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Trick or Treat with Black Rabbit Books!

Welcome, parents, librarians, book fanatics, writers, and readers of all sorts! You are in for a delightful treat today. Alissa Thielges from Black Rabbit Books is here! Black Rabbit Books has some of the coolest and most unique books around. Even better? They specifically create intriguing books for reluctant and struggling readers. Want to know more about Black Rabbit Books, their imprints, and the books they publish...including the spooky ones? Read on...

Q: Hello, Alissa. Thanks so much for joining me today! First, let me just say, I love Black Rabbit Books. Your books are filled with fun and intriguing content, not to mention incredible graphics, for readers of all ages. Can you share a little bit of insight on BRB's mission for those who may not be familiar?

A: Hello! Thanks for inviting me! I’m excited to share about our company and the awesome books we publish. Black Rabbit Books specializes in hi/lo nonfiction for struggling and reluctant readers. We believe that every kid is a reader—they just haven’t found the right book yet! We like to use humor and infographics to make reading as fun and entertaining as possible to engage kids who may need some extra nudging to pick up a book.

Q: That truly is an amazing mission, Alissa! What can readers expect to see when reading through your books?

A: Tons of graphics and photos with bold, low-level text. We have three imprints:

Bolt is dedicated to meeting struggling readers where they are. This unique brand is redefining publishing for hi/lo/info books. Each nonfiction series offers hot topics for 4th to 6th graders, written at a third-grade level. They are chock-full of infographics that allow kids to work with the text in new ways and appeal to visual learners.

Bolt Jr. takes the same topics as Bolt and levels it down to first grade. These books allow early readers to explore content, including simple graphs and charts, that are created just for them. Young kids can giggle at the fun images while learning to gather context from the text. And, most importantly, Bolt Jr. gives kids the support they need to grow into booklovers.

Hi Jinx books are high-energy, funny, and even a little mischievous. They are perfect for pranksters, do-it-yourselfers, and any kid who doesn't think they like to read. Carefully leveled texts and extreme topics, paired with a healthy dose of humor, make Hi Jinx books a blast to read.

Q: You have a lot of books about monsters in your catalogue. What does BRB look for in monster manuscripts?

A: We like books that have a fun spin on the monster topics. Some of our books share spooky tales or first-person accounts, while others humorously explain how to survive a zombie attack or outsmart a vampire. In nonfiction series, we also want to help kids learn about critical thinking—a great book will challenge a reader to consider all the facts and decide for themselves what to believe. The book may even inspire a kid to begin their own paranormal investigation. For fiction books, humor and a great narrative voice go a long way. We want kids to be swept up in the story and have fun. There might not always be a lesson, but they will enjoy reading it.

Q: Hi/lo books may come across as easy to write, however they are actually pretty challenging. What advice would you give to anyone looking to break into hi/lo writing?

A: Writing at a lower level usually doesn’t come naturally. It’s a skill many have to hone through practice. One mistake I often see new writers make is thinking lower level means fewer words. They try to use short, choppy sentences that have a lot of technical words. However, longer sentences, made up of easy, low-level words kids are familiar with, are going to be much more helpful than a bunch of terms kids don’t already know.

Q: What books/series of yours would you recommend for anyone looking for a spooky and fun story this season?

A: We have so many! For nonfiction, History’s Mysteries is one of my favorite series. It explores real-life events that haven’t been fully explained and uncovers the mysteries surrounding them. Is there a simple explanation, or is something strange going on? I also recommend Spooky Spots for ghost stories around the world.

For fiction, Survival Guides You Didn’t Know You Needed is a great series for kids who like to pretend they are fighting aliens or Bigfoot. For the DIY pranksters, The Disgusting Crafter is a winningly gross combination of mischief and learning through hands-on experiments.

Thanks again for joining today, Alissa! We can't wait to read all these amazing titles!

Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?

A: Black Rabbit Books is offering a terrifying treat to one lucky winner: a copy of Surviving a Zombie Attack! This is perfect for any library, classroom, or home collection.

Wow! Thanks for such a sweet treat!

Contest Details: To enter, follow Black Rabbit Books on Twitter. Also, leave a comment below and tell them which book of theirs you're dying to read (pun totally intended). The winner will be announced on or about November 4th.

*Note: Book giveaways will be shipped in the US only.

Reminder: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes.

About Black Rabbit Books and Alissa Thielges, BRB's Associate Editor:

With a dynamic design featuring bold infographics and vivid images, Black Rabbit Books offers entertaining nonfiction for reluctant readers. Compelling high-interest topics are presented using lively, accessible text—delivered with a dash of mischievous humor—to both engage and delight young readers. Associate editor Alissa Thielges has been editing children’s books for four years and recently joined the Black Rabbit Books team.

To learn more and connect with Black Rabbit Books, visit the below links:

Twitter: @RabBooks

Interested in writing and/or illustrating for Black Rabbit Books? You can check out their guidelines, here.

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CJ Penko
CJ Penko
Oct 26, 2022

The Imaginative Explorer's Guide to the Basement.

I would have picked that up in a second when I was a kid. So cool.


Lauri Meyers
Lauri Meyers
Oct 14, 2022

As an apocalypse fan (fan isn't the word...worrier? lazy prepper? concerned human?) I think Surviving a Zombie Attack sounds like a winner!

Heather Macht
Heather Macht
Oct 14, 2022
Replying to

I agree! How fun is that title?!


As a teacher of littles, I LOVE hearing about publishing companies centered around reluctant and struggling readers. Thank you for taking on this mission in such a fun, engaging way!


Oct 10, 2022

I'm not eligible for the treat. But I've just downloaded your catalogue! Your books look so much fun. And I agree--they are deceptively hard to write!


I can see how kids, reluctant readers or not, would love your books! I would love to read about Haunted Cemeteries!

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