Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An open rap to the publishers of "easy readers"

I just finished taking a great ALSC online class, Reading Instruction and Children's Books, taught by Kate Todd.

While I learned a lot about reading and "leveling" methods, I also learned that librarians across the country are frustrated with the publishers of "easy reader" books. Not only do they use widely different methods of classifying the "level" of each book, they neglect to tell us which method they use (Lexile, Flesch-Kincaid, whim?)!

Why is one publisher's Level 1 book so different from another's? I vented my frustration in this open rap to the the publishers of easy readers...

An open rap to easy reader publishers

Librarians –
we’re a scientific bunch.
We need more to go on
than just a hunch.

We help children find books.
Some use the 5-finger rule.
We help teachers and parents
and we work with school.

“This Level 2 is too easy?
Well, this one’s just right!
Here’s another Level 2 -
Too hard! Not quite.”

Is it Lexile? Is it ATOS?
Is it Flesch-Kincaid?
Please don’t keep us guessing,
‘cause we need your aid!

Tell us how the books are leveled
all across these lands,
and we’ll make sure they end up
in just the right hands!

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