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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Librarians Talk Children's Books: In-Betweens

In this week's Librarians Talk Children's Books, we are talking about In Betweens, an important part of the children's collection. Picture books are broken into three main collections at most Fresno County library branches (board books, picture books and I Can Reads). Chapter books for children are also divided by age and for reading development reasons. The children’s fiction chapter book collection tends to focus on books that are written primarily for 4th grade to 8th grade readers.  This leaves an “In-Between” collection for young readers that are ready to jump up from picture books but are not ready for hundreds of pages of text and complex themes that larger children’s chapter books provide.

Early chapter books are written for second to fourth grade readers who are dipping their literary toes into chapter book reading.  These are books are for “transitional” readers.  In Betweens, or early chapter books, are short (usually 60 to 100 pages), illustrated, and have simple plots.  The vocabulary is easier with short sentences of about five to ten words. Most books are episodic and are quick genre books with simple themes of adventure, mystery and humor. Once a reader finds a series they like they have the option reading multiple sequels. Most of the “In-Between” series books do not have to be read in order due to their episodic nature.

For parents who are making sure their child is reading the correct level check your reading program’s website for individual book title levels. 

For Accelerated Reader go to

For Lexile go to

A good website is which allows for easy browsing of children’s chapter and early reader books. “In-Between” books are almost always part of a series. A good feature on this site is that it allows you to browse books by either age, grade level, or various reading program levels. Find a book series your child is interested in and it will give the reading level range for every book in the series.