Selecting Just Right Books

Selecting books that are just right for you is an important part of the reading process. Not every book is right for every person, so when you are choosing your next book to read, consider these factors.

Reading Level
Choosing books that match your personal reading level is important.

  • Too Hard- Some books you want to read may be too difficult for you. If a book is too difficult you will notice that it is taking you awhile to read. You might be confused a lot. There are probably a lot of words on each page that you don't know how to say or what they mean. When you talk to other people about the book, you can't give them specific details or information. If you are noticing any of these things, chances are the book is too hard for you.
  • Just Right- A just right book for you is one that you can read without many challenges. Not to say that a just right book won't challenge you, because it should. Just right books include some words that you don't know. That's ok because as you use your reading strategies to decode the words, you can build your vocabulary and figure out what those new words mean. If you're reading a just right book, you'll notice that you're reading it frequently and at a good pace-- not finishing it too quickly, not laboring through it. You'll enjoy reading a just right book. It will make sense to you, but also make you think as you read.
  • Too Easy- You are at the stage in your reading now where some books might be too easy for you! Here are some clues to let you know that a book might be too easy for you. One thing you'll notice is that you're speeding through the book and reading really quickly. You may actually be reading the book so quickly that you're not even really thinking as you read. In books that are too easy for you, chances are, you'll already know all of the words and not have to challenge yourself to know any new ones. Plus, if you're bored, that's a big hint that the book you're reading might be too easy.
Reading Interests
It is important to pick a book that matches your interests. If you're not interested in the topic that the book is about, you probably won't want to read it, so go with what you like.

Think about what you like to read personally. Do you like to read shorter books? Would you rather tackle a big, thick chapter book? Pick something that is manageable for you that you won't get bored with or give up on.

Font Size
Open up the book and check out the print. Is it teeny tiny? Is it super big? Those factors might change whether or not you want to read the book and if its just right for you.

Strategies to Help You Decide
When you go to pick a book, you may be hoping for a few more tips to help you decide whether or not it is just right for you. Try some of these strategies below to help you out.
  • Five Finger Rule- Open up the book to any page. Read the page. On your fingers, keep track of any words that you don't know how to say or what they mean. If you find more than five words that you don't know on one page, chances are the book is too hard for you.
  • Classroom Library Level- Check out the colored sticker and number on the spine of the book if it is from our classroom library. Think of the color and number that was assigned to you by Mrs. Hartman. Use the leveling arrow hanging in the classroom to help you figure out if this book might be just right for you.
  • Scholastic Book Wizard- Visit Scholastic's Book Wizard to check out ideas about books. If there's a book that you really liked that was just right for you, type in the title. You can search for other books that are similar. Also, if there is a book that you liked that was too hard or too easy for you, you can search for that too, but change the level and ask for easier or harder books that are similar.