Skip to main content

HELBLING READERS BLOG

The adventures continue: more Maze Readers for your teen readers

February 16, 2021 by Nora Nagy | 1 comments

There are three great new stories in the Helbling Maze Stories series to engage your teen readers. The books are interactive as readers are invited to choose what happens next and follow different paths until their preferred ending.

In a wider perspective, all reading is interactive in some way. Little children expand their knowledge of language through pointing at objects, repeating words and going back and forth through the books they are reading with their parents. Language learners are in permanent interaction with the texts they read: they look for clues, they highlight phrases they like and would like to remember, and they try to summarize the plot for themselves. Experienced readers are in conversation with the books they read: they comment on the paragraphs (often not only in their minds but also in the margins), they predict what might happen next, and they might feel like rewriting the plot sometimes.

All these reading skills need to be developed in students so that they can become experienced readers who feel confident to ask questions about a text and make comments on it. This will allow them to form a critical opinion of the books they are reading. Through reading an interactive book, such as one of the Maze Stories, which openly invites them to engage with the story on many levels, the students begin to develop these skills. Let’s see how...

What are Maze Readers?

The Maze Readers are three exciting adventure mini-series written by Gavin Biggs. There are three titles in each series. The following titles have been published so far:

​​​​

In each book, the reader can influence what the characters do and what befalls them by choosing what happens next in the story.


How can the students influence the story?

We often wish we could decide what happens next in a story. In these books, students are gradually introduced to the idea of making choices as they read. Each chapter opens with a question, ‘Guess! What happens next?’. This gets the students thinking about what they know so far and interacting with the plot elements and chapter titles. Then, at critical points in the plot development, the students are asked: Their choices will send them in different directions in the story. These choices result in three different endings for each story. 
 

How can your students benefit from this interactive approach?

By being able to make suppositions and decisions, students feel more engaged and they experience a new way of reading a story. Of course this level of excitement does not necessarily surpass the curiosity they feel when reading a linear story. This reading experience simply provides more choices and shows them that different types of texts exist. 

Students will also have a lot to discuss with their classmates. They can discuss what ending each of them arrived at and what choices they made along the way. This is a great opportunity for oral-based follow-up lessons after reading at home or in class.


What are the books about?

If you are interested in the structure of the books and the plot of the first three titles, please check out our post Over to you! Maze adventures readers for the English classroom

Read about the three latest additions below.

The Tiger’s Tail

  • The Secret Statues Books
  • Level 1 / CEFR A1
  • Illustrated by Elisa Bellotti

When Violet arrives at the Golden Zoo orphanage, she is happy to have a new family. She becomes friends with another new girl, Babs, and they explore the Golden Zoo together. But soon Violet begins to realise that something is wrong. Is there a tiger in the garden? Why are the teachers so strange? And who is the boy in the prison at the bottom of the stairs? Can Violet escape from the Golden Zoo?

 

The Spelling Bee

  • School of Labyrinth Books
  • Level 1 / CEFR A1
  • Illustrated by Giovanni Abeille

Onur and five other children come to the School of Labyrinth to take part in its famous Spelling Bee competition. The winner can wish for whatever they want and Onur wants special medicine for her sick brother. What do the other children want to win? What tests do they have to do and what happens when they fail? And most importantly, who wins the School of Labyrinth Spelling Bee?

 

The Blue Egg

  • The House of Heroes Books
  • Level 1 / CEFR A1
  • Illustrated by Elisa Bellotti

In 1880, Tom, a poor street child, steals a pie and runs away from an angry policeman. He opens a door at the end of an alleyway and finds himself in the House of Heroes. There he meets Alba and his white owl, Tyto. Alba tells Tom that he can stay, but first, he must  help Alba find a special crystal. Join Tom as he travels through time to look for the crystal and the magical Blue Egg.

 

Read more about interactive storytelling

There are many different types of interactive storytelling, some of which might inspire you to set up some reading projects in your classes. Read our post dedicated to this type of storytelling.

 

Blog Comments

Submitted by cristina (not verified) on Wed, 03/03/2021 - 11:29
maze
very interesting and fun series!

Add new comment*

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
* Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. It will go online as soon as one of our administrators has checked it. Comments which are considered by the project team to be harassing or otherwise inappropriate, may not be published.