The American Language Series Readers are beginning readers that were specifically created to be used with the American Language Series for teaching reading and language arts. However, this set of six readers can also be used alongside most phonics programs. The titles and the phonetic emphasis of each book are:
- Fun in the Sun – simple short vowels
- On the Trail – vowel digraphs
- At the Farm – controlled vowels
- Soft and White – silent e
- Scamp and Tramp – consonant clusters
- Sounds of the Sea – diphthongs
The readers are heavily illustrated with colorful drawings, and they have more content than many other beginning readers. The first reader has 96 pages, and the other five readers each have more than 170 pages. The amount of printed text varies, but even on the first page of the first reader, there are three short sentences. By the end of the first reader, some stories are two pages long. The length and complexity of the stories gradually increase, with some stories in the sixth book running up to five pages in length. Some of that space is taken up by the drawings, but children still get a lot of reading practice.
The content is wholesome, with stories and drawings reflecting healthy family life and children participating in a myriad of outdoor activities. While some content seems a little dated, it has a positive tone oriented toward Christian character building. This carries through into the drawings, for example, with both children and adults wearing modest styles of clothing typical of the past century—not reflective of current fashions.
The stories quickly begin to present meaningful content. They tend toward positive and affirming scenarios, and they sometimes teach life lessons. For example, in the second reader, a little boy named Gus has wet hands. He plugs in the vacuum cleaner and gets a shock. He is comforted by his father, but he learns a lesson (pp. 121-122). Stories occasionally have specifically Christian content, and some are retellings of Bible stories.
The American Language Series Readers should work well for families looking for phonics-based readers with interesting stories and a Christian orientation.