Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

Top 10 Book Series Picks for New Readers October 16, 2012

Filed under: Books — kirstenjoyhill @ 8:20 am

I’ve found that looking for books for new readers can be a hit-or-miss process.  The “level number” on the front of a lot of books in the easy reader section may or may not really mean anything, as there is so much variation in what those level numbers designate.   A lot of books I randomly find in the easy reader section at our library seem designed to promote guessing based on clues from the pictures or memorizing “sight words” — which is not particularly helpful if you are teaching reading through phonics rules and phonograms.

Here are my top ten picks for easy-reader books that I have found helpful and engaging for my early readers who are learning via phonics:

1. Now I’m Reading books by Nora Gaydos: These sets of small books are great starter books (at level 1), and progress gradually.  At least in the first couple levels, the books start out with just a couple words on the first page, and build to longer sentences.

2. BOB Books: These popular little books are also great for kids just starting out — Though for some reason neither of my kids (who have learned to read so far) have really “clicked” with the first set as beginners.  I used sets 2 and 3 from the library with both Miss M and Mr. E, and I just got sets 4 and 5 from the library to use with Mr. E once we finish up a few other books we’ve checked out.

3. Flip-A-Word Books by Harriet Ziefert and Yukiko Kido: We found this fun word-family based set of books at the library.  They have bright/bold  illustrations and fun “cut outs” that reveal new related words.

4. My Phonics Readers (Various Authors, New Forest Press): This is another series we discovered at the library.  My favorite feature of this series is a box at the beginning with “difficult words” that appear in the book.  I love that they don’t call these “sight words”!   Mr. E has read several of these and I appreciate being able to review these tricky words before he begins reading.

5. Sounds Like Reading: This Series by Brian Cleary each focuses on a word family, sound or type of word.  Each two page spread first gives the focus words for that page individually, then the words appear in a sentence.  Many of the sentences are funny, which is appealing to my kids!

6. Wonder Books Phonics Series:  This is yet another series we discovered at the library. Each of these books focuses on an initial consonant, vowel sound or blend.  I don’t like this series quite as much because it mixes some surprisingly harder words in with words easy for beginners, but as a plus in their favor, each page has one short sentence in fairly large print.   Mr E gets easily overwhelmed with too many words on a page, even words that he already knows.

7. Get Ready-Get Set-Read series by Gina Erickson: We only have one book in this series so far (that we found at a used book store — our library doesn’t have these), but I like that they are phonics based with just a few challenging words.

8. I See Sam:  I recently wrote about this set of free printable books.  I love having a set of books I can print out when we run out of library books to read.  These seem somewhat repetitive to me, but Mr. E finds them funny!  I like that the books in this series we used so far focus on words like “that”, “who” and “what” — common words that are just a bit trickier than CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, and introduce new words and phonograms slowly and logically.

9. Dr. Maggie’s Phonics Readers: We own several of these phonics readers, but mostly the later ones in the series.   Mr. E hasn’t liked this series quite as well as some of our other series due to longer sentence length and more words on each page.  But I think they are a solid series for readers who are ready for them (and I haven’t seen the first books in the series, so they may have fewer words per page).

10. Reading A to Z decodable books. Reading A to Z is a pay-for-subscription site, but they offer a seven day free trial, and also have an annual “try it out” day for educators.  I’ve downloaded and printed several of their decodable books a few years and used them with both Miss M and Mr E.   I don’t think I would get enough out of the site to pay their annual subscription rate, but I do like this particular printable product.

Have you found other series of phonics-based readers that your new readers have enjoyed?

I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday!
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings


One Response to “Top 10 Book Series Picks for New Readers”

  1. Ashley Buller Says:

    Awesome list, thanks! Our emerging reader has been doing well with Bob books, but we need some more variety 🙂

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