Basic Skills Collection

The Basic Skills Collection is available at Milton Keynes Central, Bletchley and Wolverton Libraries only, unless otherwise stated.


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Avanti are the major supplier and distributor of basic skills materials in the UK. They also publish a range of simply produced 8 page illustrated texts for beginner adult readers.


One of the early fruits of the early Adult literacy movement, from Hulme in Manchester, they proudly say, "Gatehouse is a unique publisher. Our writers are adults who are developing their basic reading and writing skills. Their ideas and experiences make fascinating material for any reader, but are particularly relevant for adults working on their reading and writing skills. The writing strikes a chord – a shared experience of struggling against many odds. The format of the books is clear and uncluttered. The language is familiar and the text is often line-broken, so that each line ends at a natural pause."

(The North Shropshire College)

A series of simple readers set in King Street.

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NEW ISLAND BOOKS (The Open Door Series)

The Open Door series of short novels by leading Irish writers including Roddy Doyle and Marian Keyes. "Ideal for improving your reading skills while at the same time enjoying all the benefits of a good story," says the Avanti catalogue. To quote from their publicity : "The brainchild of bestselling author Patricia Scanlan, these books were originally commissioned to meet the needs of adults learning to read or improve their literacy skills. They have also become hugely popular with a general audience." Hopefully the future of Basic Skills publishing.


All Beginner Readers:

  • Kath Wilcock – Leaving Home
  • Harold Henry Williams – The Bin Men
  • Angela Roscoe – In The Doghouse
  • Sheila Ryan – The Sandals
  • Chris Curley – The Cardigans
  • Marjorie Wells – At the Supermarket
  • Julie Openshaw – Memories of Nana
  • Thomas Campbell – My Mother
  • Charmaine Marrochia – The Kit Kat

All Cool Books:

  • John Tuff – It All Started as a Joke
  • Paul Lloyd – Driven ambition
  • KC - ID Parade


  • Georgina Conway – My New World
  • Margaret Taylor – My Life With Joe
  • Charles Carrington – The Body Builder

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Read your way to better English with the Oxford Bookworms graded readers. We have a selection of these readers shared across Central Library, Bletchley Library, Wolverton Library and Westcroft Library and some include CDs.


We hold a selection of Penguin Graded Readers mainly at Central Library and Bletchley Library. Some of these books come with CDs.


You'll find a large selection of 'Quick Reads' at:

  • Central Library
  • Bletchley Library
  • Westcroft Library
  • Newport Pagnell Library
  • Wolverton Library
  • Stony Stratford Library
  • on the Mobile Library

Big name authors are commissioned by The Reading Agency's Quick Reads to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. They are the same as mainstream books in every respect but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills.


Readwell Road Books are available at Central Library, Bletchley Library, Wolverton Library and the Mobile Library.

Steps Along Readwell Road is a series of books for adult learners working at entry level of the Adult Core Curriculum/Functional Skills.

The 48 stories are presented in 4 steps and range in difficulty. The illustrated text and vocabulary have been carefully structured and each book has suggested activities and word lists for tutors.


Sally McKeon's set of books is aimed at adults who are beginner readers. All her books have large print and black and white illustrations. The stories on average consist of 30-75 words per page. Including the 'Survivors', 'Small Ads' and 'First Steps in Crime' series.

Information last updated June 2015

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Last Updated: 13 May 2020