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Home run!

You’ve now reached the limit of what I know about football.

Over at SLJ, Kiera Parrott makes a thorough case against reading levels. I wish I’d had her on hand when we were visiting the children last month. The grandpas had sent eight-year-old Miles some books a few weeks before, mainly Magic Treehouse. When I said something about them he mumbled that they weren’t on his Fountas and Pinnell level. His what? At first I thought I couldn’t hear, and then I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Why does he even know that? (Although “I’m sorry, it’s not on my Fountas and Pinnell level” could become the next great all-purpose excuse.) But in conversation with the lad and his dad, I found out that the two were having a perfectly swell time with a football book, reading aloud shared, at bedtime, level be damned. But leaving me with another dilemma: what do I know about football or football books? Guide God and Goddesses, help me!

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. 1. Friday Night Lights
    2. The Replacements

  2. The Jake Maddox books have been very popular–there’s a bunch of them that cover different sports. A more modern feel than the Matt Christopher books. Good for those not quite ready for Mike Lupica’s books.

  3. While I don’t have a football recommendation for you, I do share your confusion over the reading levels! My son switched schools this year and went from reading whatever was in the classroom library (a nightmare!) to having an actual, assigned reading level (yay!). Now, when I was in grade school, we had the Accelerated Reader program, where we were assigned a level and took computer based quizzes on the books we read, to accumulate points for cheesy prizes. My son on the other hand, has a Lexile level, which I hear is pretty common now? I’m not entirely sure. We got a not-so-small booklet of papers from the school about Lexile testing and levels, etc….I’d really rather have a list of books my child should be reading! 🙂

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