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Meet The Third Quest team. Experienced publishers, skilled reading interventionists and educators, passionate about teachings kids to read.  

The Third Quest team is a combination of authors, publishers, writers, editors, creative designers and reading interventionists with decades of experience. In 2008 we recognized the need for a comprehensive reading intervention for the middle grades through Adult. Studies show that that 32 million adults read below a basic level. A lack of basic literacy has ongoing consequences. Illiteracy is linked to underemployment, poverty and prison rates. 60% of people who read below a basic level are earning less that 16,000 a year and 70% of the prison population functional literate.

We developed the Third Quest programs because we believe that every student could learn to read better if they had the right amount of time and if teachers had the right programs and supports and with that knowledge we felt it an obligation to try to reach the needs of kids that we know we can help. After 6 years of development and 3 years of field testing we created a program we felt could be delivered by a teacher during a normal school period and that would be engaging and fun for the kids as well comprehensive and challenging.

The Third Quest’s programs are reading interventions for middle and high school students and adults who have reading difficulties. They build foundational reading skills within the context of engaging informational text and compelling narrative fiction. The Third Quest’s reading programs are comprehensive reading interventions.

The nature of reading difficulties becomes more complex as students grow older. Students who struggle as adolescent readers may have a single targeted need, or they may be weak in many aspects of reading. Because schools rarely have the resources to provide intensive one-to-one instruction, The Third Quest is a comprehensive reading intervention that can be implemented with groups of students.

Meet our Authors

Marilyn Sprick

Marilyn Sprick has been a general education teacher, special education teacher, and Title I learning specialist. As an educational consultant, Marilyn has provided training in literacy, curriculum adaptation, and collaborative instruction for thousands of teachers throughout the United States and Canada. Marilyn’s focus is on scaffolding and differentiating curriculum, explicit instruction, motivating students, and diagnostic prescriptive teaching. She is well respected for her ability to inspire teachers and translate research into classroom practice. As a literacy expert, Marilyn is the lead author of Read Well K-2 (a scientifically based early reading program) and The Third Quest—a reading intervention for adolescent struggling readers. Marilyn is also author of “Preintervention 2: Assessing and Adjusting Academic Support” in Early-Stage Interventions and a coauthor of Meaningful Work; The Tough Kid On-Task in a Box, part of the Tough Kid series; SMART Kids, a social skills curriculum for grades K-1; and First Step NEXT, a Tier 2 behavioral intervention for young children. Sign up here to subscribe to Marilyn Sprick's Newsletter for Literacy Nerds.

Ann Watanabe

Ann Watanabe is an author of Read Well 2, Read Well 2 Fluency Foundations, Read Well 1 Composition, and The Third Quest. She has worked in education as a teacher in special and general education. She has been a resource teacher, reading coach, literacy consultant, and adult education teacher. For more than 35 years, Ann has dedicated her career to helping students of all ages become literate and self-confident. Throughout the state of Hawaii, Ann is known for her work in early reading instruction and instructional delivery—providing professional development for thousands of teachers. She has worked on multiple school improvement initiatives and is the coauthor of the Hawaii State Literacy Tutor Training Program. Ann has presented at district, state, and national conferences and is the recipient of a national Excellence in Education Staff Development award. She coauthored the K–2 CCSS (Common Core State Standards) reading assessments for the state of Hawaii. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood. As an educational consultant, Ann continues to provide consultation and training in beginning reading, explicit and instruction, Read Well, and a range of supplemental and intervention reading programs.

Barb Robillard

Barb Robillard is a career educator with a passion for teaching all students to read well. For 30 years, Barb taught in general education classrooms and worked as an intervention teacher. As a consultant in Closing the Achievement Gap and Read to Achieve, as a Reading First Coach, and now as an intervention specialist with Ancora Publishing, Barb provides support to staff members who wish to give students and families the tools they need to help every child succeed. Barb’s success with intervention students provides a special connection with other educators who love teaching and helping students move forward with confidence and enthusiasm.

Mckenzie Meline

McKenzie Meline received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Oregon, where she focused on teacher preparation, academic instruction for English learners, and education policy. She holds a multiple-subject teaching credential, a special education teaching credential, and an administrative license. She applied her training to her time working abroad as a learning support coordinator in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. At these schools, she was responsible for establishing special education programs that used the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework and trained teachers on using inclusive practices to support students with special needs in their classroom. Now she is passionate about developing reading intervention programs that target discouraged, struggling adolescent readers at the Tier 2 and 3 levels. She enjoys working with teachers implementing these programs and hearing about their success in transforming their students into competent and confident readers.

The Third Quest is proudly presented by Ancora Publishing.

To order or for more information visit

Ancora Publishing – Eugene, Oregon

Ancora Publishing is an educational publishing company dedicated to changing the face of education. We began in 2005 as Pacific Northwest Publishing to support our professional development partners at Safe & Civil Schools and have since then added The Tough Kid Series, Explicit Instruction videos, and other resources to our catalog.

We produce practical, high-quality, research-based books and programs to help educators create positive, productive environments where children feel emotionally and physically safe, and thus, actively engaged in the learning process.

We believe strongly in the value of educational research and publish only materials that reflect and promote best practice. We do not publish books or programs that espouse fads or trends in education. Nor do we focus on the purely theoretical. Instead, we translate research into practice, offering practical strategies that educators can use today to effect positive change with students. Our resources are of the highest quality, easy to use, and compatible with current research.

Our products help educators develop their own processes for school improvement. By publishing educational materials that foster positive, nurturing environments in which our children learn how to become successful, productive adults, we feel we are contributing to a positive change in society that will make the future a more just and caring place.

We are all—our company, our employees, and our customers—working toward the same goal—providing a safe and civil school environment where all children are valued and taught the skills and behaviors they need to succeed in and contribute to our society.

The Parallel Universe Sample Lessons

Two sample lessons are provided below. First download the related pages from the Coach’s Manual so you can follow along then play the lessons.
(Watch the whole lesson or fast forward to see how lessons progress.)

Level 0, Lesson 2 from the beginning of the program
Click to download corresponding pages.
Level 4, Lesson 6 near the end of program
Click to download corresponding pages.