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What Is Finley Reading?

August 13, 2012

By Karen Ruben

My friend Finley is seven and about to start second grade. This means that he has developed the basics of reading to himself: he identifies sight words, sounds out unknown words, and uses context clues to anticipate what’s next.

But for Finley, and most kids of his age, this process is still a lot of work. He loves the story, the adventure, the plot, and the characters of a chapter book, but left on his own he might get bored and frustrated with trying to push through one.

On the other hand, the easy reader books he can successfully get through might not offer the level of entertainment to which my friend has become accustomed.

Finley needs two kinds of books.

His mom tells me that when they go to the library they get a stack of easy readers and a couple of chapter books. At night, Finley reads the easy reader to his mom and sister, and then mom reads the chapter book to him.

So, what is Finley reading now?

There are two series of easy readers that Fin likes now. One is called Fly Guy by award-winning author and illustrator Ted Arnold. The Fly Guy books are funny, exciting stories that use puns, slapstick, and great drawings to make a story that is readable to early readers but also entertaining enough to motivate them.

Fin’s other current favorite is the Elephant and Piggie series by author and illustrator Mo Willems. These are quirky, fun books about two best friends. One is cautious and a bit of a worrier. The other is not! It is a pleasure to watch the two of them work things out.

Fin is proud to read a whole book himself, but he really likes to end the day by relaxing while someone else reads a great story to him. What are his current favorite end-of-the-day books?

The How to Train Your Dragon books written and illustrated by Cressida Cowell. There are eight books in the series about a character named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, who continuously struggles to keep control of his dragon and become a respected member of the Hairy Hooligan tribe.

As you can see, it is no easy task to keep an early reader satisfied, but there are a lot of great books out there. We would love to hear what your kids are reading.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasha Godleski permalink
    August 13, 2012 6:52 pm

    This is great. My daughter is the same age as Finley and we are in the exact same boat. Especially at the end of the day, she is too tired to push through a big chapter book. So we snuggle up and she might read the first page or two and then I or my husband take it from there. One of favorite series are the American Girl doll books. We just finished the two McKenna books about a gymnast who is struggling in school. She ends up needing a tutor and needs to work through that as she tries to cover it up from her friends. Lots of great lessons and we end up having some good discussions as we read. Thanks for the other recommendations…my five year old son loves the Fly Guy books.

    • August 13, 2012 7:07 pm

      Thanks for chiming in, Kasha. Reading together at the end of the day sounds like a great way to connect and talk about the characters, plots, and lessons in the books you and your children read. Thanks for the recommendations, too!

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