Book reviews - learning to read with Raintree Books

Raintree Engage Literacy

Engage Literacy

Raise Attainment and Help Every Child Enjoy Reading

Engaging and contemporary content to motivate and support early readers while providing a reliable instructional framework.
Engage Literacy includes:
  • 112 precisely levelled books
  • Fiction and non-fiction pairs
  • Comprehensive teaching resources
  • Oral Language Big Books
  • Digital Posters for each book title (levels 1 to 15)
  • Wonder Words’ set focusing on high-frequency words
Engage Literacy
What really appeals to me is the fact that each fiction book has a matched non fiction book. Often children (and we know this applies to boys) prefer to read non fiction and they can be encouraged to read by giving them books on a topic which appeals to them. The fiction and non fiction titles link and use much of the same vocabulary, this providing valuable reinforcement. Find out more from the Raintree website. The Raintree Wonder Words link with this.

Engage Literacy Pink: Levels 1-2 Teacher's Resource Book by Lisa Thorpe

Engage Literacy is the new reading scheme from Raintree that introduces engaging and contemporary content to motivate and support early readers while providing a reliable and instructional framework. All titles are precisely levelled, with new vocabulary being introduced and reinforced throughout the levels. The graded vocabulary gradually introduces the high frequency words, allowing a smooth transition for readers as their reading progresses. The reading books are attractive in format with bright pictures which link closely to the text, allowing children to use these for additional clues. Different illustrative styles are used through the series, including photos and drawings and these relate well to the text, keeping interest alive.
The Pink book band comprises 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books at levels 1 and 2. This book is the accompanying Teacher's Resource book, which includes instructional notes, Oral Running Records, photocopiable worksheets for comprehension support and much more. 
Emergent Level 1 Pink
Emergent Level 2 Pink
Word count 40-67

Engage Literacy Red: Levels 3-5 Teacher's Resource Book by Lisa Thorpe

Each set of levels has its own Teacher's Resource Book and I was sent this one for review - the content and format of each will be similar. Each book includes teaching notes for each book in the series plus accompanying photocopiable worksheets - many of these can be used to link with other curriculum subjects and the curriculum links are indicated for every book. The worksheets are varied, including sequencing, labelling, crafts and much more, making this an excellent all-round resource. There is also a running record for each title to help teachers with that all-important recording of progress.
Emergent Level 3 Red
Emergent Level 4 Red
Word count 73-89
Emergent Level 5 Red
Word count 103-104

Engage Literacy Yellow: Levels 6-8 Teacher's Resource Book by Lisa Thorpe

The books in the yellow band continue to introduce carefully graded new words. As with all the books, the linking of fiction and non-fiction texts is a real feature; children can read about Lea's birthday and then, in the non-fiction book, find out about birthdays around the world. This links excellently with multi-cultural work and makes the books relevant for all young readers. The illustrations are stimulating and give the opportunity for plenty of discussion.
Early Level 6 Yellow
Early Level 7 Yellow
Word count 115-129
Early Level 8 Yellow
Word count 147-148

Engage Literacy Blue Levels 9-11 Teacher's Resource Book by Lisa Thorpe

Moving on, the topics covered in the books, both fiction and non-fiction, are appealing to children, giving them a real incentive to read. The stories are getting longer, giving a real sense of achievement. The illustrations are still a major part of the appeal of the books and the introduction of picture glossaries is an especially good feature.
Level 9 Blue
Level 10 Blue 
Word count 164-170
Level 11 Blue
Word count 184-187

Engage Literacy Green: Levels 12-14 Teacher's Resource Book by Lisa Thorpe

More words are introduced at this level and the interesting link between the fiction and non-fiction books is retained - this really is a good way to encourage interest and to introduce both forms of reading matter - both are equally enjoyable and the high quality illustrations make the books most attractive. There are many different characters in the book - no more getting bored with Janet and John! - but children will also enjoy the fact that familiar characters do reappear.
Level 12 Green
Level 13 Green 
Word count 198-239
Level 14 Green
Word count 251-253 

Engage Literacy Teacher's Resource Book Levels 15-20 Orange, Turquoise and Purple by Lauren White

Different writing formats are introduced - for example, Off to the Movies is in diary format; A Go-Kart at School is in the form of a letter. Picture glossaries are a great asset in the non-fiction books and can be a springboard for further reading. The introduction to the books includes high frequency words introduced and consolidated; example inferential questions and phonological awareness.
Level 15 Orange
Level 16 Orange
Word count 256-339 
Level 17 Turquoise
Level 18 Turquoise 
Word count 349-439
Level 19 Purple
Level 20 Purple
Word count 450-526 

Engage Literacy Teacher's Resource Book Levels 21-25 Gold, White and Lime by Lauren White

The books at this level have increased vocabulary and interest levels. The non-fiction resources are really becoming valuable as reference books in their own right - the picture glossaries in the non-fiction books are a great learning aid. The fiction books now offer really satisfying stories which will give children a strong sense of satisfaction; they are lively and contemporary as well as being well illustrated. Again, different writing formats appear, fro example Animal Rescue Shelter is a letter; a good way to reinforce different writing styles.
Level 21 Gold 
Level 22 Gold
Word count 544-742
Level 23 White
Level 24 White
Word count 793-1014
 Level 25 Lime
Word count 866-1170

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