books available to rent online from the reading schemes above.
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Tips on Choosing Books


Find out your child’s reading level.

Home school reading books are carefully graded by reading levels called book bands. You can find which book band your child is reading at by looking for a coloured sticker or printed coloured tag on the spine or back of the book. Once you know this you will be able to select books from different authors and reading schemes, which should all be at the same reading level. If you’re not sure, your child’s teacher should be able to help. Otherwise, look at our sample pages to see what is appropriate.


Know the colour: now choose your books.

You can choose from a wide array of reading schemes if you wish. A reading scheme is a range of carefully levelled reading books from the same publisher (e.g. Rigby Star, Oxford Reading Tree). For more detail on particular reading schemes see books and reviews. (You may wish to avoid the reading scheme that your child reads at school.) You can also opt for non-fiction books which are fact based and often appeal to boys or from our massive fiction selection (story books). Most parents leave their options open and receive a varied selection from all the schemes offered by Reading Chest.


Synthetic phonics books?

These can be selected on their own or in combination with the other schemes. Some of these books have book bands such as Floppy’s Phonics but others have been given a best-fit book band. For more information on phonics books, go to our Synthetic phonics page.


What if I change my mind?

Don’t worry - you can change your preferences at any time. If the books are too easy or too challenging you can also change your reading level (book band).


Reading Chest supports you.

If you need more advice about helping your child read check out our Helping children learn to read page.


Dive into reading.

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Find the right book band for your child!












Pink band: Age 4 - 5
Red band: Age 4 - 5
Yellow band: Age 4 - 5
Blue band: Age 5 - 6
Green band: Age 5 - 6
Orange band: Age 5 - 6
Turquoise band: Age 6 - 7
Purple band: Age 6 - 7
Gold band: Age 6 - 7
White band: Age 7 - 8
Lime band: Age 7 - 8
Extended band: Age 8 - 9
helping children learn to read


synthetic phonics