Yes, I know that many of you also sighed in relief as your reluctant reader *finally* read a book. Your child might even be *hooked* on reading -- as long as it is a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, but nothing else. I wholeheartedly acknowledge that some reluctant readers -- many reluctant readers -- have finally finished a book because of this series. However, I think we must ask ourselves, “Why read?” Is the purpose of reading simply to put a book in a child’s hand to check off the box labeled "Child read a book," or does it have another, more valuable purpose?
Call me crazy, but I love the smell of new books. New books means new stories, new adventures, new friends, and new lessons to be learned. They stir up conversation inside and outside the classroom. Books can help us escape from the world we're in, find our true self, and develop a better understanding for the people around us. I'm a book worm at my core and I love to share this passion with my students and readers.
If you have an avid reader at home, you might find that (s)he is constantly "running out of books to read." Local book stores are dwindling. While Amazon proves to be an incredible resource for purchasing new books, it can be difficult to sort through all of the options to find the perfect book for your child. Some of our children may be reading far above grade level. Books written at a higher level often target an older audience and, as such, may tackle issues that our young readers aren't yet prepared for. I want to ensure that students find the perfect book for them. Books are meant to be enjoyed -- loved -- cherished, even. The books on this list are of varying reading difficulties and are appropriate for a wide range of audiences. As such, I've also included my assessment for "reading difficulty" and "maturity."
The Results: All of my students in grades 4+ are fully literate. These students are reading at a higher level than the average 11th/12th grade student. Students who actively participated in the reading program surpassed the predicted growth metric by an average of 6.7 points. Students who did not actively participate in the reading program fell 1.2 points shy of the predicted growth metric. To put this into perspective, students average about 5 points of growth per year on this assessment.
Everyone loves a good fairy tale! Fairy tales are timeless. There are wonderful contemporary adaptations of fairy tales, books more loosely based on fairy tales and, of course, the classics! Some of these stories are perfect for bed time -- read them as a family! Others are better to read independently. There's something for everyone! Don't forget to support my resources page by using the links below to shop!
The topic for the February Reading Challenge is "Books by African Americans" in honor of Black History Month. You should also take a look at Coretta Scott King Award Winning Books.
Pick a book for yourself. Let your child pick a book. Read them together and discuss! I included discussion questions at the bottom of this post. Create a global discussion by using the comments box at the bottom of this page.
A special thanks to members of The School Librarian's Workshop for helping me compile this list!!