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Looking for texts to use with your students as they learn to infer? We have a great list here to get you started, but any book that provides lots of clues and is interesting for your students is a good text to use. Poetry, with its spare language, is ideal for inferring. And using your read-aloud books will give students scope for more complex inferences they might not find in books at their own reading level.

Here is a list of suggested books you might want to use as you introduce the strategy of inferring. Their content and format make them particularly suited to making the strategy explicit to children.

These are outstanding trade books chosen for us by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The list includes engaging titles that meet a range of reading and listening abilities. You may also print the complete list with suggested books for all strategies: Reading to Understand: Children's Books to Use with Comprehension Strategies. Then find multimedia, online resources about these books and authors using the Into the Book List at TeachingBooks.net.

Children's Books to Help You Teach the Inferring Strategy

Baker, Jeanne. Window. Greenwillow, 1991. 32 pages

Banks, Kate. Howie Bowles, Secret Agent. Illustrated by Isaac Millman. Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. 89 pages

Esbensen, Barbara Juster. Swing around the Sun. Illustrated by Cheng-Khee Chee, Janice Lee Porter, Mary GrandPré, and Stephen Gammell. Carolrhoda, 2003. 48 pages

Kasza, Keiko. My Lucky Day. Putnam, 2003. 32 pages

McKissack, Patricia. Ma Dear's Aprons. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Atheneum, 1997. 32 pages

Minshull, Evelyn. Eaglet's World. Illustrated by Andrea Gabriel. Albert A. Whitman, 2002. 32 pages

Morales, Yumi. Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book. Chronicle, 2003, 28 pages

Palotta, Jerry. The Skull Alphabet Book. Illustrated by Ralph Masiello. Charlesbridge, 2002. 32 pages

Pattison, Darcy. The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman. Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Harcourt, 2003. 32 pages

Prelutsky, Jack. If Not for the Cat. Illustrated by Ted Rand. Greenwillow, 2004. 40 pages

Simont, Marc. The Stray Dog. From a true story by Reiko Sassa. HarperCollins, 2001. 32 pages

Scamell, Ragnhild. Buster's Echo. Illustrated by Genevieve Webster. HarperCollins, 1993. 24 pages

Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice. Philomel, 1992. 40 pages

Wiesner, David. Tuesday. Clarion, 1991. 32 pages

Compiled by Megan Schliesman
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

For another list of books for strategy instruction and practice, see Strategies that Work.


A production of Wisconsin Media Labs: wimedialab.org