I PICK Reading Strategy for Choosing Books

So I once read an analogy about choosing a book to read. It compared choosing a book to buying a pair of shoes. (Something we can all relate to, right?)

For example, we may have a pair of dressy shoes for a formal event or a dinner date with our hubby, a pair of sneakers for our daily three mile run, and yet another pair of comfy shoes that we wear every day, not to mention our slippers that we wear around the house in the evening. We have many shoes for many different purposes. The more the merrier in my opinion!

The same holds true for books. Why we choose a book has a lot to do with why we are reading it. Am I reading to look for information? Is this a topic of interest? Am I just reading for fun?

Just like shoes, we need a book that fits us. It’s no different for our kids.

So when picking a book, it is not only important for your child to be able to read and understand the words, but he should also hold an interest in the topic as well.

You can check out my post on “The 5-Finger Rule for choosing Just Right Books” to help determine books that are at your child’s independent reading level.

Below is the “I-PICK” reading strategy taken from the authors Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, a simple strategy for helping children choose a book.

  • I – I choose a book.
  • P – Purpose- Why do I want to read it?
  • I – Interest- Does the book interest me?
  • C – Comprehension- Am I understanding what I am reading?
  • K – Know- Do I know most of the words? (Use the 3 finger rule)

So the next time you are out at your local library or the corner book store, talk to your kiddo about the books they are picking and why they like the books. Help them use the I-PICK strategy.

And always remember to Read, Read, Read with and to your kids. Just like any sport, the only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice. Why not consider reading a sport for your brain!!


  1. I think you should also allow children to pick books above and below their level if it is in their interest range. Children should be able to pick books that are quick reads and challenge reads. Often if they are motivated by the topic they will push through a book that would be a challenge where as if it is not in a content they want to read about they will think the struggle is not worth it. Reading should be about engaging in the book, not just reading because of the expectation of reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe in offering children options when it comes to choosing what to read. Whether it be choices on genre or trying out books that are as you stated easy quick reads or choosing a book that is a little bit of a challenge, having options for children is an excellent way to help children find books that will engage them in discovering the love of reading.


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