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Need A Hand Finding A Good Book?

          When picking a book, it’s important to choose a “just right” book. “Just right” books are books that are not too easy and not too hard to read. They are books that help us continue growing into better and better readers. 

          To determine if a book is a “just right” book, use a simple finger test. Open up to a random page and as you read that one page, put up one finger each time you come to a word you don’t know. 

                                                                                0-1 fingers: Too Easy!
                                                                                2-3 fingers: Just Right!
                                                                                4-5 fingers: Too Hard!

          **Parent Tips: Have your child read the page aloud and you keep track of words that are read incorrectly or that your child can’t sound out. Then ask your child if he/she can tell you what he/she read about on that page. If he/she can’t tell you what he/she read, then it might be “too hard” for now, even if the finger test is in the “just right” range. Sometimes learners can read words that they don’t know the meaning of. It’s important that independent books can be read and understood. If your child has high interest in a book that is “too hard” right now, consider making it a book that you read together!

          At school, learners are assessed several times throughout the year to determine their instructional reading level. Their level is a letter A-Z. Their independent level (“just right”) is one or two letters below their instructional level. If your child knows his/her instructional level from school, you can easily determine their independent level. If not, simply contact me! Once you know your child’s independent level, the Scholastic Book Wizard is a great tool that allows you to search through over 37,000 books! Go to and start by clicking the search filter titled “Reading Level System” and selecting “Guided Reading Level.” If you don’t have a title in mind and want to search for a particular level or levels, you can check off the level(s) you are looking for and search. If you have a title that you want to find the level of, you can search for it in the search bar and the search results will be displayed with the “Guided Reading Level.” Please note that this is just a search engine, you cannot read the books on this site.