Early readers: what keeps my 1st grader up past bedtime reading under her covers with a flashlight

August 26, 2013

Juliet learned how to read last year, but just this summer I started looking for books that she could read on her own--moving her beyond picture books into chapter books. 

I found it to be difficult because I wasn't sure which books would be too hard and which would be too easy. She reads aloud to me every day from a reader I have, but I felt like maybe she could venture out on her own and learn to get engrossed in a good book all on her own. 

We visited the library and found the Nate the Great series. I placed them on the end of her bed and told her to try and read them during her "quiet time" in the afternoon (quiet time is what replaced naptime when she quit taking naps at the ripe old age of TWO.) 

A few days later, I asked if she had read them and she shrugged and said, "yeah." I asked if it took her a few days and she said, "No. I just read through one day. It was fast."

So then I knew we were in the too easy category. I went hunting for more. We got Ramona the Pest and she took one look at it and said, "Um, can you read this to me." I did and then another one in the series. Then, the next time we were at the library, she chose another one from the series. 

This time, I laid it on her bed and found her reading it on her own. After discovering Ramona, she was hooked and willing to read on her own. 

I got her the first The Boxcar Children book and she found it a bit more difficult, but she pushed through with out me and enjoyed it. She even asked for the second one. 

With these early victories of reading on her own under her belt, she became more confident at the library and discovered the Andrew Lost series on her own. I have never read any of these, but she LOVES THEM.

She also is intent on reading them in order.

Again, I have no idea what they are like, but she likes them the best and saves them especially for after bedtime reading. I love that she's discovered the thrill of a great book!

I have been reading the American Girl series (like Felicity) with her and now that we've read through several, she's going back and rereading them on her own. 

I think I'm going to introduce her to Magic Tree House next--I've never read these either, but I've heard so many good things about them from many of you. 

What are your early readers into? Do you have any good suggestions for me? I feel like I am wading into new territory here and would love any advice and suggestions!

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