Our Series

3, 2, 1 Go!

A series of powerful and dramatic first-person, second-by-second accounts of jaw-droppingly exciting sports, stunts and missions.

321 Go! takes readers right to the heart of the action. With detailed yet simple descriptions (in speech bubble format) and superb full-colour photography, readers will discover what it’s really like to pull off a death-defying stunt, launch into space or experience a nine-second drag race.


The books are carefully designed with appropriate fonts, lower case text, speech bubbles and captions to make them accessible to students with a lower reading age.

Now AR quizzed, with attractively low AR levels.

Accelerated Reader Packs

Carefully selected packs of titles at specific Accelerated Reader book levels. Perfect for filling gaps in your library.

Boffin Boy

One of Ransom's best-selling series, Boffin Boy is great for getting boys reading. These books are action-packed comic-style page turners, with plenty of humour.

The 'manga' style is really popular with reluctant and struggling readers. These books are carefully designed with good fonts, lower case text, speech bubbles and captions to make them accessible to students with a lower reading age.

  1. Comic format to engage reluctant readers
  2. Simple layouts and carefully levelled texts
  3. Fantastic, striking illustrations
  4. Selected by the Book Trust five years in a row
  5. One of the Times 'Top 100 books for boys'


The reading books are supported by photocopiable workbooks containing worksheets specific to each title, plus detailed teacher's notes and resources for readers to create their own Boffin Boy stories.

Series Contents

  1. 18 reading books
  2. 6 workbooks

Series Reviews

Boffin Boy is excellent because the characters are fun, especially Wu Pee, and the tasks we have to do are great – they make me feel like I'm part of the story.

- Boffin Boyz Reading Group Member, Holy Trinity Primary School, London

Very imaginative, and the pictures help you understand the story. They don’t have heaps of writing so it is easy to understand.

- Maddy. Age 11, Chiltern Tutorial School

Book Band Packs

Carefully selected packs of titles at specific Book Bands. Perfect for filling gaps in your library.


A brand-new series featuring strong, modern adventure stories for boys and girls.

Perfect for readers who have gained a bit more confidence in reading and who are after a more challenging read, but who aren’t yet ready for full-length novels.

Features titles by popular authors such as John Townsend, Fanie Viljoen and Jill Atkins.

Cold Fusion

A new series that caters for the interests of the more able – but not necessarily keen – reader; children who find that the run of the mill books available for their age group are just not stimulating enough.

Each of the books in the Cold Fusion series tackles a compelling topic in a way that is more demanding than the average book for 9 to 12 year-olds. The series includes both fiction and non-fiction, but in all cases the reader will be stretched with stimulating ideas.

The books in this series are not necessarily very long reads; more able readers do not always want to read ‘doorstops’. Rather it is the content of these books and the vocabulary used that is more demanding.

Cutting Edge

A gritty ‘quick read’ series for young adults who find conventional fiction irrelevant to them or too hard to read. The series takes an honest and hard-hitting approach to subject matter that many teens will identify with, such as self-harm, family breakdown, suicide and sexuality.

At between 22,000 to 39,000 words in each book, these books are shorter than your average novel, but they don't look like it. The clear, carefully chosen font is slightly larger than normal and paragraphs are separated with spaces.

Please be aware that these books do cover tough topics (although always in a responsible way).

Dark Man

The Dark Man books are a phenomenon. This is by far the most successful series of books for engaging older, very reluctant readers. It’s been acclaimed around the world and has acquired a well-deserved reputation for succeeding where other series have failed.


There are now 30 books in the series (plus accompanying workbooks), offering progression from a very low starting level (just 200 words a book to begin with). Dark Man offers older readers strong, atmospheric storylines combined with powerful black and white illustrations.

  1. Short, focused texts accompanied by sinister, atmospheric illustrations
  2. The stories hint at horror but have no difficult content
  3. Easy-to-read but ‘grown-up’ font, increasing the ‘cool’ factor
  4. Consistently voted into the top ten ‘What Kids Are Reading’ polls, carried out by Dundee University
  5. Sets 1 and 2 are lower level reads; Sets 3 and 4 are higher level, offering progression
  6. Six plays allow readers with different abilities to work together, taking on appropriate roles
  7. Winner of an Educational Resources Award.


Meet Feely, or Phoebe Dorcas Tonks (her full name). She’s clever and honest – but she also seems to be permanently annoyed with the world.

Written by Barbara Catchpole, author of the hugely successful Pig series, these are fresh, inventive stories, written in a first-person diary format. Hilariously funny and ideal for girls who are not in the habit of reading.


Winner of the 2016 Primary Teacher Awards Books and Publications category.


Exciting action-packed stories that will appeal to particularly to girls aged 8 to 12.

Meet Liv, Kelly, Eve, Charlotte and Yaz. They are GirlFriendZ – the number one band in the world. But now the evil Zargons are in control. Their MIB (Music is Banned) agents are hunting down musicians, wiping their minds and destroying their instruments. This is like stealing a music-lover's soul!


The girls go on the run, determined to keep music alive by playing secret gigs for their fans. Using music as a weapon against the MIB agents, can they stay one step ahead of their enemy?

The stories are best read in order, although this isn't essential.


One of Ransom's most succesful high interest age, low reading age reading programmes, Goal! is ideal for children who are struggling to develop the basics of reading and who need structured, systematic synthetic phonics-based reading books with a higher-interest age.

  1. 48 fiction and non-fiction titles, covering a wide variety of football-related topics and stories
  2. Popular, achievable reads
  3. Includes books written by leading professional football players (both male and female)
  4. Fully compatible with any synthetic phonics teaching programme. The books can be used individually or as a reading scheme, either on their own or in conjunction with other schemes
  5. Highly effective, structured approach for reluctant readers
  6. Proven results in motivating those readers who have never got to grips with conventional reading schemes


The Goal! programme follows the UK Government's Letters and Sounds phonics scheme and offers structured progression over five levels:

  1. Level 1 of Goal follows Letters and Sounds Phase 1 (no words)
  2. Level 2 follows Letters and Sounds Phase 2
  3. Level 3 follows Letters and Sounds Phase 3
  4. Level 4 follows Letters and Sounds Phase 4
  5. Level 5 follows Letters and Sounds Phase 5.

Hairy Mole

Four very funny stories for newly independent readers, all featuring Hairy Mole and his pirate crew: Guff, Belch, Pickle, the twins Crevice and Pit – and of course Mr. Bogey, with his extra squeaky voice and stubble you could grate cheese on. (Not to mention his cricket bat for a leg.)

The playful layouts offer a reduced amount of text on each page – perfect also for reluctant readers.


The Microwave Shakespeare

Nine Shakespeare plays, each in an easily digestible form. Each play is retold as a straightforward, pacey narrative in chapter-book format, in the present tense. Each book includes introductions to the key characters and their important relationships in the play.

  1. Includes information about the time and place where each play is set
  2. The texts are useful summaries of the plays, but are also a rewarding read in their own right
  3. The texts use familiar, contemporary language
  4. Includes quotations from the original text, where appropriate
  5. Helpful illustrations guide the reader through the play

These books are perfect for reluctant and struggling readers who need a good understanding of the play, but who would struggle with the original text.


On the Ball

Follow schoolboy Ben and his adventures in the school football team, from always being the last player to be picked to winning the championship.

Carefully written as levelled, book-banded readers, the books are aimed at readers aged 7–9. The books are designed as a set and the stories do need to be read in order.


These are ideal readers, specifically written for the White Book Band level. Featuring well-written texts, with good sentence structures, strong narratives and a carefully chosen font, selected to support less confident readers. Illustrated throughout with black and white line drawings. The books are written by Frances Mackay, a highly experienced ex-teacher, Ofsted inspector and author.


Meet Peter Ian Green – PIG for short.

All his friends and family call him Pig. Even the teachers. Pig is 12 and is small for his age. He has sticky-out ears and bright red hair which is also sticky up. He attends Coalpits Road High School (or ‘The Pits’ as it is known locally) and lives with his mum. Pig is small for his age, but says his mum is huge for hers. She is a single mum, but Pig says she looks more like a double mum or even a treble mum.


One of Ransom’s best-selling series, these are affectionate but hilariously funny page-turners, written in ‘handwritten’ first-person diary format. They will appeal to all readers who have experienced being a child in a world that is sometimes a bit too big for them.

There are 18 reading books altogether. They are best read in sequence, but this isn't strictly necessary.

Quick wins for struggling readers!

Professional Development in Literacy

A range of incredibly practical, hands-on books for everyone working in literacy – teachers, librarians, advisers, parents and specialists of all sorts.

Each book in the series focuses on a key literacy topic, with an emphasis on providing practical suggestions that can be implemented in the classroom.

Recognising that busy professionals do not always have time to read a book from beginning to end, these books are designed to be rewarding (and easy!) to dip into and browse for fresh ideas and perspectives.


Each subject is covered in two ways: first with a broad overview of the topic, followed by practical activity suggestions that can be used to engage the children.

An essential part of every professional's (and parent's) toolkit, these are books you will come back to time and time again.


A series of uplifting, funny, warm, romantic,contemporary reads from some great authors. The stories feature everyday life, friendship and love from a wide range of perspectives and cultures.

Authors include: Jo Cotterill, Miriam Halahmy, Rosemary Hayes, Kathryn White, Sue Purkiss, Anne Rooney and Barbara Catchpole.

The low-level, short texts are ideal for less able girl readers.


Say goodbye to 'misery lit' with these heartwarming reads!

Ransom Reading Stars

Designed and developed specifically for the new 2015 literacy curriculum

A fresh contemporary new reading programme from literacy specialist Ransom Publishing.

Launched in 2014, this fantastic new series provides a modern, structured range of beautifully illustrated fiction and non-fiction titles that all children will find engaging and enjoyable to read.

The series starts with simple phonics-based texts and progresses through multiple levels to a broad range of more complex stories, text types and topics.



Reluctant Teenage Fiction

This range of teenage fiction for reluctant readers brings you some of the best writing from authors around the world.

Ransom is well known for its superb range of titles designed to engage and encourage reluctant readers, and we are now taking the opportunity to build on our strong programme with a growing list of shorter fiction for reluctant teens.

Shades 2.0

This series offers fast-paced, shorter novels (just 64 pages each) for older readers who may find longer books too daunting but who still want the excitement of a great story told with pace and style.

There are 76 books available in this series.
  1. 15 brand-new Shades 2.0 titles, called Fresh Shades, each offering a full 64-page, 6,000-word story.
  2. 30 Shades 2.0 titles, each offering a full 64 page, 6,000 word story. These 30 titles are a welcome relaunch of much-loved titles that had sadly become unavailable. For this relaunch the stories have been updated and revised by the authors.
  3. 15 Sharp Shades 2.0 books, containing the same stories as the 15 Fresh Shades titles, but these are shorter versions (only 3,000 words) and use simpler language. These books are still 64 pages in extent, but are illustrated and also feature a larger font. This makes them ideal for less able readers.
  4. 12 further Sharp Shades 2.0 books, again with shorter (only 3,000 words) stories and using simpler language. These 12 titles are a welcome relaunch of much-loved titles that had sadly become unavailable. For this relaunch the stories have been updated and revised by the authors..
  5. Four Shades 2.0 Shorts, each based upon a theme. Each book features four short (1,500-word) stories, written by a Shades author. Perfect for readers with less stamina or those simply looking for a quick read.
Authors who have contributed to this series include Jill Atkins, John Townsend, Anne Cassidy, Gillian Philip, Malcolm Rose and Jo Cotterill.



Siti's Sisters

A series of fast-moving, perfectly pitched stories about a group of girls who call themselves ‘The Sisters’. These popular stories cover all sorts of real-life issues that readers will eagerly relate to. Written by Helen Orme, an experienced author with a real understanding of girls at this age.

Illustrated with contemporary black and white illustrations throughout, each fast-moving story offers simple sentences, controlled vocabulary and low word counts.

Sets 1 and 2 are at the same level. Set 3 is for slightly older readers (12+) and Set 4 for slightly younger readers (9+).


Spook Squad

The Spook Squad are Roxy, Leena, Nita, Emma and (whether they want him or not) Rattle the poltergeist.

The four girls are as bright and sparky as a fire in a fireworks factory. And they have a job to do: to protect humans from ghouls, ghosts, long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night.

So, on dark and stormy nights, when the vampires are being a pain in the neck and hairy horrors are on the prowl, the Spook Squad goes into action.

A gripping series selected for the Book Trust's Bookbuzz list.



A series of fast-paced, high-action, no gimmicks space adventures featuring carefully controlled vocabulary and simple sentence structures.

The books feature superb illustrations that combine classic science fiction with a modern Manga twist. The exciting plots (a bit like 'The A Team' in space) and entertaining characters ensure these are classic, simple and rewarding reads for reluctant and struggling readers.



By Cathy West

A series with strong appeal to girl and boy readers who love the performing arts. Gorgeous photos and colour illustrations combined with accessible texts make these great reads that will capture the imagination. Each book features a non-fiction section and a fiction story in each book.


Steve Sharp

Meet Steve Sharp – an Afro-Caribbean detective trying to do the right thing in the tough world of gangsters and organised crime.

These stories are a low-level, fresh update of the traditional ‘hard-boiled’ tough detective fiction of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. The texts are based around recognized high frequency vocabulary and emphasis has been placed on making the texts phonetically decodable wherever possible.

The books are designed to be read in sequence and the very low AR levels make them particularly attractive for older struggling readers.



This series is ideal for developing both reading skills and awareness of personal, social and health education (PSHE) topics.

Each short story raises some tricky issues for discussion. Questions and discussion points at the back of each book allow topics to be covered in a 20-minute session.

The edgy black and white photography and gripping high interest stories make for successful engagement with struggling readers.


The Outer Reaches

From the award-winning author Malcolm Rose.

The Outer Reaches introduces you to a world inhabited by two distinct humanoid species: majors (the majority) and outers. The two races look similar, but they have different talents and different body chemistry. In this world, meet major Troy Goodheart and outer Lexi Iona Four. They form a teenage detective partnership investigating grisly crimes, mysterious murders, dark worlds of deception, and even illegal trade in body parts.

Drawing on the best of science-fiction, mystery and crime fiction, The Outer Reaches is perfect for inquisitive and demanding readers. These are gritty SF-based crime thrillers with intricate plots and plenty of forensic science. Fast-paced storylines with a sound logical foundation make them ideal for teenage readers who find that other books move too slowly.

The Travellers

Four interconnected stories following four young teenagers and their experiences of travelling (gypsy) life. Based on real-life situations, each story focuses on a single character: non-gypsy siblings Tess and Ben, and brother and sister travellers Mike and Lizzie.

The stories are cleverly woven together to explore attitudes towards Romany gypsies and offer balanced, sympathetic views all-round.

Written by the hugely underrated Rosemary Hayes.


By David and Helen Orme

A series of levelled reading books covering popular non-fiction topics, with particular appeal to older readers. Twenty-four stunning, full-colour titles offer progression over four levels:

  1. Set 1 has no words, allowing readers with the greatest difficulty to engage.
  2. Set 2 introduces a limited number of words.
  3. Sets 3 and 4 offer further progression.
  4. The books in Set 4 are high enough to have been levelled for AR.


With strong, colourful photographs and illustrations throughout, these books are ideal for engaging older, struggling readers and building their confidence in reading. Accompanying workbooks are also available.


From jungles, zombies and swamps to robots, time-travel and space travel, these stand-alone reads from Jonny Zucker (with one title from John Townsend) offer plenty of danger. These are fast-paced action adventures, with progression over five levels.


There are 10 titles in the series: two each at four of the higher-level book bands, from Lime through Brown, Grey, Dark Blue and Dark Red.

Just perfect for developing children’s reading.


By David and Helen Orme

Thirty six brilliant books for reluctant readers. Each book is on a non-fiction topic, with a non-fiction section followed by a fiction story in every book. The fiction story includes a short ‘speech bubble’ version in addition to a fuller text account. Great for buddy reading!

These books are full-colour throughout, fully illustrated with amazing photographs and story illustrations.

Turbo-charge their reading with these fast-paced reads.


Vampire Dawn

This is a gripping and edgy reinvention of the vampire genre. Mixing the contemporary world of YouTube and smartphones with the centuries-old, traditional vampires of yesteryear, these must-read books have high appeal for both boys and girls.

Start with Die Now or Live Forever, then read the other books in any order. Follow these new young vampires as they struggle to cope with immortality and their craving for human blood. From Juliette modelling in Paris to rising music star Finn and would-be scientist Omar, they face tough challenges and deadly threats.

YA Fiction - Raven Books

A new collection of exciting, contemporary reads from fantastic authors such as Malcolm Rose, John Townsend, and Rosemary Hayes. All brought together under a new imprint: Raven Books.

We’ve started this imprint to distinguish these books from Ransom’s traditional reluctant reader focus.

Zone 13

Exciting action-packed stories that will appeal to children aged 8 to 14 with a love of the unexplained. The stories are very varied: some are comic, while others have dark and gripping themes.

The books have a reading age of 8 – 9, so are ideal for reluctant or struggling readers.


These stories were originally published in 1998 and have been republished owing to popular demand, but with updated texts and striking new illustrations and cover designs.