Picking the Right Book for your Child

Choosing books at the right reading level helps children improve their literacy skills and they learn to enjoy reading. We often struggle to pick a book that’s age-appropriate as well as content appropriate for our child.

Let’s find out how to pick the right book for your child

How to Pick a Book That’s a ‘Good Fit’ for Your Child

Today, we bring you easy tips to help you pick the “Good Fit” book for your child

Look for books that match the child’s reading level
The age group is usually mentioned at the back or side of the book. Be sure to note it before purchasing the book for your child.

Do a five-word vocabulary test
Let your child read a page. If she finds at least five words that are difficult for her to read, then the book is too challenging for her.

Do a quick comprehension test
Let your child read a passage randomly from the book and see if she understands what she has read. If comprehension is good, then it is the right book to pick.

Determine the purpose
Try to understand the purpose of choosing the book. Will your child be reading for pleasure or to gain specific information? Will it be a read-aloud book or one read silently?

Keep the interest of the child in mind
You can get to know of your child’s interest in the book by looking at the front and back covers and flipping through the pages. The blurb at the back, if any, is also helpful.

Read a little yourself or ask others
If you are uncertain about whether the content is appropriate for your child’s age, skim read a few pages yourself to see. You can also ask other parents whose children are in the same age bracket. Furthermore, the internet is full of information regarding the age relevance of the content of books.

Sometimes, children want to read a book that is at a higher instruction level. In such a case, do not discourage the child, by denying her the book. Read aloud to your child or read a few chapters and let the child read the rest. A little encouragement and support go a long way in enabling children to become advanced readers.

TIBET: THE HOME I LEFT BEHIND – but will never forget.


This book production with its attractive cover and the bold word TIBET in snow-white lettering against the distant slopes of the Tibetan mountains immediately catches the eye. The stark rocky plateau in the foreground stretching into the distant blue Himalayas appears as desolate as the surface of the moon.

Tibet was the home of New Zealand’s first Tibetan refugee, ThutenKesang. One wonders how six 6 million of his people could survive in such a forbidding environment, but Thuten’s vivid description of his homeland and his family living near the capital city Lhasa makes compelling reading.
The boundaries of Tibet in relation to Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Burma (now Myanmar) with several great Asian rivers traversing the landscape, show Tibet as a distinct entity and not a province of China to the north as it appears in some atlases.

This historical map of Thuten’s Tibetan homeland also marks the route his father and him took to India in 1954 when his father brought him to India for his education, during the oppressive occupation of his once-free land. He finally reached the Indian hill station of Kalimpong to start a new life, but he has never faltered in his quest to restore the unique identity and freedom of his homeland.

Later, in 1988, as shown on the map, Thuten and his wife Gwen decided to risk visiting his homeland. They set off from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu travelling overland to Lhasa. Thuten’s autobiography faithfully traces the story of his life from his boyhood years until today as a Tibetan New Zealander.

He has made his mark as a leader in the multicultural community, serving as the official NZ representative of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Thuten was the recipient of a significant and well deserved Queen’s Service Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thuten considered it was an honour to have the book written by him to be forwarded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In providing reasons for writing his story, Thuten followed the advice of His Holiness to record for future generations of families what life was like before and during the Chinese military occupation of their homeland.

As Thuten describes his upbringing as a novice monk and as a young boy living in the city of Lhasa, there are constant glimpses of life in traditional monasteries and the impressive Potala, built in the 17th Century as the home of successive Dalai Lamas.

A remarkable feature of this book is the range of photographs, paintings, sketches and illustrations included in the layout of the book. These provide a fascinating record of Thuten’s years in Tibet, India and his acceptance as a refugee in New Zealand. His philosophy of humility, compassion and empathy for people of other cultures are reflections of his Buddhist upbringing, merging with Christian beliefs as he joined the YMCA in Auckland and marriage to his much-loved wife Gwen.

Not only does he recall speeches made on the plight of his Tibetan people, but he describes his involvement in action programmes such as Dr Graham’s New Zealand Homes Committee, The Tibetan Children Relief
Society of New Zealand, Friends of Tibet (NZ), the Auckland Multicultural Society Inc., the Liaison Office of Tibet New Zealand as well as the Tibetan community at large.

Thuten’s book provides personal examples from his own experiences of the advantages of becoming involved with other Kiwis and integrating into New Zealand society. His approach to this is a model for other refugees and immigrants to become actively involved in daily work and leisure activities alongside other New Zealanders looking for a place in the sun as well as retaining their own cultures, language and values.

For these reasons alone, this book deserves to be used in teachers’ colleges, polytechnic institutes, universities and secondary schools by students, lecturing staff, teachers and students.

John Buckland MA Dip Tchg., QSM
Principal Lecturer Social Sciences (Retired)
Auckland College of Education.

If you would like to buy a copy of this book, please email Thuten Kesang, with your full name and postal address to kesang@pl.net cc to office@kesang.pl.net

Guidance and Counselling Educational


1. Children, whose capacity for education or training is limited by low intelligence, cover a fairly wide I.Q. range from approximately 40 to 80 or 90. However, students whose I.Q. ranges between 50/55 and 85/90 are capable of benefiting from the kind of education which is offered within the normal school system. These may be subdivided
into two groups.
(i) The Educable Mentally Retarded (I.Q. range 50 to 70)
(ii) The Dull Normal (I.Q. range 70 to 85)

Trainable Mentally Retarded:

Students whose I.Q. range is between 35/40 and 50 and are usually termed as the Trainable Mentally Retarded. Provision for education of such children may be made outside the normal school system.


In physical appearance they are no different from normal children and therefore likely to get admission into schools for normal children where the curriculum is drawn up to meet the needs of average children. So they find it extremely difficult to cope with the education imparted in these schools, unless special provision is made for them and the curriculum is oriented towards practical and real life activities.
They are capable of being educated in ordinary schools and even achieving a moderate degree of success, if they are allowed to proceed at a slower pace and the syllabus is adapted to suit their abilities.
But, they will not be able to keep pace with the average children and never be able to learn all the things we expect normal children to master by the time they leave school.
They will not be able to go for higher studies despite all the guidance and educational facilities made available to them.
They have poor memories. Their attention span is short and they cannot concentrate on one topic for long.

Sullivan has summarized the characteristics of slow learners as follows:

Short attention and concentration span.
slow reaction time.
Limited powers of self-direction.
Limited ability to work with abstractions and to generalize.
Slowness to form association between words and phrases.
Failure to recognize familiar elements in new information.
Habits of learning very slowly and forgetting very quickly.
Very local point of view.
Inability to set up and realize standard or workmanship.
Lack of originality and creativeness.
Inability to analyze, to do problem solving, or think critically.
Lack of power to use the higher mental processes.

Girl in homeschooling with their parents