Accessible Classic Literature for Middle-School

Accessible classic literature for middle-school readers? Poe Illustrated will fill that bill. This Edgar Allan Poe collection is available now. It was published on November 15, 2021. It includes three illustrated Poe stories - our previously published Thou Art the Man and Hop-Frog, plus a new Adapted Classics title - The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether.

What makes Literature Accessible?

We know many middle school students like reading classic literature just as originally written and presented. But we also know that many readers in this age group reject this type of reading matter for personal enjoyment. And, for that matter, they would prefer to reject it as a classroom assignment. Therefore, we publish illustrated classic literature with this latter group of readers in mind.

What makes for accessible classic literature? First and foremost, who doesn't like to look at illustrations executed with surpassing skill and imagination? That's exactly what Marc Johnson-Pencook brings to our adapted classic stories. You'll see six of his illustrations from various stories on our Look & See page. Poe Illustrated includes 49 illustrations like these.

Secondly, short is accessible. As an introduction to classic literature, short stories are the best approach for the audience we focus on. Long classic novels usually seem too daunting for young readers to try. Likewise, at first, they often seem too daunting for adults.

Finally, classic literature usually requires some language modification to make it accessible for middle school readers. We deeply respect the authors who created the stories we adapt. Consequently, we only lightly touch-up their prose, mostly to simplify it. But also to modernize it. We are proud that Voya Magazine rated our Adapted Classics collection as Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers.