Youth Services Blog

How to Find Great Early Chapter Books

  • A good clue is the age of the protagonist. Is the main character the same age as your child? If so, then likely the book is a good match.
  • Size of type. Books with larger fonts are geared towards younger children.
  • Density of illustrations. The more illustrations the younger the audience. This does not apply to all books (graphic novels are one exception). Illustration-heavy books are good choices for reluctant readers.
  • Color illustrations usually indicate an easier reading level.
  • If you find an author you like, look for more of their books. Authors often write multiple books for the same reading level.
  • Kids naturally self-censor. If a book is too difficult, they will put it down.

For non-fiction books, the easier readers are marked in purple at the New Lenox Public Library! Also at the library, we have books lists sorted by topic or grade level, which may be helpful in your search. Find them by the Youth Services main desk!

If you’re still having difficulty finding appropriate books ask your friendly neighborhood librarian!

Ivy and Bean : no news is good news The knight at dawn Cam Jansen and the mystery of the dinosaur bone The life of Ty : penguin problems

Science Club

September's Science Club had a blast a few weeks ago! We talked about gravity and air resistance, made an awesome splatter paint poster, and had an egg drop contest! Look below for a few memorable moments from the program and don’t forget to register for October’s Science Club, happening on Monday, October 13th at 4:30!


Thank You, Summer Volunteers!

Youth Services had a ton of wonderful summer volunteers! From cutting out crafts to helping with programs, they always had something to do! We couldn’t have made it through this busy summer without their help! Ms. Tanya and Ms. Erin made a PowerPoint video to show their appreciation, which is below. Are you interested in volunteering at the library? Email Ms. Erin at ehunter@newlenoxlibrary.org or stop in to fill out an application!

Why Your Child Can't Skip Their 20 Minutes of Reading Tonight

Why Your Child Can't Skip Their 20 Minutes of Reading Tonight

Literacy Apps for Struggling Readers

Apps are an inexpensive and relatively new way to engage your child in literacy at any age! Struggling with reading is difficult for both the parent and child, so hopefully these apps can help. Let me know if you try any of these out! I've written a short review of each app, and all of these apps are free.

  1. Opposite Ocean

    In Opposite Ocean, Luna and Leo must master the magic of words by correctly identify the antonym that is the opposite of the given keyword. Children earn pearls when they drag the correct bubble word to the enchanted clam. I think this game is super fun and easy to learn!

    Type: Reading Comprehension

  2. Tap N Learn: Learn to Spell

    This app has three different modes allow children to listen and learn words, match-up letter blocks to form the name of the item featured, and finally drag blocks to form words without any prompts.

    Type: Print Awareness

  3. ABC Magic Reading

    An app to teach basic reading skills to children learning how to read. Through games and a focus on segmenting and blending, the app helps children develop basic phonetic awareness and pre-reading skills. The app has a built-in feature to encourage reading skills, rather than dependence on pictures.

    Type: Reading

  4. Early Reader

    This app helps beginning readers develop their reading skills. It has 160 flash cards, which test phonics, sounding out, sight words and sentences. A special section, "Tips for Parents," offers advice on how to use the program as a tool.

    Type: Reading Skills

  5. iPlay & Sing

    Targeting preschoolers and children who have not yet learned how to read, this app uses games and positive reinforcement to teach early development
    skills. Games include letter tracings, sequencing, mazes and nursery rhymes (a recording feature lets the kids tape themselves and play it back); voice prompts help children learn the games. They earn happy faces and stars for correct answers!

    Type: Pre-Reading

  6. Josh & Emma go to the Beach

    This app teaches reading skills along with colors, numbers and objects. The story follows Josh and Emma, who ask the reader questions such as, "What's next to the big rock?" As the narrator follows aloud, the reader answers by selecting the object and quantity of his or her choice.


  7. K12 Timed Reading Practice

    This app works with children's reading skills to improve reading fluency. The app has 25 stories (targeting children in grade K-4) and 10 difficulty levels. The stories are a mix of fiction and non-fiction, and are timed to track students' reading progress and words per minute.

    Type: Reading Comprehension and Speed

  8. Read Me Stories 30 Book Library

    This app features 30 books for children, complete with music and sounds. The books feature words and concepts to help children improve their reading skills.

    Type: Pre-Reading

  9. Sight Words Learning Games & Flashcards

    This is a wonderful education app for beginning readers, ages 2-7. The games are easy to play and a lot of fun!

    Type: Pre-Reading

  10. iTooch Elementary School

    This app has it all- language arts, math, science, and health! Broken down by age groups and suitable for ages 6-11, iTooch has something for every student. Language Arts includes: Reading, Writing and Composition, Grammar, Vocabulary Booster, and Communication. Math includes: Numbers and Operations, Algebraic Structures, Data Analysis or Statistics, Graphs or Functions, and Geometry. Health includes: Nutrition, Medical Musts, Physical Activity/Sports, Growth and Development, and Safety.

    Type: Multi-Subject