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Connie asks: Do I get my granddaughter first grade or second grade books?

"My granddaughter is entering the second grade this Fall.  Do I get her first grade books or second grade books?"

Above question asked by an Education.com visitor after reading the article, "First Grade Summer Reading List":
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/grade...
In Topics: Back to school, Helping my child with reading, Recommended Books
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Candace_Lindemann
Jun 22, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Excellent question!  Books are the perfect gift--they are always the right size and they never go out of style. And some of the books your granddaughter reads now will no doubt have an important influence on her as she gets older.

The appropriate grade-level or age listed for a book is determined by a number of factors.  There are some readability tests that factor in the complexity of the vocabulary and sentence structure.  There is also the more subjective issue of maturity and readiness for certain concepts and themes.  And there is the important question of a child's interest in certain subjects.  Finally, there are also topics that are usually covered at each grade level.  Reading a book that touches upon these topics will deepen a student's understanding.

Usually an age or grade range, rather than a specific age or grade, is listed. For example, most books at this level are considered appropriate for ages 6-8 or Grades 1-3.

The perfect book for a child is one that he or she will enjoy reading, one that will challenge without frustrating the child, and one that the parents feel is appropriate for the child's age.

You could ask the parents what books your granddaughter has recently enjoyed and use those as guidelines.  Amazon.com even has a function that suggests books based on ones you have enjoyed in the past and will help you find books for the appropriate age range and in a theme of interest.

Here's a guide to choosing good books:
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Choosing_Good_Books/

View any lists as recommendations based on guidelines, rather than as prescribed requirements.

What I would recommend is to take into account your granddaughter's age (is she older or younger for her grade), comfort with reading, and maturity level.  Most likely if she will be attending second grade in a couple of months, you would select from the second grade list.  However, if you feel there is a book she would love from the first grade list, or even the third grade list, she will most likely enjoy the story.  Even better, perhaps there is a book in a shared area of interest so you can talk about the story with your granddaughter.

Whichever book you choose, you are giving a great gift--a treasure you may enjoy and discuss with your grandchild!


---
Candace Lindemann, Ed.M. - JustAsk Expert
Educational Consultant and Writer
http://CandaceLindemann.com
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Additional Answers (6)

lofran
lofran , Teacher writes:
Dear Connie,

Thanks for submitting your question.  Choosing a book for a child can be a lot of fun, but can also be very overwhelming and/or intimidating, due to the wealth of books in stores and online.  

I would first recommend that you gather as much information as possible on your granddaughter’s interests and if possible, her particular reading interests and current ability.  Many times, children her age, who are newer readers, have developed a strong affinity for a type of book series.  An example is the Junie B. Jones series that many children encounter in first and second grade.  Reading a series is a great way to build fluency and automaticity, improving the child’s reading ability, but of course, the most important aspect of reading, is that the reader be drawn to the material.

Below is a link that will direct you to an article by the non-profit organization, “Reading is Fundamental.”  It offers great tips for choosing age-appropriate books for children.  Scroll down on the first page to find information on books for children ages 6-11.

http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Choosing_Good_Books/

If your granddaughter lives near you, you may want to include her in the process of choosing appropriate books that she will enjoy, using the tips on the bottom of the first page of the “Reading is Fundamental” article.  This can be a way for you two to spend some quality time together and teach her a lifelong learning skill in the process.

Here are a few book series titles to consider: "Junie B. Jones," "Ramona Quimby," "Geronimo Stilton," "Judy Moody," "American Girl," "Magic Treehouse" and "The Spiderwick Chronicles"

There are more book series titles to peruse on this site:

http://www.kidsreads.com/series/index.asp

Lastly, here is a link to an Education.com information hub, entitled, “Top Early Elementary Books.”  

http://www.education.com/topic/books-early-elementary/#page1/

Here you will find numerous articles on choosing reading material for young readers.

I hope this will all lead you to an enjoyable process of finding great reading material for your granddaughter.

Best regards,
Lori
> 60 days ago

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CreativeRachna
CreativeRac... , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
Congratulations on your granddaughter entering second grade.  In response to getting her books at her grade level, or above, is directly based upon her interest and reading level.  Usually schools test the students and will tell you what grade level your child fits.  In addition, if she enjoys reading and tends to gravitate more towards books rather than other toys, it would be great if you got her some difficult books.  She may get excited about them and tackle them anyway-  
The following link references a first grade reading book list
http://www.education.com/reference/article/first-grade-nonfiction-
books-reading/

The second link references second grade reading milestones.  You maybe able to determine whether your child fits the second grade reading level by reading the following article.
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Reading_Second_Third/

Happy reading with your granddaughter!  
Rachna
> 60 days ago

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CreativeRachna
CreativeRac... , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
My first grade reading book list did not post correctly.  Here it is again.
http://www.education.com/reference/article/first-grade-nonfiction-books-reading/
> 60 days ago

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LDSolutions
LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
If a child is struggling in reading then I usually recommend getting below grade level books for children when they read for pleasure reading.  In order for reading to be enjoyable and fun, it shouldn't be a difficult activity. When children read books that are easier for them, I also suggest this is when they begin reading independently and in their heads.  You can get  grade level books through e-books, or books on tape.  This way your child receives the vocabulary and grade level concepts -  but through listening to it.  All the libraries now have e-books that you can download onto your ipod or computer.
> 60 days ago

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dmillerteach
dmillerteach , Child Professional, School Administrator, Teacher writes:
Hi Connie,
As you search for books for your granddaughter, it is important to look for books that are on her reading level. If you have access to this information (through progress reports or teacher accessibility), you can then search for books on websites such as Scholastic, which will break down the books by grade level for you. Throughout the summer, it is also a good idea for adults to read aloud to her as much as possible. When an adult is doing the reading, you can select books that are one to two grade levels above what she is currently reading. Happy reading!

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shellybeene
shellybeene writes:
I would get books on both levels.  The books that she can read easily I would have her read aloud to build fluency (speed) and higher level books to help learn new words and interest.  Make sure you get different genres, so she can build interest in fiction and non fiction books.  The best way to check to see if a book is to hard is to have her read a page and if she can't read more than 5 to 7 of the words without help then it is too hard.
> 60 days ago

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