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Learn to read with the Usborne Reading Programme

Learn to read with the Usborne Reading Programme

The Usborne Reading Programme is a collection of over 350 reading books, both fiction and non-fiction, graded in eight levels for guidance.

Beautifully produced, with lively writing and fabulous illustrations, the books are designed to capture the imagination and build the confidence of beginner readers, and to motivate and inspire children who find reading difficult or dull.

Supported by experts

The programme has been developed in consultation with Alison Kelly, a leading expert in the teaching of reading, who helped to draw up the eight-level framework and reads every title before publication.

Alison helped to establish the key principles of the Usborne Reading Programme: exciting, engaging narrative that both appeals to readers and provides inspiration for their own writing, and lively, detailed design and illustration.

Non-fiction titles also draw on the expertise of specialists in the relevant areas. A number of these tie in with key topics in the UK National Curriculum, especially for history.

What are the different reading levels?

Very First Reading

Usborne Very First Reading is an exciting series of books for children who are just starting to learn to read. The series offers the appeal of imaginative rhyming stories and irresistible illustrations. 

They are part of a well-researched framework, and are designed to be shared and enjoyed with an adult.

See a selection of titles below or visit the Very First Reading microsite.

First Reading books (level 1-4) 

These are designed to be the first books a beginner will own and read for pleasure, with very light support from a parent or teacher. They encourage the reader to develop reading stamina, and include up to six pages of fun, reading-related puzzles.

See a selection of titles below or choose a level.

Young Reading books (level 1-4) 

These are designed for newly independent readers to become confident and fluent. With a wide range of lively chapter books including adaptations of classics, history titles and original fiction – including the new series Billy and the Mini Monsters – there is something for everyone to enjoy.

See a selection of books below or choose a series.

Stories of pirates

Audio CDs

Young Reading audio CDs contain two readings: a dramatic listen-along version with music, sound effects and superbly characterised readings, and a read-along version, with a page-turn indicator, for the child to listen to while following the story in the book.

Listen to a clip from Stories of Pirates.

English Learner's Editions

English Learner’s Editions are selected titles from the Reading Programme, available with CD recordings in British and American English, and with downloadable worksheets and teacher’s notes.

Find out more

Information for parents and teachers

Teach Your Monster to Read

Teach Your Monster to Read is an award-winning game that helps children learn to read, created by the Usborne Foundation.

You can find out more and play the game for free at Teach Your Monster to Read.