• Gail Anderson-Dargatz
  • 1
  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

  • 1
  • 2

tiny houseGail's next literacy learner novella from Orca hits the shelves January 2019. These Rapid Reads novellas are for adults working to improve literacy skills, or for readers who just want a quick read.

About the book:

Sadie works as a framer, building houses. She lost her own home in a recent divorce and now lives with her two daughters in a rented bungalow. When her landlady says she needs to move out, Sadie finds there's a housing crisis in her community. She can't find a place to live and is forced to move her family into a travel trailer at a local campsite.

When her ex-husband finds out, he insists that the girls come live with him in another city. Desperate to keep her daughters with her in their home community, Sadie is forced to rethink her dream of living in a full-sized house.

In the short term, she moves her girls into a co-worker's apartment. Then, with the help of her friends and daughters, she builds a tiny house. In the process she finds living with less has its rewards and that living in a small space brings her family closer together.

From Booklist: "Anderson-Dargatz imbues her warm story with lots of relatable details of love and family, and she tailors the novel, with its clear and direct plotline, perfectly for readers looking to improve their literacy or simply enjoy a complete tale in one quick sitting."

For more, visit the Orca site.

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.


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