The Eeman Reading Series is Back! (Book Review)

A wonderful reading series for children ages 3 – 9 is the Eeman Reading Series. First published about ten years ago, it was out of print for quite a long time.  But the good news for parents, teachers and librarians is that the series is available once more.

The Eeman Reading Series consists of nine levels: Preschool (2-3 years), Kindergarten 1 (3-4 years), Kindergarten 2 (4-5 years), Level 1 (5-6 years), Level 2 (5-7 years), Level 3 (6-7 years), Level 4 (6-8 years), Level 5 (7-8 years) and Level 6 (7-9 years). Each level consists of 6 titles and a workbook for children is available for most levels. Level 6 includes a Teacher’s Notes book. The books in the reading series are written by several authors and edited by Dr. Bilal Philips.

They were written for use in Muslims schools as an alternative to the possibly unIslamic reading texts that were then used. According to the information on the back cover of the books:

 The Eeman reading Series is intended to provide graded English readers with Islaamic content for the primary school level.  

In addition to use in the classroom, the Eeman Reading Series would be a valuable addition to the collection of an Islamic school library. Homeschooling parents could use this reading series as part of their reading curriculum. The books in the reading series are all in paperback and are simply bound.

The books vary in content from fiction to nonfiction and all include clear illustrations on each page. The range of subjects covered by the books in the reading series include: being kind to animals, information about cars and trucks, kindness, sharing, Islamic etiquette, and friendship. The books in level 6 teach good morals through several mystery stories. The Islamic way of life is portrayed in a natural and identifiable way, making it easy for Muslim children to connect with the characters in the books.

While the books in the PK and K1 levels are very simple (most with one word per page) the clear and bright illustrations provide a lot for child and parent/teacher to talk about. It might be interesting to note that young children (4-5 years) who are advanced readers should be able to read the books in Level 1 and 2 with relative ease. Meanwhile, titles in Levels 5 and 6 may appeal to older students (9-11 years) who are reluctant readers.

A few years ago, I purchased several titles in the series by which time most of the levels from 2 -6 were already out of print. But, Alhamdulillah, from what I did obtain, my son was able to enjoy reading most of the titles in the PK and K2 levels and one title in Level 1. The books in the kindergarten 2 level were particularly well received by him and he demanded that they be read to him over and over many times until he could read them himself. As for the other levels in the reading series, I can certainly attest to the fact that they are just as appealing since, they were quite popular with the students of grades 1-4 in the Islamic school where I worked as the librarian. I can certainly say that the Eeman Reading Series provide children with a wide range of reading experiences.

The Eeman Reading Series is currently available from Olive Books and from Al Hidaayah Publishers.

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