About High Noon Books

High Noon Books was founded in 1981 by John Arena, a pioneer in special education who was an educator and remedial therapist. Like its parent company, Academic Therapy Publications, that he started in 1965, High Noon served to fill a need to bring much desired materials to special populations. High Noon Books are based on the same research associated with the Science of Reading and other effective instructional practices.

High Noon Books cares about the needs of the struggling reader. We enjoy attending conferences and hearing from teachers about the various High Noon series they have used for years. It inspires us to continue to be true to the people that we serve: individuals who are beginning to read English, are reading below reading level, or just need motivating topics to inspire them to read more.

High Noon Books offers a wide variety of opportunities for you, the teacher, to decide what are the most appropriate books for your struggling students and English Language Learners. We encourage you to explore our site and look at the story samples we provide for many of our phonics-based, hi-lo, and high-interest titles.

High Noon Books provides a means to expose and reinforce the most common words in English to at-risk, ELL, struggling readers, and special-ed populations, for the purpose of getting students reading on grade level.

Most English sentences can be formed from just 300 to 1000 English words. By increasing exposure to the most common words (also known as high-frequency words) in English, students increase their chances of learning them, and their ability to read (decode) and comprehend more complex sentences.

It is very important that students develop good reading skills by the time they reach middle school, when the reading material and subject matter gradually increase in complexity.

High Noon Books can serve as a bridge between beginning reading material (picture books and stories with only a few words per page) and standard text (as in a magazine, schoolbook, or trade book).

We offer a broad range of high-interest subjects and formats:

  • Phonics-based chapter books
  • High interest / low reading level (hi-lo) books
  • Short stories that have a low Lexile rating
  • Graphic novels and picture books
  • E-books and hear-and-read audio books

About High Interest / Low Reading Level, or "Hi-Lo" Books

High interest / low reading level books are characterized by the difference between the interest level (most often the age or grade of the reader) and the grade level or reading level in which the story text is written. Many teachers also use Lexile scores to match text with a student's reading level. Lexiles are calculated by measuring sentence length and vocabulary usage.

Hi-Lo books look like a typical book, that is, they are designed to contain illustrations and content that appeals to a struggling reader's age and maturity level. However, they are written at a reading level that is lower than the student's grade level. A lower reading level provides an opportunity for the student to read words he or she is familiar with, while introducing a few new words and terms. In this way the student can read more fluently and therefore increase comprehension. By becoming familiar with the most common 300 to 1000 words used in everyday language, a student should also be able to move on to reading more complex sentences.

We at High Noon Books know that books for struggling readers need to be much more than short sentences and low Lexile scores. Controlled vocabulary, subtle repetition of vocabulary, predictable text and illustrations that truly support the story are all important factors to consider when selecting the proper reading materials for your students.