Me: I'm so excited. I love dolphins!
Ana: Me, too!
Jazzie: I can fight my brother like a ninja. [Pause.] I never fall down. [Pause.] Because I'm like a ninja.
And so began a Tuesday morning with two of my first-grade reading buddies at a city school. They read. I listen. Occasionally we veer off topic.
Today's selection, for which we'd made a special trip downstairs to the school library, was Dolphins, by Leighton Taylor. The girls wanted a book about dolphins. I am often surprised, although at this point I shouldn't be, at how well first-graders read a book they're interested in, one that might be above their level.
Jazzie and Ana told me that they have to keep library books in their desks. The books must stay at school. I don't think the practice is uncommon.
Jazzie read Dolphins aloud. She needed a word or two pointed out, something a parent could do easily. Jazzie was acing it, sounding out words and reading captions.
Dolphins is part of Lerner's Early Bird Nature Books series. The publisher says that the reading level is third grade. Jazzie is in first.
Ninjas should be able to take books home from the school library.