About Rainbow Reading

  • Improving reading dramatically in the UK since 1998.

    The Rainbow Reading Programme is designed to present students with a variety of topics, authors, styles, and illustrations to make reading interesting while skills are improved. Each story or article has been carefully researched and selected because of its educational value and attraction to a wide range of students.

    Books are levelled, colour-coded, and accompanied by specially recorded audio on the magical reading pen or as MP3 files. The audio provides support and a good example for readers to emulate. A comprehensive Teacher’s Manual and Training video ensure that this simple, yet effective programme (which incorporates repeated readings) can be easily implemented - often by Teacher Aides.

    Assessment sheets feature the titles of the books presented for teachers to take Running Records to monitor progress. Cloze (Text Completion), Text Sequencing, Word Search, Writing and Dice Game sheets provide meaningful text-related activities.

  • The Rainbow Reading Programme (and recently New Heights) has been developed, thoroughly researched and trialled by qualified reading specialists in New Zealand. It has been enthusiastically accepted by teachers and students worldwide through distributors in N.Z, Australia, U.K, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.

    The Rainbow Reading Programme is non-threatening, supportive, interesting, enjoyable, economical, easy to implement and effective at improving reading skills. Students make gains of 12 months in reading level every 10 weeks of: half an hour of practice, 5 times a week. Guaranteed.

    Explore Catalogue

    Looking for a guide to what reading level to select?

    Please see below here.

  • Meryl-Lynn Pluck (the founder of Rainbow Reading) was a Resource Teacher of Reading in her home of Nelson when she became a reluctant publisher – she loved teaching but knew little about publishing.

    After training under Marie Clay, she had learned in depth about Reading Recovery and how older students slipped behind their peers in reading. Meryl-Lynn trialled and refined the pedagogy for Rainbow Reading over many years of teaching. “I witnessed just how effective it was at lifting the reading skills of struggling readers, with average gains of 12 months in reading level after just 10 weeks of 30 minutes daily practice. So, I really wanted to make it available for students nationwide. Naively I thought I could publish part time and continue teaching!”

    Establishing Rainbow Reading was a major undertaking, but this family run business is now celebrating its 30-year anniversary, with 87 percent of all New Zealand schools using her programmes.

    With the burgeoning success in New Zealand and enquiries from overseas, Rainbow Reading now sells via distributors in Australia, UK, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and the US. The latest series is called New Heights.

    Rainbow Reading gets content from over 60 authors, including well-known names like Diana Noonan, Jillian Sullivan and David Hill. They also commission illustrators and photographers to illustrate their titles. Sound content is professionally voiced, now in MP3 and on the “magic” pen.
  • “We started with just six books and audiotapes at each of three levels, a Training video and a Teacher’s Manual. As they became more popular, we introduced more titles and further levels. Today we have 450 titles.”

    Meryl-Lynn Pluck - Founder of Rainbow Reading

    Meryl-Lynn passed away in 2019 in her family home in Nelson. Despite having low energy levels from having cancer and chemotherapy treatment, she continued to produce resources up until her final weeks. Now, her family continues her legacy.

    Meryl-Lynn’s husband, David and children, Daniel and Michaela now run Rainbow Reading with support staff and reps around the world.

    View Customer Testimonials
  • The diagram below may help, otherwise...

    Another way is to:
    A) Take the reading level your pupil is currently at.
    B) Work out what age (in years old) that level would apply to a pupil who was reading at their expected level for their correct age.
    That (or one above if too easy) is their Rainbow Reading or New Heights level.

  • For example...

    If your pupil is currently reading at the expected reading level of a 6 year old...

    You would select Rainbow, New Heights or Selections Red (6-7 year old reading level).
    If this was too easy (not "instructional"), you would select Orange (7-8 year old reading level).


    “My tutees love Rainbow Reading as they can access the books independently. I love Rainbow Reading as my tutees make great progress with their reading.”

    Liz Tromans | Centre Director at Kip McGrath, Saddleworth


    “The progress achieved by the pupils using the resources made a substantial contribution to the excellent Ofsted report gained subsequently by the school. This would have been a different story without the use of the resources.”

    Clare Campbell | Head Teacher, St Charles' RC Primary School, Swinton


    “Having experienced the success achieved by pupils using the Rainbow Reading programme, the school‘s Senior Management Team decided to purchase a full set of Rainbow Reading resources. Pupils at the school continue to use the programme and enjoy the benefits of their improved reading skills.”

    Caerphilly County Borough Council Advisory Teacher’s Team