Literacy Workbook Series


The workbooks featured in this catalogue were developed to fill the need for engaging, adult-appropriate literacy materials in the John Howard Society of Manitoba’s basic literacy program. This series is designed to give adult literacy learners information about topics of interest while at the same time helping them to develop essential literacy skills such as reading, writing, numeracy, communication, critical thinking, and document use.


John Howard Society literacy workbooks are $15.00 each. They are bound with a plastic coil in order to be appropriate for use in correctional settings. You can order copies by contacting Janet Johnson at 204-775-1514. For more information on the series click here.


The graphics below show our four newest workbooks in the series, produced from 2011-2013. Click on the links below for descriptions of each title, sample chapters, and table of contents.



Gangs: Learning About Them, Living Without Them

Table of Contents
Sample Chapter


Getting a Job: Finding (and Keeping) Meaningful Employment

Table of Contents
Sample Chapter


It’s Your Country, Too: On Voting, Volunteering, and Making the World a Better Place

Table of Contents
Sample Chapter


Math: What’s the Point?

Table of Contents
Sample Chapter

Other Workbooks Available from the John Howard Society Literacy Series:

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

This workbook addresses the immediate effects of abuse on a child as well as the long-term effects on that person as an adult. Fourteen lessons cover areas such as memories, coping, parenting, and breaking the cycle.

All My Relations (an Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Manual)

The reader is introduced to Aboriginal traditions and beliefs. Twenty-one lessons cover areas such as medicines, ceremonies, celebrations, medicine wheel, foods and feasts. A brief historical overview is included as well.

Children and Parenting

This workbook comes in two versions–community or our institutional program version. Lessons address childhood development, parenting skills, families, and issues related to prison.

Eating Right: A Food and Nutrition Manual

The twenty-seven lessons in this workbook introduce the reader to the different food groups, the body’s nutritional needs, shopping, meal planning and food handling.

Get Out & Stay Out

This workbook was revised to appeal to those being released from prisons outside of Manitoba. It has also been expanded to include topics beyond coping with physical needs. Relationships, decision making, and reconciliation are explored.

Getting Along: A Guide to Healthy Relationships

The goals of this workbook are to help build good relationships and to recognize troubled ones. This information is helpful for all relationships, not just romantic ones. Some areas covered include trust building, communication, honesty and loyalty.

Hurting People: A Victim Awareness Manual

This book encompasses victim awareness, stages and causes of victimization, thinking errors, victims’ rights and the cycle of victimization. This manual includes twenty-four lessons.

Learning to Talk and Listen Better

This workbook contains practical ideas for dealing with conflict, communication, and relationships. The reader will explore self-concepts, emotions, listening, & tips for speaking with people.

Living with Pain and Loss: A Manual on Grieving

This is a workbook for anyone who has experienced a loss, be it a bereavement, a serious illness, or a loss of freedom. The lessons were written to provide help with understanding what has happened, how different people are affected, what may change, and who may be able to help.

Relapse Prevention

This is information adapted from the relapse prevention model for treatment of addictions. The workbook addresses problem recognition, lapses and relapse, prevention, coping, high risk situations, support systems and professional guidance.

Repairing the Harm (an Introduction to Restorative Justice)

These lessons assist people in understanding the impact that crime has on victims, their families, the community and offenders. Based on the principles of restorative justice, this book explains how to repair the harm caused by crime, and how the entire community benefits.

Stress, Anxiety and Depression

The reader is introduced to stress, anxiety and depression as normal emotions as well as disorders. 14 lessons provide information on coping, treatment, and where to turn for help.

Understanding Anger

This is our most widely used workbook. It presents eight sections: an introduction to anger, stress, self esteem, responses to anger, expressions of anger, controlling anger, resolving conflict, and related issues such as violence and the family.

Writing Made Easy

Twenty-nine lessons teach basic English grammar skills. The lessons include instructions on nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, connectives, and contractions. Short stories, maps and poems are used to engage the reader.



Each workbook in the literacy series contains written lessons followed by exercises designed to enhance literacy, strengthen reading comprehension, and build analytical and problem-solving skills. These workbooks were written to appeal especially to incarcerated learners, but we have found that many non-incarcerated individuals also find them quite useful.

Learners at about a grade 7 or 8 level (Stage Three under Manitoba’s Stages Literacy Framework) will be able to read these books quite comfortably. Lower level readers can also benefit from the books with the assistance of a tutor or study partner. Depending on the level of the learner these books can be excellent for independent use; however, some interactive or research activities, particularly in the newer books, will be most fun and effective if done with the help of a tutor or at least a supportive friend or family member.

It should be noted that while some of these books cover topics often addressed by counselors and in treatment programs, the purpose of this series is educational, not therapeutic. Readers will no doubt learn valuable information about such topics as substance use, parenting, and anger management; however these books should not be considered a substitute for accredited treatment programs in these areas.