Rookie Readers: Texas Book Festival Grant


This grant has enabled the Cleburne Public Library (CPL) to create and begin developing a special Rookie Reader section featuring books for those emergent readers learning to read text independently. This project includes the purchase of 152 new books: 81 nonfiction books, 11 fairytale/folktale books, and 60 fictional stories for truly “rookie readers.”  All of these books are at a 1.0 reading level or lower, which is the equivalent of beginning first grade and lower. These new books are in a unique area of the library to help those beginning readers find exactly what they need without being overwhelmed by all the books on the other shelves in the library. Furthermore, the books measure approximately 7”x7”, which is a perfect size for very young hands to hold.

This section features three different imprints by three different book publishers.

  • Little Pebble books are published by Capstone Publishing; these books are perfect for introducing nonfiction to beginning readers as they feature fantastic photography and subject matter that aligns with state standards. Each book in this series has a 1.0 reading level, which is the equivalent of a beginning first grade reader. (81 books)
  • The Rookie Reader books by Children’s Press are skill-specific books designed for early readers that feature “engaging, colorfully illustrated stories, each one involving a young child learning a new concept or solving a problem on his or her own.” These books are designed to hold the interest and build the reading confidence of young readers. While this series includes a wider range of reading levels, the titles selected for this project are a 1.0 reading level or lower. (20 books)
  • Norwood House Press Beginning-to-Read series and Dear Dragon books by Margaret Hillert feature limited vocabulary and repetition to enable the beginning readers to gain skills and have success in reading. The Dear Dragon series tells tales of a young boy and his pet dragon; these books also include “vocabulary, fluency and comprehension strategies” to help enhance the learning of the caregivers of beginning readers. While Hillert’s books include higher reading levels, only titles of a 1.0 reading level or lower were selected for this project. (11 fairytales/folktales; 20 Dear Dragon books;  20 Beginning-to-Read books)