Literature for reluctant readers


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  • Check out what they are reading- Evan asked me to help him find Hatchet, Ty looks for anything western or outdoorsy, Frank loves graphic novels, and Alyssa really enjoyed Uglies and has continued with the series! These 7th graders are all my former “reluctant” readers who are now enjoying reading. These pictures were not at all staged, they didn’t know I was walking around with my camera until I was snapping their pictures!
  • The Book Whisperer is a great resource. Miller challenges her students to read forty books across different genres – and they actually do it! When Kids Can’t Read provides excellent activities to help with comprehension, many of the same activities that are used by Missouri Reading Initiative. In the Middle should be read before The Reading Zone, both are excellent tools for teaching reading.
  • Be sure to click on the websites to check them out! I especially love GuysRead and ReadKiddoRead.
  • Mike Lupica writes about sports. His books really appeal to middle school boys. Hatchet, along with most other Gary Paulsen books, are a hit amongst boys. Many students have seen (and liked) the movie version of Holes, so it is another that is a good recommendation. Dan Gutman is another author who writes high interest-lower level books. His books are quick reads. Gutman has several sports books, such as The Million Dollar Putt and the Baseball Card Adventure series and also the Weird School series, which would appeal to both boys and girls.
  • Mary Downing Hahn writes ghost stories and is an author that I always recommend. Although her books seem predictable to me, they hook the young readers. Dork Diaries is the girl equivalent of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The format of the book appeals to reluctant readers. TTYL, along with the rest of the Internet Girls series, is a hit with middle school girls. The books are written in the form of chatting/texting lingo. The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney is about a girl and her quest to fit in, which is something many middle school girls can relate to.
  • TheMaximum Ride series and the Alex Rider series are both full of action and adventure, which engages your reluctant readers. The ShadowChildren books are short, suspenseful reads – the key word being short. The reluctant readers do not become overwhelmed by the length of the book. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is a hit because they are quick reads and the format is set up similar to a graphic novel.
  • The DK Eyewitness books fit the description of the text features described by Kylene Beers.
  • Swim the Fly is very YA, but it will hook even the most reluctant of readers. Caroline B. Cooney and Lois Duncan both offer enough suspense to keep readers engaged.
  • Literature for reluctant readers

    1. 1. Erin McCurdy7 December 2011
    2. 2.  According to The Merriam- Webster Dictionary, the definition of reluctant is feeling or showing aversion, hesitation, or unwillingness.
    3. 3.  Young adults who, for whatever reasons, do not like to read. – YALSA “… the students who read in order to pass their classes or do well on state tests but who never embrace reading as a worthwhile pursuit outside of school.) – Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer.
    4. 4.  Reluctant readers come in many forms: • Both male and female • Able readers or struggling readers • Young and old (Lesesne)
    5. 5.  Reading Interest Survey • Find out their hobbies – are there books about that? • What books have sparked their interest in the past? Is there something similar? Conferencing • Conferencing is an essential part of teaching reading. This is how the teacher learns about the student as a reader and what interests him or her. As a media specialist, conferencing is still as important, although is may come in the form of casual conversation.
    6. 6.  Let the students choose their own books! • Donalyn Miller says, “By denying students the opportunity to choose their own books to read, teachers are giving students a fish year after year, but never teaching them to go near water, much less fish for themselves.” (Miller, 29).
    7. 7. The Book Whisperer When Kids Can’t Read, What TeachersBy Donalyn Miller Can Do By Kylene BeersIn the Middle The Reading ZoneBy Nancie Atwell By Nancie Atwell
    8. 8.  NancieAtwell’s In the Middle provides a useful survey for all readers, especially your reluctant readers. This survey, or one similar, will provide you with some background information to help you get to know your student as a reader. • An adaptation of Nancie’s survey can be found here.
    9. 9.  Kylene Beers devotes an entire  Fiction: chapter of When Kids Can’t Read • Thin books and short chapters to finding the right book. She • White Space points out specific fiction and non- • Some illustrations, especially fiction text features that appeal to characters reluctant readers. • Well-defined characters • Plots with a lot of action that begins Non-Fiction: right away • Visual features • Mysteries • Two-page spreads • Funny books • Beyond the book formats • Characters their age or only slightly • Index, table of contents, headings older and boldfaced terms • Characters who face tough choices • Thin book • Realistic language • High-interest topics • Vocabulary defined at point of use • Wander-around books (Beers, 285-290). • Biographies
    10. 10.  YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers • This list is chosen each year by the Young Adult Library Services Association. • Author James Patterson created this website to read out to parents to help get kids reading. • A website dedicated to recommending literature for boys. RHI: Reaching Reluctant Readers • A publication by Random House, Inc. Teacher guides are available and you can request a free copy of the publication.
    11. 11. Heat Holesby Mike Lupica by Louis SacharHatchet The Million Dollar Puttby Gary Paulsen by Dan Gutman
    12. 12. Deep and Dark and Dork DiariesDangerous By Rachel ReneeBy Mary Downing Hahn RussellTTYL The Secret Identity of Devon DelaneyBy Lauren Myracle By Lauren Barnholdt
    13. 13. Maximum Ride series Alex Rider seriesBy James Patterson By Anthony HorowitzShadow Children series Diary of a Wimpy Kid seriesBy Margaret PetersonHaddix By Jeff Kinney
    14. 14.  Graphic Novels are a great way to entice your Bone series reluctant readers. by Jeff Smith “Many writers agree that graphic novels could be that special something that provides interest and that a Twilight, The Graphic teenager connects Novel with.” by Stephenie Meyer (Snowball)
    15. 15. Guts: The True How Angel PetersonStories Behind Got His NameHatchet and the BrianBooks By Gary PaulsenBy Gary Paulsen DK Eyewitness Books By Various Authors
    16. 16. Caroline B. Cooney Lois Duncan booksbooks Swim the Fly by Don Calame
    17. 17. Atwell, Nancie. In The Middle: New Understandings about Writing, Reading, and Learning. 2nd ed. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1998. Print-- The Reading Zone: How to Help Kids Become Skilled, Passionate, Habitual, Critical Readers. New York: Scholastic, 2007. Print.Barnholdt, Lauren. The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney. New York: Aladdin, 2007. Print.Beers, Kylene. When Kids Cant Read, What Teachers Can Do. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003. Print.Calame, Don. Swim the Fly. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2010. Print.Cooney, Caroline B. The Face on the Milk Carton. New York: Bantam, 1991. Print.Duncan, Lois. Killing Mr Griffin. Puffin, 1990. Print.Gutman, Dan. The Million Dollar Putt. New York: Hyperion for Children, 2006. Print.Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Among the Hidden. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. Print.Hahn, Mary Downing. Deep and Dark and Dangerous. New York: Clarion, 2007. Print.Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker: an Alex Rider Adventure. New York: Speak, 2006. Print.Lupica, Mike. Heat. New York: Puffin, 2007. Print.Kim, Young, and Stephenie Meyer. Twilight: Graphic Novel. Yen, 2010. Print.Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. New York: Amulet, 2007. Print.Lesesne, Teri. "Reaching Reluctant Readers: Suggestions for Igniting the Spark." English Leadership Quarterly 31.3 (2009): 2-3. ProQuest Education Journals. Web. 5 Dec 2011.
    18. 18. Meng, Cece, and Joy Ang. I Will Not Read This Book. Boston: Clarion, 2011. Print.Miller, Donalyn. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Print.Myracle, Lauren. Ttyl. New York: Amulet, 2006. Print.Patterson, James. "How to Get Your Kid to Be a Fanatic Reader -" CNN, 28 Sept. 2011. Web. 05 Dec 2011.-- Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment. New York: Little, Brown, 2007. Print.Paulsen, Gary. Guts: the True Stories behind Hatchet and the Brian Books. New York: Delacorte, 2001. Print.-- Hatchet. New York: Bradbury, 1987. Print.-- How Angel Peterson Got His Name: and Other Outrageous Tales about Extreme Sports. New York: Yearling, 2003. Print.Russell, Rachel Renee. Dork Diaries. London: Simon & Schuster, 2010. Print.Sachar, Louis. Holes. New York: Scholastic, 1998. Print.Smith, Jeff, and Steve Hamaker. Bone. New York, NY: Scholastic, 2006. Print.Snowball, Clare. "Teenage Reluctant Readers and Graphic Novels." YALS (2005): 43-45. ProQuest Education Journals. Web. 3 Dec 2011.