How the Scheme is Built

How the Books are Written

Maverick Early Readers are written by a team of talented authors to a unique set of guidelines tailored for Maverick’s reading scheme.  All colour bands are checked by the Institute of Education before publication.  To encourage those still new to reading, the earlier bands are written using the phonemes and graphemes covered in the relevant ‘Letters and Sounds’ phases.  The vocabulary used in the books is natural English, focusing on enjoyable stories to inspire the next generation of readers.  More information on the structure of each band can be found on each of their individual pages.

Consulting with Experts

Catherine Baker

Catherine Baker

Along with a team of talented authors and editors, Maverick work with a top educational consultant, Catherine Baker, who has worked in educational publishing for 25 years. Catherine has detailed knowledge of the UK primary educational system and curriculum, with a particular interest in the teaching of reading and literacy. She also has experience working on international publishing projects, developing resources for the US, Australian, Bahraini markets, and for International schools.

Institute of Education, UK

Institute of Education, UK

The Institute of Education is the home of the Book Banding scheme, which first emerged in 1998. It started with the publication of 'Book Bands for Guided Reading' by Suzanne Baker and Shirley Bickler. Suzanne, has worked as a consultant for Maverick books meaning that all the book bands for the early readers can be ratified before even going to print.

Colour Bands

The colour banding system allows an emerging reader to track their progression through the reading levels.  Each book is assigned a colour band according to a comprehensive list of criteria.  By levelling books in this way it establishes a solid base for those learning to read.  This is one of the most popular forms of levelling in the UK and is recognised by most schools and libraries.

The colour bands used in the Maverick Early Reader Scheme are as follows:
Pink, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange, Turquoise, Purple, Gold, White etc
(You will find information on the structure of each colour band on each individual book page on this website.)

How do Maverick Early Readers Differ?

Maverick Publishing has developed their readers with a huge amount of care, making sure that each book fits the banding criteria before they even go to publication.  This has meant that each book can be branded with the colour bands – an almost unique approach to marketing, which has proved popular with the schools and library market.

Due to the strict criteria for phonics and language some early readers focus more on the structure of the language rather than the stories.  Maverick Early Readers aim to use natural English, so that the text flows without forcing certain phonics into a sentence.  The early readers do explore phonics but in a subtle way that does not overwhelm the story. The earlier bands also use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ structure, details of which can be found from the Government website.  

Guided Reading

The Maverick Early Reader scheme is for ‘guided reading’ which means that they are aimed at an adult working with an individual child as they develop their reading.



For someone learning to read English, when it is not their primary language, following the words and the pronounciation can be difficult, particularly at the early stages of learning to read.  Therefore Maverick Publishing has created some resources to allow a child to follow the stories through audio.  Although there is a physical representation of the text in the form of a video, the bigger focus is on the audio and the child following the story from the book itself.  To find out more about the audio, please visit the resources page