On 20 September, I was able to attend an absolutely fantastic book launch. da bux publishers presented their second edition in Solothurn.
da bux publish stories for upper grade students with reading difficulties. Not simplified reading fodder, but written with an eye on today's young people. The stories are in larger print. Short chapters, short paragraphs, short sentences, easy vocabulary. That is where the "simplicity" ends, though. Current topics, some of them thought-provoking but all of them super thrilling. For each 60-page-book worksheets are available.
With "Fitness Junkie", "Crash", "Du Freak" (You Freak) and "Der Fluch der Wanze" (Curse of theCockroach) of the first edition, the publishing trio Alice Gabathuler, Stephan Sigg and Tom Zai made the big time with schools and teachers. The expectations of the team were more than fulfilled. If at all possible, I think the second edition even tops the first one.
Again, there's something for every taste: "Oda ist weg" (Oda's Gone), a hilarious Voodoo story; "Hau ab, Bruderherz!" (Make a Run, Dear Brother!), in a Switzerland of the not too distant future, young people have only one perspective – trying their luck as refugees; "Der Knast" (The Clink) picks up on the Stanford Prison Experiment; "Voll Risiko" (Full Risk) unites three thrilling short stories specially designed for curative education.
This is what makes the concept irresistible for me: the stories are written in a way that makes them super easy reads. BUT: even a "normal" reader will find them hard to put down. You'll look in vain for condescending, patronising language. The da bux team have managed to square the circle.