Boys Who Want to Read Like Middle Schoolers

The market for high interest books for struggling readers is growing and it is rewarding for the boys and girls who want to read like their peers and enjoy reading. As I watch him sit in his comfy chair, it is easy to see that he does not find the interest that he felt during the exciting book talk or the positive review from his peers. He is neither connecting with the text nor is he understanding what is going on after the first chapter which was read to him.

While he is making gains on his reading ability, he is socially and emotionally moving away from the books that were comfortable for him. As we hunt our library catalog and ask our support team of educators, we find a number of books and publishers who are meeting the need of these readers who just want to read a good book.

This year my struggling reader in fifth grade wants to read The Hunger Games and The Lightning Thief by himself. Today’s publishers will promote books as “high interest” or even “high interest low vocabulary”. More sophicated themes that are not as easily understood by students in third grade or younger can be developed in a high interest books. The format is non-threatening to an older reader who loses confidence at the sight of all text while using literary skills that all readers need such as plot, character development, vocabulary, and context clues, to name a few.

High interest books are books that appeal to the interest of many types of interests. They are high interest because of the content or the subject, such as sports, current events and people, or a genre of interest like mystery, sci-fi, or humor.

. What does he do when a book’s readability level does not match his interest level?

A book’s presentation attracts struggling readers. High interest books for struggling readers in middle school need to be more than just 50 words in a book like you may find in easy readers. Picture books have beautiful illustrations that help with the comprehension, but the stories are becoming too elementary for someone who is starting middle school in another semester

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