Who are we?
Pontes Books seeks to make Classic stories more accessible than ever before, providing books at various text complexities that serve as a bridge between a reader’s current reading skills and the complex writing styles of Classic authors.
What are the different bridge book levels available?
Each book comes in four different “levels”. They are not based on reading level, rather they are based on modifications that have been made to the original text. The descriptions are as follows:
- Red (Original Version) – the text in the original author’s words only
- Yellow (Bridge Version) – contains simplified vocabulary
- Blue (Bridge Version) – contains simplified vocabulary and sentence structure
- White (Bridge Version) – contains simplified vocabulary and sentence structure, and text length shortened by half
What are the parallel text verions?
In addition to the original and three bridge versions, one thing that is truly unique about Pontes Books is that these books are also offered in parallel text format: the original version presented side-by-side with one of the bridge versions. This allows any reader to be exposed to the artful language and complex writing of the original author, while still having the support of a bridge version to clarify any confusion.
- Orange – original (red) version side-by side with the yellow bridge version
- Purple – original (red) version side-by side with the blue bridge version
- Pink – original (red) version side-by side with the yellow bridge version
What makes Pontes Books unique?
Pontes Books are unique for a number of reasons:
1) There are so many different versions of Pontes Books available for a given novel, there is one that would meet the needs of almost any student or teacher. Parallel text versions lend themselves well to whole-class reading; teachers can focus exclusively on working through the original language as a class, while students can still use the bridge version on the opposite page to clarify confusion and to assist with any assigned reading as homework. The multiple bridge versions could work well for leveled reading groups.
2) No matter the book version that you or a student is reading, the page numbers will all match up. So if a classroom full of students are reading the first half of Chapter 23 as homework, the page numbers will be exactly the same for all students. The content in all the books is also the same. The abridged versions do not cut out chapters or long chunks of information deemed “unimportant”. This way, any reading guides or questions about the reading can be the same for all students; the differentiation comes from the text rather than the skills.
3) They have already been “field tested” by students and teachers while they were in development, and have been met with very positive feedback!
Where did the idea for Pontes Books come from?
Students! While reading a Shakespeare play using a parallel text version, the students really understood the story well. Then we moved on to Mark Twain and some found it almost as challenging as Shakespeare, especially without any textual support. They inquired if a parallel text version existed for Mark Twain, and I had to let them know it did not. But from that day on, the seed was planted. As I continued in my teaching, I struggled to find efficient ways to differentiate for all of the reader types in my classroom. I would find abridged versions of a text, but chapters would be missing and page numbers wouldn’t line up. I found myself creating three different reading guides with three different sets of page numbers assigned. Some students would have an “in-class” book for following along with what we read aloud. They they would have a different “take home” version that was closer to their actual reading level. It was a nightmare! Eventually I set to work creating the Pontes Books versions of The Prince and the Pauper, and now I want to create more!
Which books are currently available to purchase through Pontes Books?
Right now the only novel available is The Prince and the Pauper. But there are more books in the works!
What future products are coming?
We have an infinite number of ideas for future products:
- Reading Guides
- Audio versions
- Interactive e-books
- Vocabulary lessons
- New Pontes Books novel sets
- And more!
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