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Second Generation Librarian.

So Easy Readers (not to be confused with Easy Riders)… they’re thin, often used, usually beat-up books that circulate a lot. Bad for shelf reading, hold pulling, and kind of a pain the bibliographic backside of everyone who has to deal with them on an administrative level, shall we say.

So, what are people looking for easy readers really looking for? I’d say… levels. In assistance to us, most publishers of “easy readers” have split their books up into various levels of reading development from “see spot run” to full paragraphs of compound words that still retain a certain size of type and no indentation (or so I’ve been led to believe). Usually they number these levels 1-4 – (Frog and Toad fall into about a level 2-3, to give you an idea) – but different publishers have tried to get a jump on the competition by formulating different crafty gimmicks. There’s Green Light Readers from Harcourt, the funnily named “Bananas” series from Crabtree Publishing, and the list goes on. Some have 3 levels, some have 5… some just have colours! So it makes it a little difficult for the ambitious librarian really find crosswalks to make decisions on what colour of banana counts as a Level 3 read, (I personally think it’s Red Bananas, though others may disagree). So this is my project, if the Children’s Services Committee chooses to accept it – making navigating Easy Readers more intuitive for parents and children. We’ll see how that goes.

As a final side note: For older readers just graduated from Easy Readers, the Nibbles, Bites, Chomps series is a good, canned way to help parents guide their kids along the road to reading without much serious readers advisory effort. This recommendation is kid-approved (it was, after all, a kid who brought the series to my attention), and librarian tested. 😀

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