Texts of a higher order

Rigby Star Plus. Various authors. Rigby. pound;17.75 per title (6 copies plus teaching version). Planning amp; Assessment Guide pound;12.99

This series of high-interest books is intended to stimulate the most fluent Year 2 readers in guided reading and help develop higher-order comprehension skills. An associated aim is to prepare them for Level 3 at KS1 SATs, but children might equally enjoy them in Years 3 and 4.

Quork Attack, a tale of computer games and aliens, has obvious boy-appeal. The characterisation is strong and the plot and dialogue are suitably "zippy". The Mystery of Mrs Kim (about facing up to and overcoming fears) is indicative of the mature content of this series.

The impressive range of authors and illustrators includes Geraldine McCaughrean and Margaret Ryan and the books are attractively designed. There is a variety of genres and the main learning objective is identified on the back cover. Some of the 10 texts are linked to enable critical comparisons to be made within a genre.

Annotated teaching versions for each text provide learning objectives, story summary and discussion questions to probe deeper understanding. There are ideas for word, sentence and text-level work. The teaching versions are virtually complete scripts for the teacher to follow - they even provide answers to the discussion questions. A comprehensive assessment guide with photocopy masters makes this a genuine teacher labour-saving product.

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