"Students who find reading a challenge are no different from avid readers in their reading tastes. They want exciting stories with memorable characters. They don’t want boring books with condescending stories. They want “real” literature with themes and conflicts that capture the problems and situations in their own lives, and these books deliver."I totally agree, but the problem is, who will publish these stories in the Caribbean? and the obviously related question - who will buy them? The foreign books are cheaper or are sometimes given to schools free of cost, so there continues to be insufficient books for the hi-low readers "with themes and conflicts that capture the problems and situations in their own lives."
Debbie Jacob http://www.guardian.co.tt/columnist/2012-11-05/novels-written-verse
These books are sometimes produced as part of projects which often have strict guidelines which limit the author to just another text book kind of story.
In the late 80s I was fortunate enough to link into a local UNESCO project which allowed me the freedom to write interesting fiction. These booklets (a little above the hi-low reading stage) were given away and have long been unavailable. They dealt with AIDS (then a fairly new topic for general discussion) Drug Abuse (cocaine and alcohol) and the environment.
Only Juice Box and Scandal ( the environment) was rescued, as a private publisher was allowed to keep it in print.
I don't yet know of any project or 'funder' (still looking) who would just put up money for the publishing of hi-low readers of general interest, allowing an author free rein to write exciting material. (We have to eat and some of us are writing full time.)
I have a few unpublished stories like this. Also I know a few other authors who do. They are sitting in our computers waiting for . . . . .!!
The Internet is not the answer for us either, as wide distribution to OUR children remains a problem.( Lack of computers, electricity and other challenges).