How to Find a Just Right Book

by | Aug 3, 2017

How to Find a Just Right Book?

Parents often tell me that they are unsure what level book to find for their child. So I thought I’d take a moment to clear it up.

Often kids will choose books that are either too easy or too hard. Here is the problem with that. If a book is too easy then it do little to grow them as a reader. If a book is too hard, the child will not only struggle to figure out the words, he or she will also struggle with understanding what is going on in the book. It is important to find a just right book that the child is able to read, yet pushes him or her to learn new concepts and vocabulary.

Here is how to find a just right book by using the 5 Finger Rule:

  1. Pick a book that is of interest to your child. Open the book to any random page and have your child start reading that page.
  2. Using your hand, put one finger up for each word that they cannot pronounce or tell you the definition. Using the scale below, you can get a good indication if the book may be just right for your child.

0 – 1 = Too Easy
2 – 3 = Just Right
4 – 5 = Too Hard

Some schools will also level reading abilities by letter or lexile (range of numbers). If you know your child’s current level then you can often google book lists that are in your child’s level. For example, google “level p books for boys” and you get a wide variety of books to pick from.

If your child chooses a book, and you know the level he or she should be in, then you can google Scholastic Book Wizard to see what is the level of that book. If the book is beyond his or her level, explain that this book will end up frustrating him or her and he or she will enjoy the book once they grow more as a reader.

Basically, using the 5 Finger Rule or finding a book in your child’s level is the best way to ensure that they are reading an appropriate level book. Finding just right books and encouraging daily reading is one of the ways you can best help your child academically.