Frustration with Children’s Early Reading Books

The books in my second grader’s classroom are rated on a scale of G, H, I, J, K, etc. I’m told this is consistent throughout the public schools in the United States. My second grader’s teacher assures me that my child will gain continued confidence in her reading skills as long as I choose books at her appropriate reading level. With all the reading I do, you’d think it would be easy for me to find the right books. I seem to be having a problem…

The books in the library or bookstore are not rated the same way as the books my child is learning from in school. I’ve asked the librarians at my library for some guidance, and there has definitely been some debate on this. I find the way different publishers rate their early reader books so confusing. There are books that are rated as Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Early Reader, Easy Chapter Books, or recommended simply by age. It seems some publishers have an easier rating system than others. Add the misrepresentation of the big type in some books, which at a quick glance would indicate the book would be easier to read, and I’m busy sorting through books when it should really be so much easier.

Am I the only one who gets frustrated by this?

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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