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Finding "Just-Right" Books for Kids

Finding just the right book for the young reader in your life is an exciting activity. Here are some questions you can ask your child to guide you. The answers will point you in the right direction for a "just-right" book that will intrigue and delight your reader.

A library staff member or your child's teacher can also assist you.

  • Who are some of your favorite authors?
    Many authors write in series or have an individual, recognizable style. Young readers can be attracted to the way a particular author writes and will feel comfortable with the continuity of style.

  • What is a book that you have recently read and enjoyed
    Knowing the title of a book that a young reader has enjoyed can point you towards books that are similar in character, author or genre.

  • What types of things do you like to read about?
    Finding a book that contains subject matter of interest to the reader will not only keep the reader engaged, but can also help to develop and interest in other subject areas.

  • Do you like to read fiction or nonfiction?
    Not all young readers enjoy reading just fiction. If the child is more interested in learning about things in the world, indulge that interest with nonfiction titles.

  • By looking at the cover, title or blurb, what do you think this book is about? Does it sound like a book you might enjoy?
    Beginning readers get their minds ready to read their "just-right" book by looking at the cover or title, and by reading the description on the inside of the cover flap. They ask themselves what the book might be about and actually do judge a book by its cover.

  • Is the print size in this book too small for you?
    Beginning readers looks for a balance of illustrations and text. They choose books with print size that is comfortable.

  • Have you read a book this long before?
    Young readers develop confidence by reading books that are not too long and when ready, they can challenge themselves by choosing a book that is longer than what they typically read.

  • Can you read and understand the words in several sentences chosen from the beginning, middle and end of the book?
    The ability to recognize and read familiar words is important for young readers. Take a "book walk" through the pages to find a "just-right" book.

Here are some useful links if you have questions about whether a particular book is appropriate for your child:

Artwork Copyright © 2009 Erik Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
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- Henry Ward Beecher


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