What exactly does that mean?
On the surface it seems simple to answer: kids struggling to read.
But why is reading more difficult for these children?
"Reluctant readers" may struggle with concentration, word recognition, dyslexia, working memory deficiencies, or other challenges. Reading clinicians and child psychologists have terminology that groups kids in meaningful ways for classroom and resource teachers.
I am not a reading specialist, so I can't provide any advice on diagnosis, treatment, or clinicians. I am an author of children's literature, a mother, and an enthusiastic and extremely vocal book nerd.
I have a reluctant reader. Getting her past simple two and three letter words was a hurdle, until we found highly illustrated early readers, chapter books, and graphic novels. That was two years ago. She is now on a reading roll!
Today I begin my series on books for kids struggling to read.
Some of the books will resonate with your child or student, others will not. Just like any reader. Just like your own personal reading tastes.
Here is my first recommended title:
"It was a dark and stormy night..."
I kid you not, there is a graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time and before you leap from your chair, spilling tea across your key board and wail about the plight of the future of children's literature, let me ask you a few quick questions.
- How many 10 year olds do you know that have read the original book?
- How many 10 year-olds have you had a meaningful discussion (over a bowl of honey nut cheerios on a Wednesday morning before school) about that famous first line; "It was a dark and stormy night"?
- Can you imagine having this conversation with a child struggling to read?
I can, and have. It was thrilling, for us both.
She was surprised to learn that Madeleine L'Enlge coined that phrase, which has now become cliche. This graphic novel encouraged my youngest to search out other over used lines when she reads, engaging her critical mind. We discussed the author, her impact on modern literature, and her wild imagination. All before 8 am.
Where can you get this book? Your library, local bookstore such as McNally Robinson Booksellers, or Amazon.