read.

 Reluctant readers are typically students who are disengaged, struggling readers, many of which are not realizing success in any aspect of their school career. Educators encounter struggling readers in the classroom every day. These students need to be engaged in reading and must be helped to develop the skills required to not only be successful in school, but to become lifelong readers and learners. 

Unfortunately, many of these students arrive at middle and secondary school believing that they can’t read and/or that they dislike reading. This negative attitude tends to be combined with a steadfast view that it is too late for them to become good readers. The pre-existing attitudes and beliefs of these students make it extremely challenging for teachers to actively engage them in reading. 

Orca publishes four series aimed at reluctant readers: Orca Currents, Orca Sports, Orca Soundings, and Rapid Reads. These short, high-interest novels are written at a lower reading level and feature compelling plots, linear storylines and contemporary topics that will appeal to middle and high school students.

Orca Currents are written expressly for middle-school students reading below grade level. Ideal for lit circles and independent reading. Ages 10-14. 

Orca Sports combine mystery and adventure with team sports, such as hockey, baseball, football and soccer, as well as solo sports such as scuba diving, running and even race-car driving. Ages 10+. 

Orca Soundings are short, high-interest novels for teens reading below grade level. With contemporary themes and exciting stories, Orca Soundings are books teens want to read. Ages 12+. 

Rapid Reads are a series of short, high-interest reads aimed at a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers and adults who struggle with literacy. 

In addition to publishing a variety of hi-lo titles, Orca Book Publishers has developed www.reachingreluctantreaders.com to provide educators with resources, materials and ideas for working with reluctant readers in their classrooms, as well as aid teachers in finding high quality fiction that will engage their students.

All this week we’re celebrating Reluctant Readers, please join us.

For More Information:
Strategies to Help Engage Reluctant Readers
Education Rethink: 11 Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for this topic. As you know from our Twitter discussion, I have had issues with this and my own kids, and when you are a librarian there just seems to be something a bit more painful to it! Looking forward to the week.

  2. So glad you stopped by. Tomorrow I share 5 resources for working with Reluctant Readers. It was very informative to me to have to research and write all this and be reminded of why we do what we do.

  3. I work at a school for kids with learning disabilities – we have MANY reluctant readers! The Orca books work really well for older students who are still beginning readers because they have mature content and the cover don't look baby-ish.

  4. Hi, I work at a library and would love to win this for our children's collection!

  5. Our population of reluctant readers seems to be growing, so Orca books have been a lifesaver. I've started purchasing some multiple copies when we can afford it, so small groups of reluctant readers in Sped and regular ed classes can read and discuss them as a group. The covers are appealing, they jump right into the action, and they are appealingly short!

  6. So excited for the opportunity to win books! Especially Hi/Lo books. I want to cry every time anyone says they don't like to read.

  7. We'd love to win this for our library collection! We have a lot of Orca Sounding books already, but nothing from 2013.

  8. Sorry, I'm the unknown up there. @_@

  9. Thanks for the terrific info. While we have some Orca books in my high school collection we don't have all of the different types mentioned.

  10. I haven't read anything from this publisher before so I'd be really excited to see what they have to offer 🙂

  11. My students love the Orca collections. I have been building our collection for the last few years. The books are engaging, realistic fiction. Students who “hate” reading, will pick up one of these books and finish it.

  12. Sounds like a great giveaway. I need to get more of these for my library. We see a lot of reluctant readers!

  13. Anonymous says:

    We would love to win some books for our library! Thanks for the opportunity.

    I would also like to see some other options for entering contests if possible. Twitter is just not happening in our area of the country.

  14. Anonymous says:

    When using Rafflecopter, you are limited to what types of entry forms people can make. You can comment each day at every post to be entered as far as I know. But additional entry means would require me to pay a monthly fee to Rafflecopter and I do this all in my spare time and am trying to limit how much of my personal income I spend on it so that I can continue. I really love doing this blog and trying to nurture teens and libraries . . . please keep commenting and entering. I can investigate other fair ways of doing contests in the meantime. Thanks for your comment. Karen, TLT

  15. This sounds like such a great initiative, I've never heard of it before but I know quite a few people who could benefit from it. 🙂

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this opportunity to win these books. It would be a great addition to our curriculum collection.

  17. Thank you for the chance to win books for my reluctant readers!

  18. Thanks for running this contest!

  19. My students love the Orca titles we have!

  20. Well, I grew up hating to read in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books during his lifetime. I never read any of them growing up. I managed to graduate from college with a degree in Psychology because I was fascinated by the subject. Probably as a result of my lack of interest in reading, I made a lifetime career out of motion picture, video, and TV commercial production. Only after I turned 55 did I begin to understand why I hadn't enjoyed reading. Based on additional research, I began writing action-adventures & mysteries for readers 8 – 13, especially boys. The primary reason was reach out to other struggling, reluctant readers like I had been. I'm getting great responses from educators, parents, libraries, and the kids tell me that reading one of my books is like being in an exciting or scary movie. Exactly what I hoped would happen.
    Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Max-Elliot-Anderson/e/B002BLP3EE

  21. I have a few Orca Books and they have worked well for our resource room students.

  22. Anonymous says:

    We have some orca books here…more would be good! Thanks for this opportunity!

  23. Thank you for organizing the giveaway! We do not have any Orca books yet, so this would be a great start.

  24. We have some Orcas in our YA collection and the teens love them! 🙂

  25. I recently purchased a few Orca titles for our teen collection and took a few with me to my monthly book club at our local detention center. Several of the teens loved the Orca books I brought. It would be great to be able to provide more for them!

  26. I have ordered lots of Orca titles for the YA section here, but would love to win some that could be giveaways! I don't do twitter, so this is my only entry! Please pick me anyway!!!
    Annie Curtis gplyas@gmail.com

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