Fast Forward/Forward Focus Series

Welcome to the “Focus Forward” (USA title) or the “Fast Forward” series (title in Australia and New Zealand)

The publisher describes this series as “an intensive intervention system for students in grades 3-8 who are reading below grade level.”  Great photos and art work with topics that are hugely kid-friendly (especially boys!). No wonder they work so well when it comes to turning kids on to reading and writing and learning.

For USA readers, check them out at

For Australia and New Zealand, check them here:

The following are my titles in the series:

                      Animal Groups by Alan Trussell-CullenAnimal Groups

Herds, mobs, schools and flocks – these are all fascinating animal groups…



Animal Disguises

Animal Disguises by Alan Trussell-CullenSome animals have clever ways of hiding. They disguise themselves to hide from an enemy or to catch food.





Bridges by Alan Trussell-CullenBridges help people cross over land or water. there are lots of different kinds of bridges. Bridges must be strong so that they don’t fall down!




Skeletons by Alan Trussell-CullenSkeletons

Your skeleton is important. You couldn’t move without it! Animals like coral and insects also have skeletons.




I RemembI Remember When... by Alan Trussell-Cullener When…

I remember the Second World War. War made life hard for all of us.





MoveMove it! by Alan Trussell-Cullen It!
How do things move? It takes a push to move some things. It takes a pull to move some things. Find out which things need a push or a pull to make them move.




Food FrFood From the Worldom the World
The food we eat today can come from a country a long way from where you live.





Heating UpHeating Up by Alan Trussell-Cullen

In the next 100 years, the Earth’s temperature may go up by as much as six degrees. Having warmer weather might sound good, but many scientists who study the Earth’s climate are worried..




Garbage by Alan Trussell-Cullen

People Create a lot of garbage. In Australia, people send about a tonne of garbage per person a year to landfill. It’s even worse in many other countries. But there are simple things people can to reduce the amount of garbage they create.




Sheep Station by Alan Trussell-Cullen

Sheep Station
There is always lots to do on a sheep station. The sheep dogs round up the sheep, and the shearers work hard in the sheds. Then the wool is sent to the mill, where it is made into lots of things.




Antarctic Animals by Alan Trussell-CullenAntarctic Animals
Antarctica is one of the coldest places on Earth. But that doesn’t stop a lot of animals and plants living there. People go to Antarctica, too. Some go to fish, and some go to learn about life in the cold.





Making Sounds by Alan Trussell-CullenMaking Sounds
Sounds are made when something vibrates. Tap an empty can, pluck a rubber band, or blow air over the top of a bottle… all of these make sounds.





Voting by Alan Trussell-CullenVoting
Voting is when people choose something or someone they like. You can vote for the leader of your country, or even your favorite singer on TV!





Plastic World by Alan Trussell-CullenA Plastic World
Plastic has changed the world and how people live. It helps people in lots of ways. But we need to look at what we do with plastic so that we keep the environment safe.





Insect Sounds by Alan Trussell-CullenInsect Sounds
Insects don’t have voices, so how do they make sounds?






National Parks by Alan Trussell-CullenNational Parks
There are more than one thousand national parks around the world. Each national park is different and has things that make it special.





Water World by Alan Trussell-CullenWater World
Water is one of the most important resources on Earth. Without water, people, animals and plants could not live.





Aspirin by Alan Trussell-CullenAspirin

All over the world, one billion aspirin tablets are taken each week! What is aspirin made from? How did it become the most widely used medicine in the world?




Peacekeepers by Alan Trussell-CullenPeace Keepers

Peacekeepers are sent to places where there has been fighting. They help people so they can feel safe, and live together in peace.




Gold Rush by Alan Trussell-CullenGold Rush

The late 1800s was when the great gold rushes happened. The first big gold rush took place in California.




The Heart by Alan Trussell-CullenThe Heart

The heart is a special pump that keeps us alive. But how does it work?




Natural Partners by Alan Trussell-CullenNatural Partners

Natural partners are animals or plants that live or work together to help themselves and each other.




Dams by Alan Trussell-CullenDams

A dam is a structure built across a river or other body of water. There are four kinds of dams and they can be made of many different things.




Wheels by Alan Trussell-CullenWheels

Wheels are a big part of our every-day lives. They have been with us for more than 5000 years.




Saving Coral Reefs by Alan Trussell-CullenSaving Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are found in warm ocean waters all around the world. When coral reefs are healthy, they keep the ocean environment balanced. But many things that humans do are making the reefs sick.



African Grasslands by Alan Trussell-CullenAfrican Grasslands

Many kinds of plants and animals live in the African grasslands. Food links all living things in this habitat, and together all these links make up a food chain.




The Story of Alexander FlemingThe Story of Alexander Fleming

The world’s first antibiotic, called penicillin, was discovered in October 1928 by a doctor, Alexander Fleming. Fleming’s discovery would change medicine forever, and save millions of lives.



Animal Travellers by Alan Trussell-CullenAnimal Travellers

Animals are amazing Travellers. Some Animals leave one place and travel to another place during the year.




Twins by Alan Trussell-CullenTwins

What are twins? How do they come about? Are there different kinds of twins? What’s it like being a twin?




My Bushfire Diary by Alan Trussell-CullenMy Bushfire Diary

When you live in a small town north of Sydney, Australia, and your house is surrounded bush and gum tree forest, fire is always something to worry about…




Life in the Amazon Jungle by Alan Trussell-CullenLife in the Amazon Jungle

The Amazon Jungle is home to more different species of plants and animals than any other place on Earth.





Fast Forward Independent Texts from Cengage Learning

Cengage Learning’s Fast Forward Independent Texts are designed for students to read independently in order to reinforce the skills and knowledge students have gained from instructional/guided reading sessions and to experience reading success on their own terms. Great nonfiction topics and lively text and illustrations make these an exciting addition to the reading program and a valuable contribution to the reader’s facility with informational text. The following are Alan Trussell-Cullen’s seven titles in this series.

The Channel Tunnel by Alan Trussell-CullenThe Channel Tunnel

It used to be very difficult to travel between England and France. When the Channel Tunnel was finished in 1994 that all changed. Now the Chanel Tunnel makes travel between England and France quick and easy.

ISBN: 978 0 17 017899 0 (set)




Different Cultures, Different Foods by Alan Trussell-CullenDifferent Cultures Different Foods

People from different cultures like different kinds of food. They eat and cook in different ways, too. Eating food together is a good way to find out about other cultures.

ISBN: 978 0 17 017896 9 (set)



The Three Gorges Dam by Alan Trussell-CullenThe Three Gorges Dam

China has built the world’s biggest water-powered electricity station, the Three Gorges Dam, on the Yangtze River. China hopes it will help stop pollution and flooding.

ISBN: 978 0 17 017897 6 (set)



Cars of the Future by Alan Trussell-CullenCars of the Future

Cars have changed a lot since the first ones were made. Today’s cars are built to be safer and better for the environment. But what will the cars of the future be like?

ISBN: 978 0 17 017896 9 (set)



Trains by Alan Trussell-CullenTrains

Trains have changed a lot over the years. Hundreds of years ago, trains ran on steam. They were very slow. Today some trains can go as fast as 480 km or 300 miles per hour.

ISBN: 978 0 17 017896 9 (set)



Carbon Trading by Alan Trussell-CullenCarbon Trading

Burning fossil fuels to make energy produces carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes global warming. Carbon trading is one of the ways people can slow down global warming.

ISBN: 978 0 17 017898 3 (set)



Sand by Alan Trussell-CullenSand

Sand is more than just a fun thing to play with at the beach. Sand is also an important material for making things, such as glass, roads and houses.

ISBN: 978 0 17 017896 9 (set)



Race to the South Pole by Alan Trussell-Cullen and Daniel AtkinsonRace to the South Pole

In 1911, two teams began a race to the South Pole. Captain Robert Scott’s team came from Britain, and Roald Amundsen’s team came from Norway. Both teams did their best, but as this graphic novel, shows – only one survived.

ISBN: 978 0 17 017899 0 (set)