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Phonics Books for New Readers

When kids first start learning to read it is vitally important for them to practice. This is what builds fluency and confidence in reading. Through the course of teaching Dominic to read, I have discovered a couple of great series of leveled readers.

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The first step of teaching a child to read is having an awesome, solid reading curriculum. I highly recommend Logic of English Foundations.

Check out these posts for more info on LOE:

What makes a good leveled reader?

There are so many different leveled reader series. Some just take a familiar book and change it a little and stick a number on the cover. Often publishers categorize a book based on the number of words per page and per book. While this is important, it’s not the most important thing.

You need to make sure that the books you’re choosing are books that your kids can read. They should provide a little challenge, but really be within your kids reading ability.

Logic of English includes some readers in every level of Foundations. However, I think that you need to add more. Use this list to pick out some books to match your kids reading level.

A good leveled reader should be interesting and keep the child’s attention. This is what will help them persevere through more challenging parts of the book and make them want to finish it. Plus it just makes the act of reading so much more valuable and desirable.

Our Favorite Series of Leveled Readers

Get these series for your new readers!

Usborne Books Readers

These books are our favorites! They have multiple levels to choose from, all with appropriate amounts of text and beautiful illustrations! The stories are fun too.

When kids are first learning to read, you should get the My First Phonics Readers. You can get a set of 20 or buy them individually.

Some of the other books are set-up so that the parent reads more complex text on the left page, and the child reads leveled text on the right page. This allows stories to be more complex and enjoyable. Plus, it’s less intimidating for new readers!

The best deal on these books that would give you a variety would be to get this My First Reading Library Bundle. It includes 50 books!

Or you can shop for individual books by clicking here!


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Now I’m Reading

These are a great set of first books for kids! They are based on phonics and are easy to introduce alongside a good phonics curriculum.

They are enjoyable stories! My kids have loved reading them. This is a great leveled reader series for kids to use as their first real books to read.

We Both Read

These are some of our favorite leveled readers. These books are written to have the parent read the left page and the child read the right page. The right page is leveled for the child, but the parent page is more complex.

This series is so well done and the books have been such a joy to read with Dominic. When he first started reading, he would get intimidated by a whole book, but with these he knows that he only reads half the pages, so it just seems easier to him.

There are both fiction and nonfiction leveled readers. There are multiple books in this series ranging from from Pre-K through level 3.

The Pre-K and Kindergarten, and K-l levels are all very basic for the kids page with only 1 to 3 words usually. That makes these comparable to the Now I’m Reading or Bobs Books in that they would be good first reading books. What makes these more interesting is that the parent page allows for more complex stories and information in the books.

These are just some of the books available at these levels. There are many others!

As the levels progress, the books progress in difficulty gradually.

You may be able to find some of these at your library. Ours has a few. I ended up buying a lot of them though because Dominic liked them so much! He was able to start reading these level 1-2 books when he was about halfway through LOE Foundations B. Not all kids will be able to at this point, but he was as long as I helped with words that had phonograms he hadn’t learned yet.

Now in LOE Foundations C, Dominic is able to read these level 2 books. They’re just right for him.

Another great thing about these books is they have good re-read value! Dominic often wants to come back and read these books again a few weeks later.

Other Books for Early Readers

In addition to the leveled readers series above, these books are great for early readers who are at least in LOE Foundations C or above.

Leveled readers are an important stepping stone for kids as they learn to read. They give them just enough challenge while building their confidence through gradually increasing in length and word complexity.

16 Pages of Free Fall Writing Prompts for grades K-2

Leveled Readers Series

There are many leveled reader series available, but in my experience the Usborne Readers, Now I’m Reading and We Both Read series are the best. Both you and your kids will be happy that to have them.

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Best Leveled Readers Series for K-2 text overlay on picture of boy looking at bookshelf in library
Our favorite series of leveled readers text overlay on picture of girl laying in bed surrounded by books reading