Reading Pathways

Reading Pathway books collections #ReadingPathways

– supporting children’s reading for pleasure through fun connected book collections
What are Reading Pathway Book Collections?
  • They put a number of high quality picture book authors and illustrators at the heart of mini themed displays
  • They are based on the assumption that you decide in advance you are going to show themed collections to the same group of children over a period of time (e.g. across year 1 to 2 or year 2 to 3). If you carefully select the authors and the illustrators at the beginning then the same authors and illustrators can reappear in future themes.
  • The themes are designed to be fun and ‘wacky’, and combine ‘familiar things’ in new ways e.g giants, monsters and cakes, dogs, dinosaurs and detectives, dragons and treasure. These themes allow for multiple pathways for children to explore their interests, whilst also providing common ground for them to share their discoveries with their classmates. 
  • A number of the stories challenge children’s perceptions or stereotypes in some way. Sometimes this is subtle and sometimes this is more obvious. 
  • The illustrators are given as high a profile as the authors, as for some children their route to finding their next read, whether it is a picture book or a chapter book might be through an illustrator they know and love and not an author. 
  • They focus on year 1, year 2 and year 3, but many of the books could be enjoyed by other years too.
Reading for Pleasure and Making Connections

I passionately believe every child should have the opportunity to love stories and reading. However, the process of finding books you really want to read as a newly independent reader is more complex than it seems. Neither of my children have found this process easy and yet both their current teachers would tell you they are ‘able readers’ and that they ‘love books’. The idea for reading pathways is founded on one key realisation:

Through observing my children’s reading journeys and multiple conversations with many others including parents, teachers, teaching assistants and librarians over a 4 year period I have come to the view that:

It is the majority of children, not the minority that at key points (so more than once) have difficulties moving from one author to the next and finding a book they want to read that means something to them.                 

Melissa Jordan @melisscreate15

These collections are designed to bring into the school environment what I believe happens naturally in some supportive families that prioritise reading aloud at home when their child is in Key Stage 1.  So that everyone can benefit.  

They are also based on the belief that:

  • picture books have value in their own right and can foster a love of reading and children’s books in both children and adults
  • playing with both pictures and words in a supportive environment is important to many children (and adults) in discovering a love of stories and finding new ones they really like. 

Connections are important in many ways but in particular:

  • connections make reading personal to an individual child, hence giving them a reason to want to read.
  • connections help build shared reading communities , which encourage and support emerging readers, and can help a child ‘validate’ themselves as reader. 
Why Reading Pathways Collections?

Put simply Reading Pathway collections are a strategy to encourage children to make more connections with stories and between books to help them explore the kind of stories and pictures they love and to find their next and future reads. ‘Pathway’ came from the idea on which my book blog: was founded. That we can help children to navigate their reading for pleasure journeys by providing a series of stepping stones, and some possible pathways to explore. ‘Guiding Reading – Layers of Meaning’ (1) talks about the importance of scaffolding in developing children’s reading comprehension skills. Reading Pathway collections are the reading for pleasure equivalent to help foster a love of stories in children in year 1, year 2 and year 3 and help them and the grown-ups in their lives explore and find new books they want to read.

(1)2016: Wayne Tenenent, David Reedy, Angela Hobsbawm, Niki Gamble: Guiding Readers – Layers of Meaning: A handbook for teaching reading comprehension to 7 to 11 year olds. Institute of Education Press.

Click view the Reading Pathway Collections and choose the ones that suit you and your class:

Reading Pathways


Melissa Jordan, Readers that Care, Cambourne, Cambridge









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