Easy independent reading books equal success
It’s a glorious thing to watch the expression on a child’s face when he/she is first able to read. The child is almost stunned that what was once a scramble of letters now makes sense. It is the ultimate “ah-ha” in discovering this new, powerful and “grown-up” skill.
Once this skill is set into motion, the best thing the adult can do to encourage the child to continue with independent reading is to provide the child with reading materials that aren’t too difficult – reading materials at or below the child’s reading level.
Independent reading doesn’t mean children want to labor over what they are reading. The very act of reading independently should be pleasurable. Forcing a child to stumble through works that are too difficult may ultimately stymie future interest.
Today’s reviewed books are great choices for independent readers of various ages/abilities. Of course, these books are also terrific choices to read aloud. Either way, a good story sends a positive message about the joy of reading – and that is the mission whether reading aloud or independently.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
- “Minnie and Moo: The Night of the Living Bed” written and illustrated by Denys Cazet, HarperCollins, 48 pages, $15.99
Read aloud: age 4 and older
Read yourself: age 7 and older
Another in HarperCollins’ “I Can Read” book series, this hilarious and crazy story of Minnie and Moo is bound to keep kids in stitches.
Minnie and Moo are cows, best friends, and Minnie loves chocolate more than anything. One night, the two friends are fast asleep in their bed under a tree on a hill when Minnie has a bad dream – a giant mouse eats the last piece bit of chocolate in the whole world.
Minnie is so terrified, she wakes up yelling, shaking Moo and they both tumble out of bed. Their tumbling causes the bed to roll down the hill, and the two cows dash after it in hot pursuit.
Catching up to the runaway bed, Minnie and Moo hop on as the bed zooms through a barn and scoops up more animals and proceeds straight into town. One bizarre event leads to another, coupled with the fact that it’s Halloween and trick-or-treaters are all over the place.
Maybe they could join the fun and get some chocolate after all ...
Get ready for a wild ride in more ways than one – this adventure of Minnie and Moo is pure delight for independent readers and younger listeners as well.
- Library: Yuba County Library, 303 Second St., Marysville
Interim Director: Kevin Mallen
Choices this week: “The Ink Drinker” by Eric Sanvoisin; “The Time Warp Trio: Marco Polo!” by Jon Scieszka; “The Incredible Book Eating Boy” by Oliver Jeffers
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
- “Ghost Buddy #1: Zero to Hero” by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, Scholastic, 2012, 176 pages, $17.99 hardcover/$5.99 paperback
- Read aloud: age 7 and older
Read yourself: age 8 – 9 and older
Eleven-year-old Billy Broccoli is shocked to find that his bedroom in his new house is shared with a 13-year-old boy ghost, Hoover (the Hoove) Porterhouse – the original inhabitant of this very house 99 years ago.
The Hoove is confined to the property until he can prove himself worthy as a ghost by helping someone who needs him. Billy has become his project, and Billy is one kid in need of serious help. The school bully has it in for Billy, and all Billy wants is to fit in and be a cool dude. It seems the Hoove can help them both have a better future.
Loaded with humor and a redemptive message about the importance of good relationships, this book is certain to capture young independent readers everywhere.
- “Geronimo Stilton: The Mystery in Venice” by Geronimo Stilton, illustrated by Lorenzo De Pretto and Davide Corsi, Scholastic, 2012, 109 pages, $6.99 paperback
Read aloud: age 6 and older
Read yourself: age 7 – 8 and older
Geronimo Stilton is a mouse, the publisher of the newspaper, The Rodent’s Gazette, and a gentlemouse who always comes to the aid of anyone who needs assistance (especially pretty damsels in distress).
So when Geronimo comes across a mysterious note begging for help, he quickly traces the note’s origin to Venice, Italy, and is off to help in whatever way he can.
A hilarious mystery that boasts funny illustrations on every page, this fun independent reader is the 48th book in the wildly popular series.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children’s literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.