Selecting Just Right Books

This week we talked about selecting books.  The first criteria is to pick something that looks interesting, whether it is an information book about dinosaurs or dogs or  a story about superheroes or princesses.  The next criteria is to find a just right book.  We read Goldisocks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins, illustrated by John Manders


The story introduces the concept of the Five Finger Rule which has you read the first page and count the number of words you don’t know on one hand.  If you find 5 words, the book is too hard and you need to select a different book.  Books with two or three new words are just right.  The story also talks more about returning the book properly on the shelf with the spine or title showing, not backwards, upside down, or laying on top.  I decorated the library with  the Goldie Socks Five Fingers Poster  and the Goldie Socks Finding a “Just Right” Book Poster


When looking at chapter books, I suggested they select books by size. Short chapter books are in our Early Reader section,   while middle to longer books are in the Fiction section.   Narrower or shorter chapter books typically have easier vocabulary, more pictures and fewer words, so would more likely to be “just right” for second and third graders, while thicker or longer books are right for the upper grades.  Other ways to select books include recommendations by friends, books by the same author or the same series as one that you have already read and award winning books. We read Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile, which followed many of the rules for selecting just right books.  We will talk more about ways to select books later in the year.


About SHaberstroh

I'm an Elementary School Librarian, with a Masters in Library and Information Science degree from Kent State University. I retired at the end of the school year June 2017.

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