• Gail Anderson-Dargatz
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  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

  • 1
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Cookie is about to lose her job at the local bakery. She dreams of owning her own bakery but doesn't think she has the skills or money to do it. Most of all, she doesn't have the self-confidence. When she takes a course at the local college, she finds she has much more going for her than she imagined. With the help of her community, she figures out how to make sure no one has to go without her famous doily cookies for long!

Booklist—June 12, 2017
"Cookie's perseverance through hardship is certainly inspiring, and her bonds with the local community heartwarming. For readers who need a little encouragement, this is just the ticket."

Reading Level: 4.8
For more, check out Orca's Rapid Reads books.


What is a literacy learner novel? Click here for Gail's blog on the topic.



Gail on writing novellas for Orca’s Rapid Reads and ABC Life Literacy’s Good Reads programs:

“My mother, Irene Anderson, was a tutor for adults struggling with literacy issues. I saw how her work made a difference not only in the lives of her students, but in her own life. Learning to read and write offered many of the students she worked with the opportunity to tell their own stories, if only to family members. That was hugely empowering for them, and terrifically rewarding for my mother.

When I was approached to write a literacy learner novel for ABC Life Literacy’s Good Reads program, I jumped on it for those reasons. For many of the readers, this will be the first novel they have ever read. Many of those readers have told me they have gone on to read many other novels because they enjoyed the book so much. For a writer, there can be no higher compliment.

I’m tickled that I have the opportunity to continue writing these short novels through Orca’s Rapid Reads program. The novels are picked up by not only literacy learner readers, but by those who simply want a quick read. The books are fun and fast-paced, exactly what you want on a plane or train ride.

With that first book I wrote for Good Reads, I assumed, as a snobby literary writer, that I could just knock off one of these literacy learner novels quickly. Not so. The learning curve was huge for me and that first short book took nearly a year to write (off and on). The editing process is equally difficult. When I write a literary work, I can assume my reader can understand the metaphors and symbols I use and is familiar with literary conventions. I can’t assume any of these things when writing a literacy learner novel. Many of the readers are also ESL students, so if I use a cultural reference, I have to explain it. In the editing process, we look at every word to make sure all concepts are clear. It’s a much more involved writing and editing process.”

-- From an interview for Groundwork Magazine.