Dyslexia-friendly books for young people

Wellington City Libraries actively collects dyslexia-friendly books for young people. Many of our branches maintain special displays to make them as easy as possible to find.

We asked our Children & Youth Services Coordinator, Stephen Clothier, for information on this collection — read on for dyslexia-friendly book information from Stephen…

Stephen Clothier There is a rapidly-growing publishing scene internationally for books published in formats friendlier to young people with dyslexia, with publishers like Barrington Stoke and DB Australia publishing exclusively in this area.

What is a dyslexia-friendly book? Dyslexia-friendly books typically have some or all of the following features:

  • Non-white paper
  • Sans-serif font (some books use specially-designed dyslexia-friendly fonts that work by reducing the symmetry between commonly mistaken letter pairs: b/d, p/q, n/u)
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • Variable line lengths
  • Uncluttered page design for maximum clarity

Many of our branches maintain special displays of dyslexia-friendly books to make them as easy as possible to find, but you can also find them for yourself on our catalogue.

Try the following searches — and remember that you can reserve these books to be collected at the library branch of your choice:

For Kids:

For Teens:

Some recent titles

Here is a selection of great dyslexia-friendly titles recently added to our collection:

A bad day for Jayden / Bradman, Tony
“Mum won’t get out of bed. His best friend has dumped him. And school work is just too difficult. Jayden wants to do the right thing – but how can he when it feels like the world is conspiring against him? Everything is going wrong, and when a supply teacher turns up to take his class, Jayden’s sure things will keep on getting worse. But Mrs Wilson is not quite the teacher Jayden expected … can she help turn his bad day around?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Anna Gain and the same sixty seconds / Bass, Guy
“Ever-punctual Anna Gain is never late, and she’s certainly never late for the school bus. Every day she catches it in perfect time. But not today. After a series of absurd events cause Anna to miss the bus, she’s transported one minute back in time – only to be stuck re-living the same sixty seconds again … and again … and again … Is fate trying to teach Anna a lesson? And will she ever escape?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Clever cakes / Rosen, Michael
“It pays to be able to think on your feet, especially if you’re about to be eaten alive or cheated out of a valuable prize! And in these hilarious comical adventures by storytelling legend Michael Rosen, two clever kids are more than a match for a hungry grizzly bear and a bored and arrogant king! Read along as two super-smart kids triumph in these perfectly packaged fairy tales with a twist…” (Catalogue)

The slippery schemes of Sushi Man / Barlow, Steve
“Take on the role of a shape-shifting MEGAHERO in this fully interactive, wacky, choose-your-own-destiny adventure story. You and your mega-computer sidekick, PAL, must save the world from Sushi Man and his own sidekick, Wasabi Boy. This evil duo has started poisoning and controlling the population. Can you possibly morph into the right shapes to take down this out-of-control pair of baddies? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Animal farm / Orwell, George
“Orwell’s powerful, unnerving and timeless allegory of oppression and rebellion, brought to life for a new age of readers in a stunning dyslexia-friendly edition.” (Catalogue)

Meet our Capital Crimespree panel for this Friday – Sally J Morgan

Do you enjoy delving into some darkness in your reading? The Ngaio Marsh Awards, in association with Wellington City Libraries, invites booklovers to a fun evening of criminally good conversation featuring five outstanding crime writers. This is a free event.

The exciting panel line-up includes Brannavan Gnanalingam, Dame Fiona Kidman, and Sally J Morgan, as well as forensic pathologist and author Judy Melinek together with her co-author and husband TJ Mitchell (authors of New York Times bestseller Working Stiff, and the Dr. Jessie Teska forensic mystery books).

What? A Capital Crimespree – Newtown Mystery in the Library Panel Discussion, an event in association with the Ngaio Marsh Awards.

When? 6pm, Friday 30 April

Where? Newtown Library, 13 Constable Street, Newtown

Facebook event link

We’re so excited to host all these crime-writing luminaries! To celebrate, we’re running a series of features on each of the writers involved. Next up is Sally J Morgan.

Acorn Prize longlisted author Sally J Morgan was born in the Welsh mining town of Abertyleri and describes her childhood as nomadic — following her father’s career in the motor trade across Britain. Sally graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and eventually moved to New Zealand where she is now a professor at Massey University in Wellington.

As a young woman she was once offered a lift by the serial killers Fred and Rose West. Sally declined, but that experience planted the seeds for her debut novel Toto Among the Murderers, which is longlisted for the 2021 Acorn Prize for Fiction:

Toto among the murderers / Morgan, Sally J

“It is 1973 and Jude – known to her friends as Toto – has just graduated from art school and moves into a house in a run-down part of Leeds. Jude is a chaotic wild child who flirts with the wrong kind of people, drinks too much and gets stoned too often. Never happy to stay in one place for very long, her restlessness takes her on hitchhiking jaunts up and down the country. Her best friend, Nel, is the only steady influence Jude has but Nel’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems.”

“Reports of attacks on women punctuate the news and Jude takes off again, suffocated by an affair she has been having with a married woman. But what she doesn’t realise is that the violence is moving ever closer to home: there is Janice across the road who lives in fear of being beaten up again by her pimp and Nel, whose perfect life is coming undone at her boyfriend’s hands. At the same time infamous murderers, Fred and Rosemary West, are stalking the country, on the lookout for girls like Jude.” (Catalogue)

More Event Author Profiles

Internationally celebrated New Zealand author Dame Fiona Kidman coming to Newtown Library

Facebook Event LInk

Internationally celebrated New Zealand author Dame Fiona Kidman will be one of the authors coming to Newtown Library as part of our

Capital Crimespree: Newtown Mystery in the Library,
in conjunction with Ngaio Marsh Awards. 

When: 6pm Friday 30 April 2021

Where: Newtown Library, 13 Constable Street, Wellington 6021

This is a free event.

Our stellar line up also includes three-time Ockham New Zealand Book Awards listed author Brannavan Gnanalingam, longlisted 2021 Acorn Prize for Fiction nominee Sally J Morgan and Dr Judy Melinek and TJ Mitchell, the husband-and-wife writing duo behind the Jessie Teska forensic mysteries. Dr Judy Melinek was part of the forensic team that investigated the 9/11 World Trade Center site.

We’re so excited to be hosting each of these crime-writing luminaries that we are doing short profiles on all of the authors involved. Our next profile is Dame Fiona Kidman.

Dame Fiona Kidman is one of the most highly acclaimed and celebrated authors in New Zealand. She has an OBE and DNZM for services to literature as well as the French honours the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) and the Légion d’Honneur (French Legion of Honour).

Kidman’s contribution to literature in Aotearoa/New Zealand is vast. Since publishing her first novel in 1970, she has gone on to create a large, powerful and imaginative body of work ranging from novels to short stories, memoirs to poetry, plays to radio series. She has won a huge range of awards, fellowships and residencies and has won the New Zealand Book Award on four separate occasions!

This Mortal Boy, her most recent novel, won the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, the NZ Booklovers Award, the NZSA Heritage Book Award for Fiction and the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.

If you are interested in crime fiction in any way this event promises to be unmissable and will undoubtedly reveal and  shed light on how these gifted authors craft characters, create exciting storylines and how they address real-life issues through their fiction.

Below is just a very small selection of Dame Fiona Kidman’s work we have available to borrow.

Click here for the Facebook event.

Please note, mature/ adult issues of a challenging nature may be discussed.

The infinite air / Kidman, Fiona
“The rise and fall of ‘the Garbo of the skies’, as told by one of New Zealand’s finest novelists. Jean Batten became an international icon in the 1930s. A brave, beautiful woman, she made a number of heroic solo flights across the world. The newspapers couldn’t get enough of her; and yet she suddenly slipped out of view, disappearing to the Caribbean with her mother and dying in obscurity in Majorca, buried in a pauper’s grave.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

True stars. / Kidman, Fiona
“Rose Kendall is alone. She is alienated from her children, her friends, and her political ideals, and there is someone trying to scare her – she doesn’t know why and she doesn’t know who.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

 

The book of secrets / Kidman, Fiona
“In 1853, a group of settlers established a community at Waipu in the northern part of New Zealand. They were led there by a stern preacher, Norman McLeod. The community had followed him from Scotland in 1817 to found a settlement in Nova Scotia, then subsequently to New Zealand via Australia.   – Isabella, her daughter Annie and granddaughter Maria. McLeod’s harsh leadership meant that anyone who ran counter to him had to live a life of secrets. The ‘secrets’ encapsulated the spirit of these women in their varied reactions to McLeod’s strict edicts and connect the past to the present and future.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

This mortal boy / Kidman, Fiona
“Albert Black, known as the ‘jukebox killer’, was only twenty when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland on 26 July 1955. His crime fuelled growing moral panic about teenagers, and he was to hang less than five months later, the second-to-last person to be executed in New Zealand. But what really happened? Was this a love crime, was it a sign of juvenile delinquency? Or was this dark episode in our recent history more about our society’s reaction to outsiders?” (Adapted from Catalogue)Also available as an eBook

Te Anamata o Te Tiriti me Tākuta Carwyn Jones: 29 o Paengawhāwhā i Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

He aha? Te Tiriti: ki hea ināianei?
Āhea? Rāpare 29 o Paengawhāwhā, 12:30-1:20pm
Ki hea? Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe (29B Tiriti o Brandon)

I runga anō i ngā tohutohu a Māmari Stephens i roto i tana tuhinga “He rangi tā Matawhāiti, he rangi tā Matawhānui”, kāore e tawhiti atu te whakanuitanga 200 tau o waitohutanga o Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Engari ka pēhea ianei te āhua o Aotearoa hei ngā 20 tau e tū mai nei? Ā, ka whakawā pēhea nei ngā tumu kōrero i te tau 2040 i ngā whanaketanga o ngā tekau tau ruarua ka hipa?

Ko tētahi tangata e taea ana pea e ia te whakautu i ēnei pātai ko Tākuta Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu). He Ahorangi Tāpiri a Tākuta Jones i Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture i Te Whare Wānanga o Te Herenga Waka, ā, ko ia hoki te kaituhi o New Treaty, New Tradition – Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law and co-editor of Indigenous Peoples and the State: International Perspectives on the Treaty of Watangi. Ko ia hoki te perēhitini-ngātahi o Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa, me te ētita-ngātahi o te Māori Law Review me AlterNative – an International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.

E whai wāhi ana hoki a Tākuta Jones ki tētahi atu kaupapa whakahirahira. E rua marama ki muri ka hono atu ia ki te ohu Adaptive Governance me te Policy i te BioHeritage Challenge, Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho, hei kaihautū-ngātahi me Tākuta Maria Bargh. He tūranga whakahirahira tēnei: ki te whakatau me pēhea e taea ai e ngā panonitanga ki te kāwanatanga me te ture i Aotearoa te āwhina ki te whakaora i te taiao o te motu – i mua o te hokinga kore ki muri.

Ki te rapu i ētahi atu kōrero, pānuitia tā mātou uiui ki a Tākuta Carwyn Jones i raro!


E kōrero ana te pae tukutuku a te Adaptive Governance me te Policy (AGP) mō tētahi mataaho āheinga e whakaratoa ana e te whanaketanga o tētahi Rautaki Koiora ā-motu, tae atu hoki ki te WAI 262.  Ka taea e koe te whakamārama i te hiranga nui o WAI 262 me te Rautaki Koiora?

E whakarato ana te Rautaki Koiora i tētahi anga whakahaere matua mō te whanake i ngā mahere koiora ā-takiwā, ā-rohe hoki puta noa i ngā tau 30 e tū mai nei i Aotearoa.  E whakarato ana hoki i tētahi moemoeā whaitake me te whakarite i tētahi māramatanga whānui o te wāhi hei whāinga mā tātou hei iwi, ki te tiaki me te hiki i te koioratanga.

Ko te pūrongo WAI 262, Ko Aotearoa Tēnei, me te urutau a te kāwanatanga whānui e whanake mai ana, e whakatau haere ana hoki i ēnei momo take (me ētahi atu), me te arotahi atu ki te whakaurunga a te Māori me te tūranga o te mātauranga Māori.  Ka whakauru hāngai tonu te Rautaki Koiora me Wai 262 ki ngā pātai o te kāwanatanga taiao me te kaupapa here e pā ana ki te tuku ihotanga koiora o Aotearoa.

Me pēhea a Te Mana o te Taiao – te Rautaki Koiora o Aotearoa e whai whakaaro ai ki te pūrongo WAI 262 a Te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi?

Ko tētahi o ngā āhuatanga matua o te pūrongo WAI 262 ko te miramira i ngā hapori Māori tae atu ki ngā iwi, hapū me ngā whānau, me tā rātou mahi ki te whakatakoto i ō rātou wawata mō te whakahaere i te hononga a te tangata ki te taiao, me te whai i ngā tikanga pūataata e haepapa ai ngā kāwanatanga ā-rohe, kāwanatanga matua hoki ki te whakauru atu ki aua wawata.  E āta mohimohi ana te pūrongo ki te kī ko tā te whāinga ā-Tiriti me rapu ki te whakamana i ngā hapori Māori i te tuatahi ki te whakatau take ka pāpā atu ki ō rātou taonga (tae atu ki ngā āhuatanga o te taiao), ā, i ngā wāhi e hiahiatia ana ētahi tauira whakahoa, me whakauru te Māori ki ngā whakataunga take, kaua ko te tū hei kaitohutohu anake i te kaiwhakatau.  Ko tētahi o ngā putanga whaikī o Te Mana o te Taiao, ko te whakatinanatanga e ngā hoa Tiriti, whānau, hapū me ngā iwi ngā tūranga matua hei kaitiaki.

Ko tētahi atu mahi o nāianei a te AGP ko te whanake-ngātahi i ngā tikanga ā-ture e “whai reo ai te taiao”.  He aha ētahi whai wāhitanga?

Ko ētahi o ngā momo tauira ka whai wāhi pea i konei ko ngā mea pēnei i te whakamana i te whakatangata ā-ture ake o ngā āhuatanga horanuku, pērā i tērā i kitea ake mō Te Urewera (he papa ā-motu i mua) me Te Awa Tupua ( ko te awa o Whanganui i mua).

He whai tikanga nui te whakaaro o ngā tauira kāwanatanga rerekē.  He tauira āu e hoahoa-ngātahitia ana e koe i tēnei wā, ā, kua whakamātauria?

He whānui tonu ngā āhuatanga e whai wāhi atu ana ki ngā tauira kāwanatanga rerekē.  E tūhuratia ana e mātou ngā whakaaro mai i Te Ao Māori mō te whakarite i ngā hononga ki te tangata, ina koa, a te tangata ki te taiao.  E whai ana mātou ki te arotake i ētahi o ngā tauira o nāianei mō te kāwanatanga-ngātahi kua whanaketia mā te tukanga whakatau take Tiriti me ētahi atu horopaki, ā, kua whakaritea e mātou tētahi pūrongo o ngā taputapu pūtea kua hoahoatia hei tautoko i te koioratanga me te whakapoapoa i ētahi tauira rerekē o te kāwanatanga.

He aha ō matapae mō te whakatinanatanga o ēnei tauira kāwanatanga i te anamata?

Me āta aro te whakatinanatanga ki te horopaki ā-takiwā, te taiao ā-takiwā, me ngā hononga ā-takiwā.  Ko tētahi āhuatanga ka whaitake nui pea i roto i te whakatinanatanga ko te whakamana i ngā hapori ā-takiwā ki te whakatinana i tā rātou tūranga hei kaitiaki.

I a tātou e titiro ana ki ētahi tauira kāwanatanga rerekē me ngā tikanga ā-ture mō Aotearoa, tērā anō ētahi tauira o tāwāhi e pīata mai ana, e whai take ana?

Ehara i te mea kei Aotearoa anake ēnei take, nō reira he nui ngā mahi puta noa i te ao e whakauru atu ana ki tēnei tūmomo wāhi ōrite.  I Aotearoa nei, kua waia tātou ki te whakapūnga o ngā whakaritenga mana tūmatawhānui, engari i ngā pūnaha kotahitanga  pēnei i Amerika, Kanata, ā, tae atu pea ki Ahitereiria, e hāneanea ana ki a rātou te whakaaro o ngā ao rerekē o te mana whakahare me te horahora i ngā whakataunga take.  Nā tēnei ka hua mai pea ētahi wāhi mō ngā tauira kanorau, kāwanatanga ā-takiwā hoki.

Ki ōu whakaako ka pēhea te whai o ēnei tauira me ēnei kaupapa here i ngā raru nui pēnei i te urutā KOWHEORI-19 o te wā nei?

Ka urutau pai pea ki te kanorau o ngā matea ka hua mai i tēnei momo raru nui.  I te mea hoki ki te whakamanahia ngā hapori ā-takiwā, ka whai rātou i ngā mahi e hāngai ana ki ō rātou āhuatanga ake, te tiaki i ngā tāngata – arā i kitea tēnei i ngā wāhi arowhai ā-hapori i whakaritea e ētahi rōpū Māori, ā-iwi hoki, ā, i whakahaeretia i te wā e taumaha ana te urutā i Aotearoa.

The Future of Te Tiriti with Dr Carwyn Jones: 29 April at Te Awe Library

What? Te Tiriti: Where to Now?
When? Thursday 29 April, 12:30-1:20pm
Where? Te Awe Library (29B Brandon Street)

As Māmari Stephens points out in her essay “He rangi tā Matawhāiti, he rangi tā Matawhānui”, the 200th anniversary of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi isn’t far off. But what will Aotearoa look like 20 years from now? And how will historians in 2040 judge the developments of the past few decades?

One person who may be able to answer these questions is Dr Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu). Dr Jones is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at Victoria University and the author of New Treaty, New Tradition – Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law and co-editor of Indigenous Peoples and the State: International Perspectives on the Treaty of Watangi. He’s also co-president of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa – The Māori Law Society and co-Editor of the Māori Law Review and AlterNative – an International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.

Dr Jones is involved in another significant project as well. Just over two months ago he joined the Adaptive Governance and Policy team at the BioHeritage Challenge, Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho as co-lead with Dr Maria Bargh. The role is a significant one: to work out how changes to governance and law in New Zealand can help save the country’s environment – before it’s too late.

To find out more, read our interview with Dr Carwyn Jones below!


The Adaptive Governance and Policy (AGP) website mentions a window of opportunity provided by the development of the national Biodiversity Strategy, as well as WAI 262. Could you explain the importance of WAI 262 and the Biodiversity Strategy?

The Biodiversity Strategy provides a key organising framework for developing local and regional biodiversity plans across the next 30 years in Aotearoa. It provides an important vision and ensures that there is a common understanding of where we as a country need to get to in order to protect and enhance biodiversity.

The WAI 262 report, Ko Aotearoa Tēnei, and the whole of government response that is developing, also addresses similar kinds of issues (amongst many others), with a particular focus on Māori participation and the role of mātauranga Māori. The Biodiversity Strategy and WAI 262 both engage directly with questions of environmental governance and policy relating to New Zealand biological heritage.

How could Te Mana o te Taiao – Aotearoa NZ Biodiversity Strategy take the Waitangi Tribunal’s WAI 262 report into account?

One of the central features of the WAI 262 report is the emphasis on Māori communities, including iwi, hapū, and whanau, being able to proactively set out their aspirations for managing the relationship between people and the environment and having transparent mechanisms to ensure that central and local government are accountable for engaging with those aspirations. The report is careful to note that a Tiriti-consistent approach should first seek to empower Māori communities to make decisions that affect their taonga (including aspects of the natural environment) and that where partnership models are required, these must involve Māori participation in decision-making, not merely acting in an advisory capacity to the decision-maker. One of the stated outcomes of Te Mana o te Taiao is that Treaty partners, whānau, hapū, and iwi are exercising their full roles as kaitiaki.

Another current AGP activity is the co-development of legal mechanisms that “give voice to nature”. What would this include?

Some of the kinds of models that might be included here could be things like the recognition of legal personality of landscape features as we have seen with Te Urewera (formerly a national park) and Te Awa Tupua (formerly the Whanganui river).

The idea of alternative governance models is also really interesting. Are there any you’re co-designing at the moment, and have they been scenario tested yet?

There are a whole range of things that contribute to alternative governance models. We’re exploring ideas from Te Ao Māori about organising relationships between people and, particularly, between people and the environment. We’re aiming to evaluate some of the existing models of co-governance that have been developed through the Treaty settlement process and other contexts, and we commissioned a report on financial instruments that are designed to support biodiversity and incentivise different modes of governance.

How do you see these governance models being implemented in the future?

The implementation needs to be sensitive to local context, the local environment, and local relationships. One aspect that is likely to be important in implementation is to empower local communities to exercise their role as kaitiaki.

When looking at different governance models and legal mechanisms for Aotearoa, are there overseas examples that have stood out as potentially useful?

Of course, these issues are not unique to Aotearoa and so there is a lot of work going on around the world that is engaging in this same kind of space. New Zealand tends to have quite a centralised understanding of the organisation of public power, whereas in federal systems such as the USA, Canada, and to some extent even Australia, there is more comfort with the idea of different spheres of authority and diffuse decision-making. That can sometimes create space for diverse and localised governance models.

How do you think these models and policies would approach crises like the current COVID-19 pandemic?

Likely to respond well to the diversity of need that this kind of crisis creates. Generally, if local communities are empowered, they will take steps, appropriate to their local circumstances, to keep people safe – as we saw with some of the community checkpoints that a number of Māori and iwi-based groups established and managed through the height of the pandemic in Aotearoa.