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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
According to school, my 2nd grade dd's reading level is grade 6.4. But she's very much a 2nd grader, with the attention span of a 2nd grader.

She mainly wants to read books that are very easy for her. Ones she can read in a few minutes. Flat Stanley, etc. I like the idea of her reading books a bit more challenging, but I'm not sure how to encourage that, or even if I should push it. First, a lot of the books at a 6th grade level seem to be a bit mature for her. I'm not worried about her reading pre-teen romances as far as trying to protect her from content, but I don't think they would hold her interest. And her attention isn't held by longer books, either. She started reading a Narnia book and liked it for a few chapters but hasn't picked it back up. She read some out loud to me and she doesn't have any trouble reading it. I think it just seems too long.

Should I back off completely and go with Flat Stanley and whatever, or should I encourage books that are a bit harder? And, coupled with that, what books might be good for a kid in this situation? She's read all the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and all the Captain Underpants books. I'm not sure of those reading levels, but they seem a bit harder than Flat Stanley. That's the kind of stuff she likes anyway. She's also read all the Franny K. Stein books. She flies through all those.

Does she need to read things closer to her reading level, or does it even matter? I feel like I'm letting her down by not giving her challenges. But maybe I'm overthinking it. The thing is that I don't think she's shown harder books at school, so if she's going to be introduced to them, it'll be by me.
 

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I've always just let my kids read what they want to read. They've gone through phases of repetitive, low-challenge reading and then taken sudden leaps into more challenging fare. If your dd enjoys stuff like Narnia, but lacks the stamina, you could alternate reading chapters aloud to her with independent reading. Non-fiction, anthologies of short stories, magazines and more 'mature' picture books could also easily challenge her reading without needing huge amounts of focus and stamina. But really, I wouldn't worry. My then-5yo read the first few chapters of the first Harry Potter a year and a half ago and then stalled. She didn't seem concerned -- she happily read plenty of less challenging stuff in the meantime. Then a few months ago she picked it up and read it cover to cover in a week, and has since read her way through the six remaining books in the series. She's had no reading instruction and total free rein over choosing her reading material. My three older kids progressed similarly with nothing more than self-managed independent reading.

Editing to add some specific suggestions. "The Worry Stone," "The Quilt-Maker's Gift," "Mellisande," and "Stickeen" are examples of the types of picture books I'm thinking of. Non-fiction by DK and Usborne, like this one, has always been popular here. Anthologies like "D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths" and "The Illustrated Book of Fairy Tales" are lovely. For magazines we're particularly fond of those in the Cricket family. Muse, Cricket or Odyssey might be good choices for a kid like yours.

Miranda
 

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My DD is exactly like your DD! Same grade, reading level, and interests lol

Flat Stanley to Narnia is a big jump. I suggest some books in the middle.
My DD7 likes the Joody Moody & Droon series; and books by Judy Blume.
They are more challenging than Flat Stanley but still have larger text and some pictures.

We usually the read higher level books, like Narnia, together. She reads a page & I read a page. It's a great way to expose her to the longer books and have some snuggle time.

I would offer her higher level books but let her choose her own reading material. I think reading at age 7 should be about enjoying what they read.
 

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Though my daughter is a lot younger, we struggle with the same issues. My personal belief is that if she has access to a variety of books with a variety of reading levels, she will figure out what's right for her. Usually that means that she's reading well below her ability level, but that obviously hasn't stopped her ability level from progressing.


I'd also advise checking out the custom search feature of Scholastic's Book Wizard. You can search for books with different interest and reading levels.
 

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Similar situation here, though ds is in 3rd grade.

Books that work well for him are:
Boxcar children mysteries
Bailey School Kids stories (I hate these, but he likes them and can read a whole one in about 40 minutes)

Both of these are about 3rd grade level, so they're far too 'easy' for ds, but if he's reading for pleasure, I guess I don't care.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I've always just let my kids read what they want to read. They've gone through phases of repetitive, low-challenge reading and then taken sudden leaps into more challenging fare. If your dd enjoys stuff like Narnia, but lacks the stamina, you could alternate reading chapters aloud to her with independent reading. Non-fiction, anthologies of short stories, magazines and more 'mature' picture books could also easily challenge her reading without needing huge amounts of focus and stamina. But really, I wouldn't worry. My then-5yo read the first few chapters of the first Harry Potter a year and a half ago and then stalled. She didn't seem concerned -- she happily read plenty of less challenging stuff in the meantime. Then a few months ago she picked it up and read it cover to cover in a week, and has since read her way through the six remaining books in the series. She's had no reading instruction and total free rein over choosing her reading material. My three older kids progressed similarly with nothing more than self-managed independent reading.

Editing to add some specific suggestions. "The Worry Stone," "The Quilt-Maker's Gift," "Mellisande," and "Stickeen" are examples of the types of picture books I'm thinking of. Non-fiction by DK and Usborne, like this one, has always been popular here. Anthologies like "D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths" and "The Illustrated Book of Fairy Tales" are lovely. For magazines we're particularly fond of those in the Cricket family. Muse, Cricket or Odyssey might be good choices for a kid like yours.

Miranda
This was going to be my suggestion. Adding in some Patricia Polloco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She does like those Bailey Street School books. I'd forgotten about those. And we have the D'Auliares Greek Myths one, and I've seen her at least looking at it from time to time. I've gotten some Judy Blume (Fudge) and Beverly Cleary (Ramona) books for her, and she occasionally picks them up but doesn't seem to get that into them. She might have read a Ramona book through. I've got some more good suggestions here though. Thanks! I do want her to read for pleasure and read what sounds good to her. I've just worried that maybe she isn't being exposed to many options that keep her interested in reading. But as I read the lists and see how many of those she's read, maybe I'm doing better at giving her stuff to read than I thought.
 

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i would back off completely if i were you. IMO, attention span is as real an factor in reading as "reading level" is. so, if you had a 6th grader with a 6th grade attention span but a 2nd grade reading level, it'd be a bad idea IMO to push him into reading 6th grade level books. in the same way, a second grade attention span is going to be a limiting factor in reading, and that's totally fine. sorry if i'm not being too clear, i have 2 kids jumping on me as i type (and one alternately nursing).

i think this is what they mean by asynchronous development in gifted kids. but i also have this feeling (i've observed it in my DD), that kids really enjoy the feeling of having mastered something. so your DD probably really enjoys the feeling of being a "master" reader and cruising through some easy books. nothing wrong with that IMO! i'd say most of the reading i do is also well below my peak reading level. much more fun that way!

all that said, i really got into the laura ingalls wilder books sometime around your DD's age. if she asks for some reading suggestions, maybe try that?
 

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Lauren Child ilustrated a version of Pippi that is fun. The pictures and great and she has manipulated the text similar to her picture books with varying sizes, colors and fonts. It was one of the first "dense" books my "amazing" young reader was interested in.

Avi has some books that arre very gentle for young readers about squirrels.

Does she like non-fiction?

Dahl?
 

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We have this issue with my DD as well. Actually, her attention span is pretty good but she seems to be intimidated by books that look "too hard" or "too wordy" (that's what she says!) I get her a LOT of harder picture books. There are lots out there, some of them quite lengthy and beautiful. She really prefers these to chapter books at her reading level, and usually the content is more appropriate, too. That said, her reading level is more like late 4th/early 5th; I'm not quite sure how many there are on your DD's current level.
 

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Who among us regularly reads at our top reading level?

It could also be that her eyes aren't yet ready for the text density and for sustained effort.

There are a lot of good books, with appropriate content, at about a gr4 reading level. I wonder if she'd like series fiction? Does she have a genre she enjoys?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a gr6 reading level, so she has read at her top reading level - four in a series.
But the text is spread out differently with lots of illustration breaks.
 

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We just got a big set of Roald Dahl books that are a huge hit with my 7 yo twins, and my 4 yo dd. The reading level is probably around 6th. Even the longer books have pictures every few pages, that would break up the text for your dd.

I wonder if it's the sheer density of text that bothers her. If so, you can get some large text books from the library (they have them at ours). They're easier on the eyes-- my twin with dyslexia can read much more challenging text when its large-format.

Other ideas:
My Father's Dragon
Mr. Popper's Penguins
The Tale of Hugo Cabret (part graphic novel, so very fun to read and a great story)
Pippi Longstockings

Can you take your dd to a children's bookstore and have her browse for some titles or books that interest her? I agree with pp's that she doesn't always need to be challenged in her reading, but it does seem odd that she'd want to read Flat Stanley. My boys always loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and I can't imagine them reading FS. There's a new series like "Diary" called "Herbert's Wormhole". It's in the same vein, but is a higher reading level-- probably 6th.

Regardless, I wouldn't worry too much about it. The fact that she likes to read says things are OK to me.
 
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