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Growing Reader

Beginning Reader Books to Keep on Your Library’s Shelves

by Tanya Turek

Background credit: Johner Images/Getty Images

If you have ever helped a child learn to read, then you know that the numbers, letters, colors and other indicators of difficulty for leveled readers can vary widely among publishers when it comes to content. Working as a librarian at a school where most of my students are English language learners, it is vital that I stock the shelves with books that are accessible for new readers and also have big shelf appeal for a range of ages.

When selecting books for beginning readers, I look for these details: books that have a word count of 200 to 300 words, short sentences repetition, and picture clues. Readers ready for these most basic leveled readers are beginning to recognize words by sight, point to words while reading out loud, and make guesses at unknown words. Readers might even be able to begin to process and recognize word chunks, like -th-est and -ck as well as self-correct when what is read doesn’t make sense. And, even though new readers are laser-focused on decoding and comprehending, they still gravitate toward the books that promise great illustrations and maybe even a laugh.

Here are some beginning reader books that I’ve added to my school library’s shelves:

What books for beginning readers do you make sure to have on your library’s shelves? Let us know in the comments below!

For more lesson plans, book recommendations, and reading tips for your classroom or library, check out our Teach Brightly page!