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KCMichigan 01-26-2014 03:30 PM

I have twin 8 yr olds.

 

Last year 2nd grade ended with the wonderful teacher saying that both girls needed to challenge themselves in self-selected reading material- they both tended to pick below reading level and/or things they have been reading for a long time (Geronimo Stilton, Magic Puppy,etc). She acknowledged she stopped testing at mid 4th grade level and they had no trouble with it. But being 7 (at the time) they were too young for a lot of the content.

 

Also-- neither is willing to read w/o illustrations. Both will pour over fabulously illustrated copies of Alice & Wonderland or illustrated Heidi, etc but if there are no illustrations or 'long' it goes back on the shelf. We do a lot of high level picture books and non-fiction as well.

 

Any good illustrated series that would work for young 8 year olds?? They both tend to gravitate toward sets or series that they can sink into.

 

Usually I have great book ideas--- but somehow there seems to be a gap that would full-fill what we are are looking for: High reading level, age-appropriate for 3rd grade, with illustrations of some sort (black & white fine) but still a chapter or anthology-style book.


whatsnextmom 01-26-2014 10:13 PM

How about The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck? Both combine graphics and literature. They can go 20 pages without words. Have you tried Winnie the Pooh? I don't know if they are all illustrated but we had a series that is illustrated (not Disney... classic Pooh,) They might like the Cobblestone Cousins. They aren't high reading but lovely stories. Actually, several of Cynthia Rylant novels offer illustration. Roald Dahl as well.... we have an entire set and they are heavily illustrated.

 

My daughter really liked short stories at that age too... cultural folk tales, Greek Myths, children's collections by Louisa May Alcott and Oscar Wilde were hits and ours offered illustration.

 

You might also consider Shel Sylverstein or Jack Pruletsky. I'm sure I butchered those names. Fun poetry. High vocabulary and reading level (at least in Jack Pruletsky) and each poem with it's own picture.


KCMichigan 01-27-2014 09:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
 

How about The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck? Both combine graphics and literature. They can go 20 pages without words. Have you tried Winnie the Pooh? I don't know if they are all illustrated but we had a series that is illustrated (not Disney... classic Pooh,) They might like the Cobblestone Cousins. They aren't high reading but lovely stories. Actually, several of Cynthia Rylant novels offer illustration. Roald Dahl as well.... we have an entire set and they are heavily illustrated.

 

My daughter really liked short stories at that age too... cultural folk tales, Greek Myths, children's collections by Louisa May Alcott and Oscar Wilde were hits and ours offered illustration.

 

You might also consider Shel Sylverstein or Jack Pruletsky. I'm sure I butchered those names. Fun poetry. High vocabulary and reading level (at least in Jack Pruletsky) and each poem with it's own picture.

Thanks-- I will try Hugo & Wonderstruck!

 

We have read Cobblestone  Cousins, Poetry, Little House Books, & Roald Dahl (they LOVED most of them-- a few were 'scary' and they put aside). We got some illustrated classics called Classic Starts that are 3-6th reading level with lovely illustrations every few pages- plus side is there is noting overly mature and there is a lot of fun old-fashiond vocabulary in them!

 

Found a few fairy tale collections that they may like as well.

 

It is just such a weird little spot for reading material! We are very much trying to get one DD to read more fiction and that is proving a challenge to find at her interest and level.

 

Both do not like drama, scary, sad, or intense situations if they are at all realistic or could happen (fairies and make-believe are fine since they can not happen in real life)--- so finding fiction reading material is proving to be thought-provoking.


whatsnextmom 01-27-2014 09:17 AM

In reality, they don't need to be reading challenging material to grow. Sometimes at the awkward age vs appropriateness stage it's better to let go that notion. I think it's pretty normal. At least it's normal for my kids. My DD didn't require illustration but at 8, she wasn't pushing for a challenging read. She read a lot of the same things her peers were reading despite having unusual ability. There were some exceptions like Potter and Molly Moon at the 5-7 age but 9 is when she started to consistently reach for more. Seriously, she went from reading largely Geronimo Stilton type books to To Kill a Mockingbird.... and it wasn't just preference... she was driven to them. My DS was similar. He hung on to the "young" books a little longer but there was a noticeable shift in him around 10 towards more mature and challenging text. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is that despite the teacher saying they need more challenging material in personal reading, I'd continue to let them read whatever they are drawn to whether it's Dr. Suess or Lord of the Rings lol. They only need to love reading to progress. Sooner rather than later, I suspect they will be reaching for those classics all on their own.


moominmamma 01-27-2014 09:33 AM

Totally agree with whatsnextmom about the supposed necessity of "challenging fiction reading." I've seen similar things happen with my kids. I like my kids to be exposed to challenging vocabulary, complex characters and themes, and great literature ... so I read aloud to them every night. Their own reading was always entirely according to their whims and inclinations. Often they chose to read very little, or very "unchallenging" books. No worries.

 

My youngest dd began reading advanced novels years ago, maybe around age 5 or 6, but her appetite for fiction was minimal. Sometimes it would take her months to finish a book, and she lost interest part-way through more often than she finished them. Well, at age 10.5 she suddenly became a novel addict and she now burns through two or three a week, everything from The Wind in the Willows to The Hunger Games. 

 

Miranda


KCMichigan 01-27-2014 09:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
 

In reality, they don't need to be reading challenging material to grow. Sometimes at the awkward age vs appropriateness stage it's better to let go that notion. I think it's pretty normal. At least it's normal for my kids. My DD didn't require illustration but at 8, she wasn't pushing for a challenging read. She read a lot of the same things her peers were reading despite having unusual ability. There were some exceptions like Potter and Molly Moon at the 5-7 age but 9 is when she started to consistently reach for more. Seriously, she went from reading largely Geronimo Stilton type books to To Kill a Mockingbird.... and it wasn't just preference... she was driven to them. My DS was similar. He hung on to the "young" books a little longer but there was a noticeable shift in him around 10 towards more mature and challenging text. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is that despite the teacher saying they need more challenging material in personal reading, I'd continue to let them read whatever they are drawn to whether it's Dr. Suess or Lord of the Rings lol. They only need to love reading to progress. Sooner rather than later, I suspect they will be reaching for those classics all on their own.

I hope so.

 

We have an *open* bookcase at home with everything across the reading/interest levels with heavy emphasis on past/current obsessions of their choosing. But the school reading 'logs' that we turn in are supposed to be at their 'just right' reading level. Teacher this year is restating they need to document higher level books and she wants to see more fiction….usually I let them read whatever since they are good at self-monitoring and selection. But report cards state they need to fill book boxes at school with 'level' book.

 

I think the teacher ,too, forgets they are young for grade by a decent margin. Most if not all the kids in their literature circles are 9/ 9+ and both DDs are young 8. They are low on pop culture/girl drama interest so books like "Cupcake Wars & Dear Dumb Diary" stuff that is popular is not something they reach for (not complaining about that!).

 

They actually turned to illustrated classics on their own (Black Beauty, Heidi, Alice in Wonderland, etc) because of the rich storylines and lack of * kid-drama* that occurs in  many current books geared toward their age  bracket. Non-Fiction is popular too--- no worries about 'scary' and lots of illustrations! We have been doing a lot of magazines as well-- Cricket, American Girl, Discover, Zoo Books, etc. Plus side is that can fulfill the school requirement and DDs 'illustrations' requirement - downside is they are quick reads!

 

They are both reading Pippi Longstocking series, which is great but only a few books (with small black & white illustrations every few pages)….


whatsnextmom 01-27-2014 10:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post
 

But report cards state they need to fill book boxes at school with 'level' book.

 

3rd grade report cards don't matter. I know, at the time, they seem to be very important and the staff will drill into you how important they are but, they are not. It's ok to tell the teacher you don't agree and that for the time being, you want them to have the freedom to choose the material that attracts them. So they get marked down in reading... big deal. They'll go to 4th grade and that teacher will see what strong readers they are and that will be the end of usefullness of 3rd grade report cards. 


pranava 01-27-2014 08:41 PM

8!  They can't be 8!  Have I been on this board for that long!   

 

King of the Wind and some of the other Marguerite Henry books have good illustration, although they are often very realistic and can cover some emotionally intense material.  

 

I wonder if there are any graphic novels written for younger kids?


moominmamma 01-27-2014 10:07 PM

Graphic novels... try Bone, Mouse Guard and Amulet. Not sure if they'd pass muster at your school, but my kids liked them.

Miranda

squimp 01-27-2014 11:45 PM

My DD was very much like that. She loved Pippi and most Roald Dahl and loved Shel Silverstein. She read all of Beverly Cleary's books, starting with Ralph Mouse. She really liked the Dick King-Smith books at that age, they are animal stories with lots of illustrations, and he was prolific, so that kept her busy for a while. She also loved the Willoughbys and Clementine, and Ivy and Bean, they are girl friendship stories but low on drama.

richella 01-28-2014 09:39 PM

I'd second the Beverly Cleary, esp. the Ramona series.Not a lot of pictures, but some. Also Ivy and Bean, both my dds love those. (9 yo is kinda past, 6 yo is just starting to read them.)

9 yo read Magic Tree House all last year, can't remember if they had pictures, but I think they might have. Also Boxcar Children. We just started Prydain Chronicles, though they don't have pictures.


moominmamma 01-28-2014 11:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by richella View Post
 

Also Ivy and Bean, both my dds love those. (9 yo is kinda past, 6 yo is just starting to read them.)

9 yo read Magic Tree House all last year, can't remember if they had pictures, but I think they might have. Also Boxcar Children. 

 

Those are great suggestions in terms of content and illustrations, but unfortunately they're pretty much all at a 2nd grade level, while the OPs girls are being asked to reach beyond their 3rd grade level for more challenging material that better matches their (>4th grade) reading level.

 

KCM, a few more books I thought of ... Edward Eager's "Half Magic" books (I think there are seven). They're sparsely illustrated with pen & ink, from the 1950s, very gentle but fun, reading level maybe 6th grade. And The Wind in the Willows is available in some lovely illustrated versions. It's content-appropriate for kids as young as 4 or 5, but the reading level is probably 7th grade. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, and their Norse Myths one, might be good. Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, George MacDonald's Princess and the Goblin series. And the Narnia Chronicles have been published by Harper Collins as a lovely single-volume colorized illustrated version. Out of print, but your library might have it.

 

Miranda


whatsnextmom 01-28-2014 11:57 PM

Thought of some others. How about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle? It's a little dated (50's) but the short stories are humorous and illustrated and at a higher reading level like most of the children's books back then. Both my daughter an I loved the "Mother West Wind" series... all short stories about animals and a little illustration. 


Daffodil 01-29-2014 12:09 AM

I also have an 8 year old who can read at a high level, but shies away from anything that looks too long and prefers books with lots of pictures.  Some things he's enjoyed: 

 

the How To Train Your Dragon series (5th grade level or higher)

the Horace Splattly series (4th grade level)

Tony Abbott's Underworlds series (4th grade level)

the Dragonling series (4th grade)

 

He also has enjoyed the Bone and Amulet graphic novels.


KCMichigan 01-29-2014 07:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by squimp View Post

My DD was very much like that. She loved Pippi and most Roald Dahl and loved Shel Silverstein. She read all of Beverly Cleary's books, starting with Ralph Mouse. She really liked the Dick King-Smith books at that age, they are animal stories with lots of illustrations, and he was prolific, so that kept her busy for a while. She also loved the Willoughbys and Clementine, and Ivy and Bean, they are girl friendship stories but low on drama.

 

 

They LOVE Dick-King Smith books. The *british* language is fun to play with in his "Lollipop the pig" stories. They have enjoyed those books for a long time and I think I found the suggestion here on Mothering!

 

We've done Clementine, Ivy &Bean. Neither liked Beverly Cleary so far- they have started a few, but did not continue.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richella View Post
 

I'd second the Beverly Cleary, esp. the Ramona series.Not a lot of pictures, but some. Also Ivy and Bean, both my dds love those. (9 yo is kinda past, 6 yo is just starting to read them.)

9 yo read Magic Tree House all last year, can't remember if they had pictures, but I think they might have. Also Boxcar Children. We just started Prydain Chronicles, though they don't have pictures.

 

 

As before, they tried Ramona. Did Ivy & Bean and Magic Tree house long ago….though they have reread some of the newer MTH books and gotten new information out of them. The higher #s are 3-4th grade reading level vs the 1/2nd levels of the first 20 or so in the series.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

Those are great suggestions in terms of content and illustrations, but unfortunately they're pretty much all at a 2nd grade level, while the OPs girls are being asked to reach beyond their 3rd grade level for more challenging material that better matches their (>4th grade) reading level.

 

KCM, a few more books I thought of ... Edward Eager's "Half Magic" books (I think there are seven). They're sparsely illustrated with pen & ink, from the 1950s, very gentle but fun, reading level maybe 6th grade. And The Wind in the Willows is available in some lovely illustrated versions. It's content-appropriate for kids as young as 4 or 5, but the reading level is probably 7th grade. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, and their Norse Myths one, might be good. Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, George MacDonald's Princess and the Goblin series. And the Narnia Chronicles have been published by Harper Collins as a lovely single-volume colorized illustrated version. Out of print, but your library might have it.

 

Miranda

THANKS!! I forgot about 1/2 Magic! I loved those books a child and yes- they are gentle and fun read. 

 

Myths scared one of my DD- she read some of them and had nightmares of Medusa for weeks….not fun.

 

I will have to look up Princess & Goblin! 

 

Thank you! I forgot about some of those from my childhood!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
 

I also have an 8 year old who can read at a high level, but shies away from anything that looks too long and prefers books with lots of pictures.  Some things he's enjoyed: 

 

the How To Train Your Dragon series (5th grade level or higher)

the Horace Splattly series (4th grade level)

Tony Abbott's Underworlds series (4th grade level)

the Dragonling series (4th grade)

 

He also has enjoyed the Bone and Amulet graphic novels.

 

I will look into those, I am familiar with any of them but How to Train your Dragon- THANKS! They have done Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels and BabyMouse Graphic novels but they have not ventured into anything else.

 

 

 

It is so nice to get new ideas!!! Thanks everyone!


Daffodil 01-29-2014 07:58 AM

If your kid was frightened by myths, she might not like the Underworlds series.  It's sort of Percy Jackson lite.  The Princess and the Goblin might also be too scary.  (It's a good book, though.  My DS enjoyed it as a read-aloud when he was about 6.)  The Golden Key is a shorter, less scary George MacDonald book that Scholastic Book Wizard says has a grade level equivalent of 5.9.  There's a version illustrated by Maurice Sendak.  Another one I thought of is George's Secret Key to the Universe (and sequels.)  Science fiction with lots of educational facts, grade level 5.5.  We've done these as read-alouds.  Not too scary, I think, though there is danger.  But my kids aren't easily scared, so I may not be a good judge.


CamMom 01-29-2014 01:26 PM

Paddington.Bear? My DS also enjoyed Half Magic. The Penderwicks? Heidi?

domesticidyll 01-29-2014 10:10 PM

The Saturdays

All Of A Kind Family

Noel Streatfield

Arthur Ransome

Railway Children and other E Nesbit

Wolves of Willoughby Chase

 

Have to agree that pushing books for a report card box is not the way to go (homeschooler's perspective for what that's worth!). But maybe the teacher is noticing that the girls are ready for something more robust, if the right books were strewn in their path? If she is pushing bland series books with a higher Lexile, that's not a teaching recommendation I'd take seriously, but if she's encouraging them to try picking up something richer, that seems reasonable. 


richella 01-30-2014 08:32 AM

I asked my advanced 9 yo and she suggested the Andrew Clements books. They're not series, but thematically similar. She can't get enough of them. School Story, Extra Credit, all the titles have school themes. She also suggested Nancy Drew.


Dynomite&Destiny 01-30-2014 06:54 PM

We just discovered Boxcar Children have been made into graphic novels. They had quite a collection at our library. Zita Space Girl and Amelia Rules are also graphic novels that get devoured at our house. They're admittedly probably a little on the lower end (DD hasn't been assessed, but we estimate she's around third grade level), but I know how difficult it is to keep those bookshelves stocked.

richella 03-07-2014 05:29 PM

I've been reading Phantom Tollbooth this week, and thought of you. 9 yo DD says she read it last year, but didn't know all the words, but that's kind of the point. Lots of pictures.


limabean 03-07-2014 05:39 PM

Some good ones have been mentioned. I also wanted to mention the Peter and the Starcatchers series (I think there are 3).

beanma 03-07-2014 09:43 PM

Hrmmm, I have a gifted 4th grader (in reading, she does fine in math, but it's not her "thing"). I also have a 7th grader who loves stories although doesn't read as much as my 4th grader. We listen to a lot of audiobooks, too.  It sounds like they like classics, maybe fantasy, and not so much realistic fiction?

 

Do they like historical fiction? My 4th grader was into some of the "Dear America" series for awhile (prob 2nd & 3rd grade). Not sure on the illustrations with those. They are by several different authors, but your librarian should be able to point you in the right direction.

 
How many illustrations do we need? Is one at the start of a chapter enough?
 

For realistic, contemporary fiction, dd2 loved the Lauren Myracle series, "Ten", "Eleven", "Twelve", etc, about Winnie. She also loved the "Ivy & Bean" series and liked "Clementine", too. Dd2, my 4th grader, loves, loves, loves those funny books like Dear Dumb Diary and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc, etc, but she's a voracious reader and will go for all sorts of books. I second the suggestion of the Andrew Clements' books like "Frindle". They're just a jump above Ivy & Bean, but not very thick. Have you tried the "Penderwicks" by Jean Birdsall? That might be too much (300 pp?), but my dd2 loved it in 3rd grade. I'm not sure if it's got the required illustrations, but it's a lovely old-fashioned feeling contemporary book series about a dad and his 4 daughters. It's one of those where the mom has already died when the book starts so I don't know if that's too scary for them or not. (My dd1 was my extra sensitive one, and dd2 will read most anything, although not the Hunger Games.) If not this year, maybe next year. 

 

Ooo, speaking of old-fashioned, have you tried any Eleanor Estes books? "Pinky Pie" was our fave. Very gentle, but not slight. About a family in the 20s or 30s who go to Fire Island NY for the summer with their ornithologist dad and all the interesting things that happen. Very quaint and cozy, but fun. She has many others, but my kids really liked that one the best.

 

We loved listening to the "Theodosia" series by R.L. LaFevers. It's about a young girl who is an Egyptologist, daughter of two museum archaeologists in the early 1900s in England. There are some darker parts, but lots of funny stuff too. I think the dark is maybe on a Roald Dahl level, so some bad guys might get done in, but it's not very heavy. She has another series that might work, too, about a boy. Can't remember the name. It seemed a little young for us, but might work for you.

 

If they like fantasy have you done the "Fairy Realm" series? It might be a little lightweight, but I think it's weightier than Ivy & Bean, but nothing like Harry Potter — maybe 120pp?


Daffodil 03-08-2014 06:32 AM

What about the American Girl books?  Looks like most of them are about 4th grade level and they're nice and short with pictures.


Aufilia 03-13-2014 01:03 PM

There's actually a reasonable amount of research showing that spending time engaged in material that's just slightly challenging (not too much of a stretch--just a little stretch) is optimal for learning--for improved reading skills or anything else.  It's too bad the teacher couldn't give you a better idea of your DD's current reading levels, though, because that would make it easier to find the right material.

 

I saw a lot of suggestions upthread about novels, but what about non-fiction selections?  It's easier to find higher-level non-fiction material with images.  My daughter enjoys these, for example:

 

Oh Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty (grade 5ish level)

Oh Yikes! History's Grossest and Nastiest Moments 

National Geographic Mysteries of History (grade 6ish level)

 

If they have an interest in something in particular you can probably find books or magazines about it.  My daughter _loves_ cats and she loves to get a copy of Cat Fancy magazine or something similar. I have no idea what the reading level of Cat Fancy is but it's got to be above 3rd or 4th grade, anyhow.


NiteNicole 03-23-2014 10:25 AM

My daughter is also eight.  She's supposed to be reading upper 4th to mid-5th grade books for AR.  It has been a SLOG this year.  She just isn't interested.  The only book she's blasted through was The Witches by Roald Dahl and it's been hard to help her find anything similar - scary and funny and a bit gross.  She loves non-fiction but for AR, she needs more novels.  Her goal (points) keeps getting higher and she still wants to read little books she can finish quickly.  This isn't going to work.  And she has no interest in any of the books typically recommended for girls.  This summer, she can read whatever she wants and I'm hoping to help her read the kinds of books she'd find fun or interesting - books she doesn't have time for during the year because all her reading is focused on AR. 

 

So that's my recommendation - summer is almost here.  Let them cast around to find something they might like, or read books slightly less challenging and maybe by fall they'll be interested in more challenging books.


beanma 03-23-2014 08:19 PM

NiteNicole, what's AR? We don't use that acronym in our school.

 

For funny, scary and a bit gross you can keep going with the Roald Dahl—tons of material there. "Matilda" is a fave of ours. Also check out the Strega-Borgias in Debi Gliori's "Pure Dead Magic" series. They are hilarious when read aloud (lots of funny names), but could make good independent reading, too. There's Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events", "The Willoughbys" by Lois Lowry, maybe the "Spiderwick Chronicles". "The Sisters Grimm" by Michael Buckley could be a great series for her — lots of humor and action and some grossness, too. They're slim volumes so not too intimidating. My girls loved them at that age, but they're not "girly". They have tough, fighting sisters as the main characters and a boy as a sidekick.

 

ETA: I looked up AR — Accelerated Reading, right? And they make you choose from a list? That sounds kinda bogus. When my dd2 was in 2nd in public school they used the Fountas and Pinnell scale  (A=easiest, Z=hardest). Dd was pretty mad the teacher made her stay at levels like K, L, M for several weeks, but then the teacher kind of gave up. I think she realized that dd2 (along with probably about half the class) was way above that level. The other half of the class was probably struggling through the basic readers. Dd2 was reading Harry Potter. That would be very frustrating to have to read certain books. Second grade was the only time dd2 had to do that and only for the first 9 weeks or so. She's in 4th grade now and can read pretty much anything she wants to. She doesn't like the dystopian YA stuff that dd1 (7th grade) likes, but she would have no problem reading it if she wanted to. She still like "Ivy & Bean", too, because they're funny. She's all about funny. I'm really sorry you're having to slog through a required reading list for an 8 yr old. That sucks, but it is much easier to find, funny/scary/kindofgross than it is to find the higher level gentle readers. My dd1 needed the gentle books up until about 4th/5th grade. Dd2 doesn't mind a little scary/kindofgross/ if there's some funny in there too. 


NiteNicole 03-23-2014 08:37 PM

AR is Accelerated Reader. It's a program that's very popular in our area. The kids take quizzes to determine their reading range and then choose books to read independently. They take quizzes on the books for points. A goal is assigned by the teacher. Some kids love it and rise to the challenge. My kid hates it even though she does well.

Thanks for all of those recommendations. I'll add them to my library holds!

Please forgive typos. I can't find my glasses!

beanma 03-23-2014 08:52 PM

We do BOB (Battle Of the Books), but only for a couple of months. We just had the big battle. Dd2's team didn't win, but oh well. They have a list of 16 books and have to read at least 5 and do at least 5 activities if they want to the be in the Final Battle [cue theatrical music...dun dun dun...]. Dd2 wasn't into all of the books (they have a wide variety), but read about 8 of them. Other than that, though, they aren't required to follow any list at all and BOB is completely optional for 4th & 5th grade only. My kids are not big competitors. I think my poor dd1 would have had a complete meltdown with an AR program like that. She dropped out of BOB when she was in 5th grade because it was too much pressure.

 

Check out the Theodosia series I mentioned upthread, too. It's fun with another strong, smart, resourceful girl main character, but not girly—a wee bit scary and pretty funny.


limabean 03-23-2014 09:37 PM

AR isn't really a limited list of books, it's just that kids can only take an AR test if there's a test for that book in the database. The database is quite large, IME -- I don't think my DS has ever had a book not have an associated AR test in the database (for fiction, anyway -- some nonfiction titles he's read haven't had a test). Here's the AR book finder if you'd like to check it out: http://www.arbookfind.com/UserType.aspx

The only restriction (and DS's teachers only started enforcing this in 4th grade) is that they need to be doing their AR tests on grade-level books, as long as they've shown themselves to be capable of reading at grade level.

This year (in 4th grade), students are required to have about 30 AR points per trimester, and each AR test has a possible point value of anywhere from about 7 to 15, depending on difficulty (I'm just estimating based on the recent tests I remember DS taking). So, IMO, that's not a ton to ask of the kids -- they need to take between 2 and 5 AR tests per trimester to earn the required points, leaving plenty of room for them to read whatever books they're interested in, without worrying about grade level.


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