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October - December 2010     VOLUME 14 ISSUE 4
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Books for Beginning Readers

Beyond Dick and Jane
Amy Stultz

New primers join Dick, Jane and Dr. Seuss on the library shelves. These books contain a controlled vocabulary, using only sight words and easily de-coded words that teachers ask children to practice. They use very clear pictures that provide clues to what the words on the page mean. The very beginning ones have only a few words, often rhyming, on each page in bold, clear type on a white background. Second grade level readers are divided into “chapters” of only a few pages each, giving children the opportunity to follow a longer plot with varying themes and a diversity of characters.

Many of these books have been put into a special section, to make it even easier for families to find what they need. At the Cooper Memorial Library we have sections divided into KG-1st grade fiction (easy readers), KG-1st grade non-fiction, 2nd grade fiction and 2nd grade non-fiction. Kindergarten students who must read twenty to forty fiction and nonfiction titles are able to find just what they need very quickly.

Patrons can also do a “power search” on the library catalog to find titles. First click on power search from the main catalog search page. Second choose the collection drop down box and select either “Easy Non-Fiction” or “Easy Readers.” Make any other selections, such as library choice, that one likes, and click “Search.” A very long list of titles written just to give new and emergent readers practice will appear.

Visit your local children’s librarian to find out more about beginning readers.