Jump in book bands - recommendations

(30 Posts)
LegoWidow Tue 26-Mar-13 16:43:56

DS has been on orange reading level for the last few weeks but has just come home and said that he was assessed today and he's been moved up 3 levels to gold. I'm not surprised that he's been moved up (he was finding orange easy) but I wasn't expecting a jump of a few levels - he's really proud of himself (as am I!), which is great. He's not got a new book from school yet though as it wasn't his actual reading day today.

Anyway - what kind of books should I be getting for him? Not sure where to pitch it at his age/level. I'm keen to get him some new books to take on holiday with us over Easter and would like to get him something that would interest him and be appropriate.

The most recent things that I've bought/got from the library for him to read are the Allen Ahlberg - Happy Families books which he really enjoyed (no idea what level they'd equate to - I'm not fixated on levels - just want to get something appropriate).

Any suggestions? He's loving reading at the moment and often reads to himself in bed after we've read with him. He's got the bug now and I'm keen to encourage that so any suggestions would be gratefully received!

Periwinkle007 Tue 26-Mar-13 16:53:28

there is a book called something like Claude in the City about a dog which is like an early reader book, set out a bit like a chapter book but apparently very appealing to younger readers. how old is he? I have girls so most of the books they like he won't!

try dick king smith books, they are normally popular, some of the first Roald Dahl ones, erm the Magic Finger, Fantastic Mr Fox etc.

depending how old he is the Paddington ones are around that level but he may feel they are a bit young. Happy Families is about purple/gold I think. I have never been too sure what colour banana books are what level but Julia Donaldson wrote a few of them so they might appeal to him. There is a mini series of 4 books about the Mammoth Academy, again might depend on his age whether he would like it - i got them from the Book People cheaply. Magic Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair, Famous Five. Once they are at gold they should be able to tackle pretty much everything so just let him pick what he likes the look of I think. Great he is enthusiastic. We have just gone up to level 8 today (although with a level 9 book oddly) so have a renewed enthusiasm too.

will have a look through my lists and see what else I can think of.

AryaUnderfoot Tue 26-Mar-13 16:54:26

DS jumped from orange to gold in the space of a week back in February. We have found that the school books vary enormously in length and difficulty - from 16 pages through to about 65!

DS loves the Horrid Henry Early Readers and they are about the right level for him. We were also given some old 'Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot' books by a friend, and he likes them too. By the same author is the 'Captain Underpants' books.

DS loves his Skylanders, and there are a few reading books about those that are about the right level.

I have avoided Beast Quest thus far.....

LegoWidow Tue 26-Mar-13 17:08:04

Thanks for the recomendations - some really good suggestions there. We read Roald Dahl to him but I guess you are right, some of the easy ones (like George's Marvellous Medicine) might be his kind of thing now. Ooh - I like the idea of the Famous Five (and Secret Seven).

He's nearly 6 1/2 (an October baby) - in Year 1.

He spent all of reception on pink and red and the first 1/2 term of Year 1 on red too - but it seemed to click with him 1/2 way through the Autumn term and he's been progressing pretty rapidly since then. He's really caught the bug too - which is great. Loving reading is much more important to me than reading levels - so I'm trying not to get focus too much on levels - but it is usual to help me in choosing appropriately pitched books.

We've got some Horrid Henry books so I'll see if he wants to give those a try.
In fact - all good suggestions - I'll look on the Book People for those ones you recommended Periwinkle, and AryaUnderfoot - I'll check out Skylanders too as he loves those. Thanks!

LegoWidow Tue 26-Mar-13 17:12:46

oh and Periwinkle - yes that's a good suggestion - I'll let him choose some books and see what piques his interest. He should be able to tackle most things I guess.

It was really sweet - they had a "Spring Assembly" at school today (though I might complain under the Trades Description Act given the current weather...) and as his class was led out into the hall he was mouthing "I've moved up to Gold!" to me, looking very shy and pleased with himself. I'm keen to strike whilst the iron is hot so I'll get him some new books to take on holiday.

simpson Tue 26-Mar-13 17:44:26

Flat Stanley might be worth a try too.

LegoWidow Tue 26-Mar-13 17:45:59

ooh - I've got one of those somewhere (hand me down from cousin) - thanks simpson!

Biscuitsneeded Tue 26-Mar-13 18:57:23

My 6 year old is just getting into the Jack Stalwart spy books. Recommended to me by the lady in Waterstones as I asked for sth just for him, that we hadn't already read with older brother. They are full of baddies, fabulous gadgets and a boy who is a spy. What's not to like? I would say they are on a par with Diinosaur Cove in terms of reading level..

LegoWidow Tue 26-Mar-13 19:04:36

Thanks Biscuitsneeded - not heard of those (nor Dinosaur Cove for that matter!). They sound right up DS's street.

Rowgtfc72 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:15:51

In the same boat. DD just turned six and three weeks ago was moved to turquoise. Todays book is stage nine so either someone made a mistake or weve gone from stage four to nine in a term.She is finding it easy reading though so we raided the library after school and took out books without pictures on every page. Is it easy to make the jump from "story " books to chapter books ?

Periwinkle007 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:53:28

Rowgtfc72 - some of the ORT stage 9 books are re-evaluated as being at turquoise so it might be one of those ones, erm The Litter Queen, Storm Castle, Superdog, Dutch Adventure, The Flying Machine and Key Trouble I think (been helping the school reshuffle the books, I haven't learned the entire ORT range)

I think the jump to chapter books depends very much on the child. Some children cling on to pictures for quite a while which is why some of the early readers are brilliant because they often still have some colour pictures in so bridge the gap nicely but I know plenty of children who just literally do jump from picture based story books to text based chapterbooks. It does depend on age I think, younger kids seem more likely to want to hang on to the pictures for a bit longer but all of them are different. My daughter is 5 and she still wants to have colour pictures so she reads Katie Morag, The Lighthouse Keeper ones, Percy the Park Keeper, Winnie the Witch (I have got the winnie chapter books for when she decides to try them) but she likes the Usborne beginners Non Fiction (which are purple/book band 8) and their first reading series one books (think thats what they are called but they claim they are gold/white so 9/10 depending on the book) they still have nice pictures in. She likes reading in her head to herself now so I think the move up the books might be fairly soon.

There are also the Enid Blyton adventure books, erm the Ship of Adventure, Castle of Adventure etc. I remember loving those and got quite excited when I found them in my parents loft. yes secret seven, any of those kind of books. Charlotte's web, Worst Witch and Naughtiest girl in the school less likely to interest a boy but you never know. Roald Dahl is probably your best bet.

Enjoy - one of my real hopes is that both my children enjoy reading

will let you know if I think of any other books.

simpson Tue 26-Mar-13 21:03:56

My DS is now in yr3 and when he was ready for chapter books he found The Secret 7 muxh easier than Famous 5 books.

Although my DD is on stage 10 a d could not cope with them yet.

Winnie the Witch is a good idea (my DC school have it levelled at purple) and The Seriously Silly Stories are fab (Little Red Riding Wolf etc).

Periwinkle - you have reminded me how much I hated The Litter Queen and Storm Castle grin

Periwinkle007 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:33:39

oh don't - we haven't had The Litter Queen or Storm Castle yet. I did rejoice today though when she went up a level and I realised that meant fewer possible magic key books to come home.

yes Winnie is good - the picture books are purple and then the chapter type books are classed as gold, probably primarily because of the presentation rather than the language although they are written by a different author so perhaps they do read a bit differently.

I don't think DD would be interested in famous five or secret seven yet. Magic Faraway tree possibly but I think Winnie is our way into chapters

cakebar Tue 26-Mar-13 21:46:54

My DS is 6 and a bit and is on white (which I think is one above gold?) so very similar. He has recently loved reading Charlie and the Chocolate factory and the Magic Faraway tree. He liked Flat Stanley. He LOVES Mr Gum (it is very boyish). He can read Beast Quest and does sometimes but they are not his favourite. He likes the original Thomas books. He really liked the world book day book from this year by Tom Gates. He likes the Usborne 'Look Inside' series. I'm going to try and get him reading the Mr Men again, I used to read them to him but I think you get something new out of them when you are a bit older.

I think beware some of the things we read as children, we have read a secret seven together and actually it was quite dull, it didn't engage him. They did quite a lot of sitting around in sheds, he didn't get some of it because the world was so different back then. Maybe he was just too young for it. I also had to explain some of the cultural references in Faraway tree.

Very good progress! Well done clever DS! That is from a 1b to a 2b, a years worth of progress, and if he was on red when he started, he has made 2 years progress! shock <slightly obsessed with reading levels at the mo>

YY to Beast Quest and Dinosaur Cove. Have you thought about any non-fiction books? Being on that level he would benefit from reading those types of books too and he sounds like a curious and clever child. Sharks, dinosaurs, any kind of predator, space etc.

I will ask some of the mums in my class tomorrow what the boys like and pm you!

simpson Tue 26-Mar-13 22:22:57

DD has managed The Magic Finger and The Enormous Crocodile and we are going to give Esio Trot in the holidays.

I think my DC school have The Litter Queen and Storm Castle as orange level...

simpson Tue 26-Mar-13 22:23:30

Esio Trot a go blush

Periwinkle007 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:51:26

Simpson - I think all the Biff Chip and Kipper ones which are stage 9 are now evaluated as orange, turquoise or purple. none are at level 9 certainly. oddly though the old Robins books which say stages 6/7 etc are now classed as level 9. all very odd. I am helping my daughters school rejig them around but in reality it won't be possible to do it completely until the end of the summer term when all the books are back in for the summer holidays. so some kids will come across books at level 9 they will have already read and will have missed some completely but there are a lot of different ones in each box so I don't think it will make much difference in practice.
never heard of Esio Trot - off to google now. I was wondering about getting hold of a copy of the Magic Finger for DD, I don't think I have that one in the loft from when I was younger.

Rowgtfc72 Wed 27-Mar-13 15:31:18

Thanks for that. Yes, its The Litter Queen so still turquoise. We have had the Usbourne early readers and she loves them (and the attached bookmarks).Will try some chapter books over Easter see how we go.

teacherwith2kids Wed 27-Mar-13 15:47:46

Go to the library together, and be totally indiscriminate about what you take out within approximate age-appropriate bounbdaries. He'll try a few, like some, hate some others. Go back to the library in a week or so and get more of the type he likes, and take back the ones he didn't...and throw in a few more random ones for good measure.

When DD was at this stage we went to the library at least weekly, and took out her whole 12 book allocation every time. Once we had settled on a few authors / series, we just got the remaining ones from the Book People.

Periwinkle007 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:37:31

teacherwith2kids is absolutely right, try anything and everything.

Rowgtfc72 - The Usborne early readers are great IMO. Has she read Laura's star? they do some early reader ones now too (they also come with a detachable bookmark if she is developing a thing about bookmarks - my daughter loves them) and they seem nice little story books, again not too long and overwhelming so a good starting point. if you can stand fairies they now do about 4 early reader rainbow fairy books. we also have an early reader called something like 'the kitten with no name' which my daughter likes and has nice colour pictures in. Also the old fashioned Milly Molly Mandy stories go down well with my daughters and the eldest is managing to read them. Gobollino the Witches cat is another one you could try. I have a copy from when I was younger but not given it to DD yet. we have lots of chapter books awaiting her being ready for them that Grandma has been stocking up on from the book people.

sorry I seem to know much more about books for girls than boys. Other than horrid henry there does seem to be a gap in the market for boys chapter books at this sort of age I think. girls have so many ranges to choose from, ballet, skating, fairies, witches, puppies, magic animals.

oh just thought there is also a magic pet shop mini series, not sure if that is girly or unisex, seen it in the book people but don't have it. and something else just passed through my mind erm oh what was it. humphrey the hampster? something like that, he is a class hampster or something who gets up to mischief? sound familiar to anyone

Periwinkle007 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:39:58

I can't believe I can't spell hamster! anyway it is these ones, http://www.funwithhumphrey.com/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&view=section&id=1&Itemid=27

they look to me like they might appeal to lots of children.

simpson Wed 27-Mar-13 17:27:43

DD loves bookmarks too and has also enjoyed The Kitten With No Name grin

She also likes My Naughty Little Sister.

LegoWidow Wed 27-Mar-13 19:10:15

Thanks so much for all your tips - you've all been really helpful. I would definitely normally be taking a trip to the library but we are going on holiday on Friday and I'm loathe to take library books with us, in case they get trashed. I went to WH Smith today and bought a selection of the ones that you have all suggested - and I'll let DS pick a few to take with him.

CheckpointCharlie - yes, he's done really well. He was on red for most of reception and at least to half term of the autumn term of year 1, but since he moved off red, he's rocketed. When he moved up to orange about 3 weeks ago, I thought to myself that it would be fantastic if he made it to purple by the end of the year (not that it matters obviously!), so for him to have missed turquoise and purple out and gone straight to gold, by Easter, is amazing. I've not really talked to him about book band colours - or at least not initiated it. He was telling me what other people were on and wanted to know what the order was, so I looked it up for him. He seems to be spurred on by the progression through the colour bands which is fine by me (as long as I'm not pushing him too much myself!).

Periwinkle007 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:14:54

doesn't sound like you are pushing him to me. I think a lot of them like to have something to aim for. Does his school continue with the bands for a long time or do they stop after gold, white, lime ones? Once they get to gold they seem to be virtually able to tackle anything and then it doesn't really matter.

just think how many biff chip and kipper books he managed to save you from by being clever and moving up rapidly (mind no doubt you had more than your fair share of the pink and red ones)

LegoWidow Wed 27-Mar-13 19:30:33

Ha, yes periwinkle! Funnily enough - he wants more Biff and Chip books. He asked me today to get him some school type reading books (by which he means Biff and Chip type books) and not "normal books" but I grabbed the opportunity to move away from that kind of thing! I think he's a little way off chapter books yet but ones like the "Ricky Ricotta" ones seem to be the right level and have piqued his interest!

I have pushed him in that I've made him read every night and also I've had in mind that I wanted to see if he could get to purple by the end of the year (but I didn't tell him that) - but hopefully I've stopped short of being "pushy" as it were.

Thanks again.

Periwinkle007 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:39:31

there is encouraging and getting them to work a little bit (ie recognise that to achieve you have to put in some effort) and then there is pushing by making them work for hours every night and never have any fun. sounds like you have a good balance to me.

I make my 2 read every day even if it is only a little bit and I do think I have pushed my elder daughter a bit (I feel bad about that because we have just discovered she has some sort of visual processing disorder and are awaiting coloured glasses - I have been telling her off for missing full stops or misreading words I know she knows very well when it now turns out she can't actually see them once she gets tired or if they are black print on white paper, very bad mother alert!)

if he REALLY wants biff etc he can do some on Oxford Owl's website - free e-books at each level but he probably thinks he wants them for the security of knowing he will be able to read them, once he really realises he can just pick up an interesting story and read it he won't be pining for chip.

LegoWidow Wed 27-Mar-13 20:15:45

Thanks Periwinkle - that's the balance we aim for isn't it (but don't always achieve!). That's good that they have identified your daughter's disorder - don't feel bad though!

Yes, I think you are right, it's a security thing re wanting Biff and Chip etc. I don't think he's quite made the leap yet that reading is reading and he can read any book (well any book aimed roughly at his level, iyswim) We do look at Oxford Owl (that was the first thing he wanted to do when he got home yesterday after moving up to "gold" - to log on and look at what a gold book looks like).

I also bribed him with a new Skylander for every level that he moved up. Not sure what that translates to, with moving up 3 levels in one go!

Periwinkle007 Wed 27-Mar-13 20:44:42

hehe - see if you can get away with one and wait to see if he asks for another 2!

It is hard. you want to encourage them but you still need to make sure they understand that school work is important even if they don't feel like it so have to be firm about it at times.

freetrait Sat 06-Apr-13 22:29:30

Hooray! Gold = you can access lots and lots of books and may never look at an ORT book again grin. Try usborne books and stuff from the library
www.usborne.com/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?cat=1&area=YR&subcat=YRS1

Ah yes, I think Horrid Henry may be coming your way!!!!!

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