I am teaching my own class for the first time this year and have transitioned from being a nervous wreck to being very very very excited to being motivated and overwhelmed with responsibility! Right where I should be a day after getting my first job, huh? Anyways, one of the many many many things I've done is to go through my collection of books and mark them according to their Accelerated Reading levels. Our school is big on AR. I know that the books are leveled and that the kids take 10-question comprehension tests on the books, which somehow determine their reading levels. I also know that it seems to be a big deal to the kids in every school I've subbed in that they know for sure that the book they want to read is an AR book (and that it is on their level and worth a lot of points). I have found that I might as well not even suggest a book that isn't an AR book... I don't wish to discuss the pros and cons of AR because I'm not completely sure how I feel about it yet, and also because I have to use it at my school, regardless of whether I'm for or against it. But what I would like to know is how some of you have been successful with getting kids to read books that aren't listed on AR and how you fit them in without causing the children to lose out on what they consider valuable AR reading time when they take the time to read other books. One example is that I just read a good book that uses letters for the main characters to communicate in many parts and I think it's an interesting way to introduce different styles of writing, (Love, Ruby Lavendar is the name of the book if anyone's interested) but I didn't see it on the AR list. Also-- isn't there some way to request that a book be added to the AR Listing? Do you think there would be an issue with not allowing my own books to be checked out this year, but rather used in the classroom only? I only have about 150 books that are AR books, so I worry about losing them before I can build up my own collection for the future. And, finally, do any of you color code the books on the outside to make it easier for kids to locate books on their own levels? Do you have your own system or use the same system as the library/book room in the school? Thanks in advance for your help! You guys are great!