2nd Edition

Beyond Leveled Books Supporting Early and Transitional Readers in Grades K-5

    In Beyond Leveled Books, Second Edition, Franki Sibberson, Karen Szymusiak, and Lisa Koch provide even more resources to help teachers understand and meet the needs of transitional readers. The key topic of series books has been revised and enlarged, with charts outlining new series with the challenges they pose and supports readers need. New lessons have been added, and most chapters now include a related article from a literacy expert. Some of the contributors include Kathy Collins, Larry Swartz, and Mary Lee Hahn.Leveled books are an indispensable tool for teaching children to read, especially for emergent readers, but the authors of Beyond Leveled Books are sounding the alarm about the overuse and misuse of leveling and the way it restricts teacher autonomy and undermines student choice and reading engagement. The authors lay out a blueprint for using leveled books effectively within a student-centered and differentiated approach that is designed to motivate all readers, particularly transitional ones.

    • Teaching Transitional Readers: Beyond Leveled Books is packed with resources to help teachers understand and meet the needs of transitional readers, including examples of classroom instruction, sample mini-lessons, strategies for small-group instruction, assessment techniques, and articles by literacy experts
    • Resources for K-5 Classrooms: The book explores the uses and limitations of leveled texts in primary reading instruction, including ideas for how to organize your classroom library and a list of great books and series to use alongside leveled text in supporting new readers
    • Gateway to Independent Reading: The authors provide explicit tools for helping students consolidate their skills and reading strategies, to read widely and deeply, to increase their vocabulary, and build critical thinking
    • Making Reading Fun: Teach students to experience joy from reading through deeper comprehension and application
    Beyond Leveled Books is an essential resource for K-5 teachers looking to help all readers, including budding readers, struggling readers, transitional readers, and readers who have plateaued.

    Introduction; Chapter One: Challenging Leveled-Book Mania; Chapter Two: Expanding Our Definition of Just-Right Books in Our K–1 Classrooms; Chapter Three: Understanding Transitional Readers; Chapter Four: When Levels and Learning Clash: Moving from Levels to Supports in Designing Instruction; Chapter Five: Taking a Close Look at Series Books; Chapter Six: Using Picture Books, Nonfiction, and Graphic Novels with Transitional Readers; Chapter Seven: Organizing for Thoughtful Instruction; Chapter Eight: Grouping for Instruction; Chapter Nine: Building a Reading Community; Chapter Ten: Taking the Conversation Home; Epilogue


    Franki Sibberson currently teaches third graders in Dublin, Ohio She has worked in elementary schools for over 25 years as a classroom teacher, a Reading Support Teacher, a curriculum support teacher and a school librarian. Franki is the co-author with Karen Szymusiak of many books and videos on teaching reading in the intermediate grades. Franki’s books include Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 (NCTE), Beyond Leveled Books, Second Edition (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read, Second Edition (Stenhouse), Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop (Scholastic) and The Joy of Planning (Choice Literacy).

    Karen Szymusiak has a lifetime of experiences in education and understands the power of teacher collaboration and the collective wisdom that supports strong beliefs about learning and teaching. She has co-authored several books and videos with Franki Sibberson. Her publications include Beyond Leveled Books (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read (Stenhouse), Bringing Reading to Life (Stenhouse) and Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop(Scholastic). Karen also blogs at Talkworthy. She has shared her knowledge and expertise at state and national conferences.

    Lisa Koch has been teaching in Ohio since 1990.  She has worked with parents, teachers and literacy coaches helping them to choose meaningful and entertaining books for their classroom libraries.  Lisa has also worked with new moms teaching the importance of early literacy. She has presented at many conferences and workshops in regards to reading and using picture books with students of all ages.  She is currently teaching journalism in Morrow, Ohio.