Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easy reader books

Our library at some point decided that since every publisher has its own ideas about how to rank reading difficulty levels, they would have their own system. So, our easy readers go from yellow to orange to red to light blue. After that, you move to chapter books. Unfortunately, most easy reader books are awful. Just horrible crap. And that is why, my friends, Dr. Seuss made a fortune. His books are entertaining without being too difficult. Most authors are total shit at this. A new contender in the field is Mo Willems, with his wonderful Elephant and Piggie books. Sadly we didn’t discover them and/or they weren’t published yet when they would have been truly appropriate for my kids. But we read them anyway. Good fun.

Nea has finally graduated (third grade, 8.75 years old) to the light blue books. Maybe that’s why the quality is slightly better. The first one at this level that blew my socks off was No More Monsters for Me! by Peggy Parish. 64 pages, and I was gripped by the plot the whole way, as was Nea. You may think I’m overstating the case, but no, really, I swear. So I checked to see what other wonders might await us from Ms. Parish. I had no idea she was responsible for the awful Amelia Bedelia books. I thought they were dated when I was a kid. But she’s got a few others, so we’ll be checking those out.

Any other suggestions? Nea has made great strides in reading, but it’s still hard for her, and a good story helps so much.