I have not written posts on guided reading books for quite a while because my youngest is really past that stage. He is a happy reader who powers through books at quite an impressive speed (as long as they are interesting). But when I heard that Bloomsbury publishing have put together a guided reading scheme and when I had a look to see what sort of books that had included I was actually intrigued. I do remember struggling to find interesting reading books for my kids when they were younger, books that were well-written, engaging and not too scary so I thought “for the me who struggled” I would investigate the series in a bit more detail and see if this reading scheme would have been something I could have used.
They have broken down the reading books into year stages which are represented as coloured bands
I decided to focus on the last three bands (the older years – more the early chapter type books). We tested out 3 books. First impression – these are interesting, engaging stories with well-developed characters (I really liked that the characters are well written). My son actually picked up the Band Red book (Rubi Ali’s Mission Break up) and read the whole thing. He thought it was interesting and amusing in places (a little bit of fun goes a long way in terms of his reading enjoyment).
I read the Dark Blue Band (The Night the Moon went out) and the whole way through reading it I kept thinking this would have been the prefect book for my daughter. She loved these gentle stories that involved animals. She probably would have read this a few times and I am guessing she would even written her own version of this story. It really would have been a BIG HIT with her.
Oh and the Grey Book (Sindhu and Jeet’s Detective Agency) – we loved this idea.
I know these are written as guided readers but I must admit I was impressed with the descriptive language used. At the moment this a big point for us – I am constantly trying to find examples of good descriptive language as examples for my kids to read so they can incorporate elements into their own creative writing. These books definitely ticked that box.
All of that said the thing that takes this reading series up a level is the fact that they have created Teacher’s Notes for most of these readers (which are all FREE to download from their website). As a home educator, finding good quality, engaging resources linked to enjoyable books is, well – Home educator GOLD.
I downloaded and read through the Teacher’s Notes for The Night The Moon Went Out. The whole set was 14 pages and it consisted of ideas and questions which you could talk to your kids about. Think of it as a springboard. I liked the fact that the questions / activities for each chapter focused on something specific like – Noting Text Structure or Empathising and Summarising. Fourteen pages might not sound like a lot but for primary aged kids I thought it was actually the right length and the right type of questions.
I think this is an interesting set of readers with good quality Teacher’s notes. If you are home educating younger kids I would recommend having a look at this series.
Admin – I did receive Press copies of these three books. I was NOT paid for this post.
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