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Our son is one of the best readers in his class......now (4th grade), but he didn't start out that way. We worked closely with a reading specialist tutor who helped us select the best books for children who need phonics\direct instruction to become good readers.
Our son loves to read now and we are very pleased with the outcome! I've listed many of the books that helped him learn, including phonics instruction books and high interest books that the tutor said were designed well in terms of introduction of word patterns, difficulty level, etc.
One of the things she helped us to understand is that the reading levels listed by different publishers are often not equivalent. One publisher might intend a "Level 1" book to be read together with an adutl with the adult reading the longer\harder words. Another publsiher might intend a "Level 1" book for the beginning reader to be able to sound out his or herself. Of course, it is of utmost importance for the struggling reader to have a lot of success expereinces and not to become too discouraged.
If you have any questions re: the books I have listed, please PM me. We are please to be sending these books on to the next wave of emerging readers!