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The best nonfiction for beginning and reluctant readers

Get to know Bellwether’s flock of imprints
Our mission is to create lifelong readers through an innovative nonfiction library. All of our books are carefully designed to spark curiosity and promote valuable literacy skills in beginning and reluctant readers. Through our high-interest subjects, industry-leading design, and compelling narratives, all of our imprints stand out from the rest of the flock. 

Blastoff! Readers is a carefully leveled imprint designed to guide beginning readers through each stage of their journey toward literary fluency. Each of the five increasingly challenging levels is uniquely designed to build new literacy skills. With Blastoff! Readers, matching the right book to the right reader is as easy as 1-2-3.


  • Colorfully and consistently designed across all five reading levels
  • Bonus content delivered through informative and fun special features
  • Compare/contrast learning opportunities available within and across titles
  • Introduces beginning readers to basic literacy skills and concepts

Pilot offers just enough guidance to ensure a smooth solo flight for fluent readers. This imprint is engineered for readers who exhibit basic literacy skills and are ready to recreationally explore content. Pilot puts students in the cockpit, and gives them control over their own reading experience.


  • Engaging content provided in an accessible format for newly fluent readers
  • Many high-interest subjects to choose from, each with a fun, recreational feel
  • Layouts designed for self-exploration and discovery

Torque thrusts students into the action-packed world of sports, vehicles, and adventure. Extreme high-interest subjects are paired with low reading levels to motivate and excite reluctant readers. Colorful and thoughtfully designed, Torque books help struggling readers achieve top speeds while reaching new heights.


  • Mature look and feel appeals to older reluctant readers
  • Dramatic narrative openings spark interest
  • Exciting hi-lo subjects delivered at a third-grade grade reading level

Epic pairs ultra high-interest content with low reading levels to inspire students reading well behind their peers. This imprint features eye-popping photos, diagrams, and infographics. Epic books are designed to grab – and hold – the attention of struggling readers.


  • Ultra high-interest subjects and vivid photography selected for maximum appeal to upper-level elementary students
  • Riveting layouts provide helpful tables, labels, and infographics 
  • Considerate text stimulates and encourages students reading two to four grades below instructional level 

Black Sheep is perfect for students craving action, adventure, and knowledge in a different format. These graphic novels present high-interest, leveled content through incredible layouts, illustrations, and narrative dialogue. With Black Sheep graphic novels, reluctant readers are encouraged to stand out from the pack—in a good way.


  • Colorful graphic illustrations leap off the page
  • Dramatic and exciting narratives build suspense and spark curiosity 
  • Interactive text delivered in different formats that will demand reluctant readers’ attention

Express! builds better readers by guiding them step-by-step through the maker space. Easy-to-follow procedural instructions and do-it-yourself subjects enable growing readers to learn and experience at the same time. This imprint inspires readers to become makers while teaching them valuable reading comprehension skills.


  • Procedural text walks readers through the processes of making cool things
  • Step-by-step instructions make it easy to follow along 
  • Demonstrative photos and illustrations provide extra guidance
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