Do you have to be a teacher to order books? No, many parents order books for their children to read at home. Our online ordering system now makes that easy. Simply click on a flag at the top of the main page.
How long does it take to receive books that are ordered? Our Buffalo warehouse can fulfill American orders in 3 to 5 days. Please fax or phone your order for fastest service. Unfortunately, shipping in Canada is somewhat slower. Canadian orders are handled by the TTS warehouse in Aurora, Ontario. Orders are shipped by Canpar or Canada Post, depending on their size.
Can my school order if we don’t have a school credit card?
Of course. Don't use the online ordering system, but download the PDF order form. Simply mark your school, board or district purchase order number and we’ll bill when the books are shipped.
What if I placed an order and haven't received my books yet. If you've waited more than a week, best to call Dina at the Buffalo warehouse directly at 716 446 1316 or send an email to email@example.com.
What if I order a book that doesn't work for my students? Drop us an email to explain the situation, then mail the book cover back and we'll send you a title or two that might work better.
Do you ship your books outside of North America? Yes. We have shipped our books to Germany, China, Denmark, Italy, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – often for use in English language classes. In Australia, our books are sold directly by INT Books. In England and Ireland, our books are adapted and sold by Robinswood Press. Soon our books will be available in Sweden, too.
What if I’d like only a sample copy? Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) which describes your classroom situation. We’ll send an appropriate book for you to evaluate along with a copy of our catalog.
About the books:
Why do you specialize in books for reluctant readers?
Our lead author and editor, Paul Kropp, began his teaching career working with teenagers who had difficulty reading. He has spent many years since then teaching and developing materials for struggling readers. Paul Kropp developed the first Canadian series of novels for reluctant readers almost thirty years ago, and now brings this expertise to HIP Books. Few, if any, other publishers maintain the rigorous editorial control that ensures our HIP books are consistently easy to read and engaging for the reader.
What are the differences between HIP Edge, HIP Sr. and HIP Jr. novels?
HIP Edge is strictly for high school readers. The situations are too difficult, too violent, too scary, or too edgy for younger readers. HIP Jr., on the other hand, is strictly for middle school. There is no real violence, no romance, no death or serious injury, just action and adventure. The 24 HIP Sr. novels are useful at many grade levels from junior high through the end of high school with teenage characters dealing with realistic situations. Our new HIP Xtreme novels concentrate on high-action stories where young people have to deal with life-threatening situations.
Why do you have illustrations in your novels?
We ordinarily have a full-page or half-page illustration for each chapter in the novel. Why? Because research has shown that the weakest reading subskill of reluctant readers is visualization. The illustration helps to overcome this problem.
But don't the illustrations make the book look childish?
Our readers don't think so. Until the 1920s, virtually all novels were illustrated. We find it ironic that the same people who criticize us for having illustrations often tout graphic novels as the solution for enticing reluctant readers. We think the verdict is still out on whether graphic novels actually lead to reading improvement, but we know that our illustrations help readers in comprehension (and they also make our relatively short novels - especially our HIP JR. books - seem longer than they are).
Are HIP novels good reading for students reading above grade level?
Absolutely. For recreational reading, most readers (adults as well as students) prefer texts that are easy to read and understand. Because the themes in these novels focus on issues of interest to teens and pre-teens, students at all stages of reading development enjoy reading them.
Are all of the novels "appropriate" for school use?
Of course. There is no swearing or profanity, though we occasionally permit expressions such as “sheesh” and sometimes use a _____ when a teenage character would obviously want to swear. Of course, teachers will want to screen the novels first - especially the HIP Edge novels - to ensure that they are comfortable addressing some of the issues-based themes such as gang violence, prison breaks or the supernatural.
Are your novels listed by Accelerated Reader? Yes, click on the AR link in the upper right area for a list of the available quizzes.
Why are you now listing Lexile levels? More and more American school districts are using the Lexile program, and now Barnes and Noble is Lexiling its entire catalog. We think that HIP reading levels are more reliable than Lexile scores for reluctant readers, but we've Lexiled all our titles as a convenience.
Why do you have a separate teacher's guide for each novel? Because each novel is different. When Lori Jamison prepares the TG, she can pre-think the best ways to introduce the book, divide the story up into manageable sections, and create activities during reading and after reading. It takes her weeks to do this for each book, but the resulting teacher's guide makes teaching (or doing literature circles) that much easier. Incidentally, we've grouped the two fantasy series into a single teachers' guide for each because we think these books are usually used as a group.
Why are so many of your books similar in structure and form?
Among the supports we deliberately provide for struggling readers is consistency in story structure. Research tells us that using text structure is a key reading strategy. When students read familiar structures, they are able to predict and engage more with the text. When literary devices such as foreshadowing or flashback are used in HIP novels, they are noted in the teacher`s guide so the teacher can provide additional support for the readers.
Why don’t you do more funny books like One Crazy Night or Winner?
Humor often doesn’t work very well for reluctant readers. Because their reading rate is typically half that of average speech, a “joke” tends to get lost in the time it takes to read it. Sometimes a situational pratfall will be successful, or the occasional joke made by a character, but our testing has shown that reluctant readers prefer action-adventure stories.
Why do so many of your books feature teenage problems?
We feel that hi/lo books should offer some intellectual substance for discussion by students. Just because a student may be a struggling reader doesn’t mean he or she can’t tackle big issues and moral questions. We like to focus on the issues that have meaning for middle school and teenage kids. Just because our books are written simply doesn’t mean that we ever “talk down” to students.