Barrington Stoke was founded by Patience Thomson and Lucy Juckes, a mother and daughter-in-law team with personal experience of the way that dyslexia can lock children out of the world of books and reading. Together they came up with the idea of books that would open the door to more young people and Barrington Stoke was born. They developed a dyslexia-friendly font, pioneered the use of tinted paper and began to commission short, achievable books from an amazing range of authors including Michael Morpurgo and Malorie Blackman.
Almost twenty years on we’re still flying the flag for super-readable books and we firmly believe that the publishing industry does not engage enough with questions of accessibility when it comes to text. Black writing on navy backgrounds, picture book text zooming all over the page and huge thumping novels written (really) with adults in mind are commonplace today. Technological advances have made books less accessible, overall, not more.
We’re here for the children with dyslexia who struggle with bright white or see-through paper. We’re here for those who haven’t built up the reading stamina yet to manage complex language structures and non-linear plots. And of course we’re here for the kids who love their Playstation, their friends or football more than reading and really don’t want to sit down to seven hundred pages. Sometimes we don’t want to either.
Our books have won many awards over the years, and we have also won many awards as a company, including the Children’s Publisher of the Year at the IPG awards, where judges praised our ‘outstanding commitment to children who have dyslexia or find reading difficult’.