When my kids were younger one of the things I spent ages searching for were readers. And yes, there are lots of different readers out there but my kids often found the readers a bit dull and boring and they were just not inspiring, that was until we discovered the Big Cat Series. We loved this series. And one of the main reasons why we loved this series so much was because the books were actually interesting and they did not shy away from non-fiction readers. Both of my kids enjoyed reading non-fiction readers.
The Big Cat series has a whole band of readers for different reading levels and they include a wide range of readers within each reading level so you can find something that will interest your reader. My daughter loved that they included condensed versions of the classics (Little Women and Black Beauty are two examples), we loved the fact based ones (Mary Anning, Sister Queens and Wolves and My Journey across the Indian Ocean) and we devoured all of their Shakespeare readers.
I was intrigued where I discovered that they have a band called Lime Plus which is written for more able readers as a way of helping them improve their vocabulary and practice skills like inference, prediction and reading stamina. So I asked if we could get a few copies from this band so I could have read and possibly share about it with fellow home educators. (This is not a paid for post I was just interested in the older readers and wanted to see if they were as good quality and interesting as the ones we had used in the past).
The Lime Plus range includes fiction and non-fiction titles. My instinct is always to go for the non-fiction titles just because my kids enjoy reading non-fiction and also as a home educator I love merging subjects together and working on topics and these non-fiction books always lend themselves to my way of doing that. But having said that I actually enjoyed the stories of The Dungeon of Despair and The Ravens’ Call. They were sweet stories, with an adventure in them but also stories that I could see had the possibility of developing into more than just a story. The Dungeon of Despair is a fun story where an inquisitive young boy gets himself trapped in a dungeon and the Ravens’ Call is about a young girl’s journey in an attempt to stop a battle. They were interesting stories, nothing to scary but they had a clear story arch which is something that I liked to point out to my kids when they were reading so they could try and include a story arch in their own writing. The Characters were also interesting, the boy in The Dungeon of Despair starts off frustrated with his younger sister and family, gets bored on the outing then out of his boredom and frustration he goes off on his own adventure, gets himself into a pickle and manages to get out and then is relieved to see his family again. I can imagine lots of siblings understanding this character. And The Ravens’ Call was a story that my daughter (when she was younger) would have really enjoyed – she likes stories with story female characters, who go off on an adventure and prove themselves.
And then the Non-Fiction books – LOVED these and actually I am already planning on using The Battle of Hastings book with my son when we cover the Battle in our History in September. It is a brilliant summary of the events and characters. It is written in such a easy manner with the events unfolding just like a story that it makes it all seem so natural and dare I say easy to remember the characters and the order of events. We have already used quite a few of the History readers with my son and he always enjoys them, he calls them bite-size History events. Just enough to read in one setting and enough information that it all makes sense but does not get confusing. And I love that they included detail about the armies.
And then they take it a step further and actually get the kids to think about the events. In The Battle of Hastings they challenge the kids to think about what went wrong, what could King Harold have done better that could have changed the outcome.
And with The Great Fire of London they start by explaining to the kids that they need to think about sources and how trustworthy the sources are (which is something that the kids will never to develop in their Secondary History).
I have been a fan of the BIG CAT books for quite a few years and these Lime Plus books that we have read are just as interesting as the others that we have used in this series. I would recommend anyone with kids in primary school to just go onto the website and have a look at this range of books. They have a lovely huge range of topics and all of the books we have read have been interesting, which was always a big factor in getting my kids to read.
Admin – As I mentioned above I asked Collins if we could get some of the Lime Plus readers to review because I used this series with both of my kids and really enjoyed it so I was keen to see what the Lime Plus books were like. This is NOT a paid for post, this is just me sharing about books that I think are good quality and useful for home learning.