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100 Scope Notes
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Link Du Jour: Two Words for You

Want to make things interesting at your next gathering of teachers or school librarians (F.Y.I.: a group of teachers is known as a “quiz”, school librarians, a “bun”)? Slowly and clearly utter the words “reading level” and watch what happens.

The role of educators in guiding student reading has always been a matter of debate – one that has only ramped up with the adoption of technology.

As always, The Blue Skunk blog has a take on the matter worth reading, as he looks at the Top 20 Books Read Among U.S. High Schoolers 2010-2011 (by the way, I’ll give you one guess about the book that came in #1).

In my experience, reading programs have a way of overtaking sound decision-making. Interest should trump reading level every time.

Click the image below to read.

Blue Skunk 500x156 Link Du Jour: Two Words for You

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Heidi Grange says:

    Sigh. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that interest should trump reading level every time. Unfortunately, many of the teachers at my school don’t agree. I understand why, after all it takes a lot of time and effort to find the right book for every student and when you have 30 students it becomes almost impossible. But still, I would love to get rid of the reading level labels and just recommend books because they are great. Maybe someday we’ll come up with an answer.

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