Update on titles suitable for guided reading

Our most visited post on this blog is our list of guided reading books for levels 3 – 5.  Over the summer we took the opportunity to update the list and have added many new titles.  So here they are!


Below level 3

Smile! Starring Sunny McCloud – Leigh Hodgkinson

That’s Not Funny – Adrian Johnson

Level 3

I want to be Famous by Laura Adkins and Sam Hearn

Three by the Sea by Mini Grey

Pillywiggins and the Tree Witch by Julia Jarman (higher level 3)

The Sprog Owner’s Manual by Babette Cole

A Child’s Garden a story of hope by Michael Foreman

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie

Something Else by Catherine Cave and Chris Riddell

The Pirate Lord by Terry Deary (higher level 3)

Major Glad, Major Dizzy by Jan Oke

Six Men by David McKee

The Three Pigs by David Wiesner

Crazy Hair by Neil Gamon

Refugees by David Miller

Level 4

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

The Rumblewick Letters by Hiawyn Oram and Sarah Warburton – read alongside one of the Rumblewick Diaries

Lord of the Animals by Fiona French and The King of the Birds by Helen Ward – use both books to explore the theme

Spooky Devon by Helen Greathead – short stories located in Devon.  Entertaining end papers,  interesting index and short stories to dip in to

Highway Robbbery by Kate Thompson

Short Too! By Kevin Crossley Holland – short stories

Little Wolf’s Book of Badness by Ian Whybrow

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

Ghostly Beasts – Joan Aiken – short stories

The Monster Diaries by Luciano Saracino

The Shadow-Cage and other supernatural tales – Phillippa Pearce

The Viewer by Gary Crew


Level 5

Farther by Graheme Baker-Smith

Me and You by Anthony Browne – explore the 2 stories, why the illustrative style is used with each story, the cultural context of the setting for Goldilocks and stereotypes

The Heart and The Bottle by Oliver Jeffers – also available as an ipad app for those schools with ipads.  The level 5ness of this book can be found, amongst other things, in the use of the bottle as a metaphor and the idea of an empty chair and what it symbolises

Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories – would be a good book for each child to take one story, prepare it and then tell the rest of group about it so that common themes can be explored.  Also interesting to explore the style of illustration in relation to the story.

The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Black and White by David Macaulay – an end of year  KS2 book

Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman

The Paradise Garden by Colin Thompson

The Boy Who Climbed Into The Moon by David Almond

George and the Dragon and a world of other stories by Geraldine McCaughrean – also in the series, Robin Hood and a world of other stories and King Arthur and a world of other stories

What we do intend doing is linking the books on this list to cards from our resource Think Reading.  This will mean that you have suggested texts and ideas .

What are your favourite texts for guided reading?

I am truly Wonderstruck!

I just loved Brain Selznick’s latest book Wonderstruck.  I love the way the text and the images tell two stories that cross, link and move backwards and forwards through time until finally coming together.

I love the way the images start by zooming into the wolf’s eye and out again when we see Lillian May, the actress.  Very filmic, which of course is so true of Selznick’s work.

I hate the way that the girl, Rose,  has to reach out to her mother the actress Lillian May and the way in which she rejects her.  The facial expressions tell the story of a mother who does not want to be reminded of anything less than perfect in her life.  The end of silent movies here reflects the end of the mother and daugheter’s relationship.  It can’t be a coincidence that Rose, the daughter who is deaf, has her story told through images rather than words.

This is definitely a book for guided reading – so much to discus and puzzle over.  One for children reading securely in NC level 4.

And to top it all I see the The Invention of Hugo Cabret has been made into a film which is due out in November (in America).

Other books that would be suitable for guided reading can be seen here and here.