– A Series of 25 Easy to Read Booklets
Many young people and adults with Down syndrome today are skilled readers, while others have to be read for. But they all need stories to relate to, like the rest of us. Stories about themselves. Entertaining stuff that inspire, lead to reflection and put things in order. My son Bendik (29) has Down syndrome, so I know. He is not a great reader. When I a set out to find books that might inspire him to read, the result was depressing. The few books I found were either childish, old fashioned or too simple.
So, being a designer and writer, I decided to create something myself. The result being The Tigers, a series of 24 illustrated and easy-to-read booklets. The series has become immensely popular in Norway and is now being published in Germany. I receive e-mails from readers, teachers, librarians and parents all the time. Finally, they say, we have stories this group can relate to.
Good Stories Touch Hearts and Minds
The main characters in The Tigers are six young adult friends. They all need some assistance in daily life and sometimes fall short when life gets complicated. But there is no mention of any diagnoses in text or illustration.
The stories focus on friends, family, community, love and relationships, quarrels, work, digital and social medias and every day challenges. I want for my readers to discover something about themselves: Feelings, strengths and independence. I want to stimulate their brains and maybe widen their field of interest. And I want them to see that as a whole they are like most young adults – not so different after all.
But above all I want to entertain – because you won’t get anywhere without touching hearts and minds.
What do Customers Say?
Books like these are rare. My pupils cannot wait to read more. Once they get started they are hard to stop. Teacher
The topics are so right, spot on for my pupils. Based on the text they reflect and relate to own lives. Teacher
She (woman, 34) has some books, an likes them. But nothing compares to The Tigers. I think she recognices her own life in these stories. Mother (who reads loud)
My pupil likes it because it’s about young people, like herself. She sees herself in many of the situations. School librarian
Once they see on your website that new booklets are on their way, they can hardly wait. Teacher
These are the Stories so far:
1 Six short stories from childhood and youth introducing the main characters.
2 Tommy is moving out, but is he ready to be on his own? In spite of what his parents say, is not convinced, because he thoroughly dislikes changes.
3 Olly too has moved to his own apartment and with mom away, he enjoys the new freedom: Going to bed at odd times and shopping using his credit card.
4 May is romantic. She wants to have a boyfriend. Tommy wants to be cool, like James Bond – then he would have no problem finding a girl.
5 Scary images from the TV screen frightens Kim. Wars and bombs and refugees. What is a refugee anyway? And does looking foreign mean you are poor and helpless?
6 Tommy and May have fallen in love. But being in a relationship is something new to both of them. It takes time to make it work.
7 The six friends are planning a garden party together. But they all have different ideas about everything from guest list to menu? Working together is not easy.
8 Kim invites his mates over for pancakes. Only problem is he doesn’t know how to make them. But together they solve the problem.
9 Christmas is a only few days away when a mysterious man is spotted lurking around at night – and then a dog is missing.
10 Olly is in his family cabin skiing. But it’s not like before. His sister’s noisy toddlers get all the attention. Then he meets a girl in the slopes.
11 More about Olly and the girl from the slopes. Her name is Lisa, and she loves cats. Olly does not, but he’s afraid to tell her.
12 June loves her grandma and visits her every Monday. But one Monday something dramatic happens. It is not easy to watch a loved one get older and die.
13 An invitation to an island in the north of Norway means fishing, boat life, midnight sun and excitement.
14 Kim hates money – and banks and numbers and counting. But above all he hates coins. So for years he has put them in a glass jar.
15 June is the outspoken one – and sometimes even bossy. Is Kim, the more timid one, able to speak his mind when she gets too bossy?
16 Being in love makes you vulnerable. When Tommy sees May in town with an-other man, he gets jealous. And jealousy hurts.
17 Texting can be fun – and useful. But what if you text something you instantly know is wrong, and regret it? May gets in trouble, and the victim is Lisa.
18 It’s a week before Christmas, and June sees happy families everywhere. She is not happy. Her parents are divorced and she doesn’t know where she belongs any more. Why can’t she have a normal, happy family?
19 Lisa’s ex turns up, and her new boyfriend Olly finds out through a posting on Facebook. Is his relationship in danger?
20 Tommy’s workmate he has a problem: He does not like to shower and change clothes. He stinks! Tommy wants to help, but how?
Will be published autumn 2018:
21 June misses her brother. So when he turns up with a friend, she’s excited. The friend, however, turns out to be more than just a friend…
22 A whale is found dead on a beach, it’s stomach filled with plastic. The ocean seems to be polluted. Does it matter what we do?
23 Winter holiday in a cabin sounded like a good idea. But that was before they discover there were no Internet signals.
24 Lisa has lost her job, and is depressed and angry. But she doesn’t give up, and sets out to find a new one.
25. Ingrid is working in the group home. But now she is pregnant and wants to quit, an announcement that leads to sorrow and horror.