Figuring out what my is reading

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Figuring out what my is reading
Tue, 06-24-2008 - 10:53am
Hi! I am new here. I am a single mom of 2 girls.. My youngest will be 6 in September and My oldest 9 in October. My question is about my oldest.. She is a cheerleader and a very good student. She will be entering 3rd grade this year. They have Lexile reports for reading levels now and based on her scores she has a 9th grade reading level. Of course I am proud of her and hope that she continues to do so well. But now I have the issue of finding things that are age appropriate for her. She does read Harry Potter books but other than that I haven't found anything that challenges her that she wants to read that am comfortable with her reading. I don't have time to proof read everything before she reads it. We were in Barnes & noble a while back, and we were browsing the young adult section, I happened to pick up a book called "Glass" and read a lil of it while she looked. I was shocked! This book talked about drugs, sex, and abortion and I only read a few pages!! In small print on the back it was marked ages 14 and up. Who would write a book for a 14 year old CHILD about things like that?? This book was also on display in the front of the store next to Harry Potter!! I complained to the store that I didn't feel that this book should be aimed toward children and was told that that is where they were told to put it. I will not return to that store again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 06-24-2008 - 12:09pm

Go have a talk with your local children's librarian. There are a number of books out there that she would enjoy reading that are grade level appropriate, maturity level appropriate and reading level appropriate. Sure some of them might not be at a 9th grade level but they still have interest and value.

In all honesty I don't think a 2nd grader, 3rd grader or even a 4th grader should be reading books geared towards high schoolers. Even if they are on their reading level, those books are not on their maturity level nor is the content necessarily appropriate.

Look for Newbery Medal winning books. Look towards the classics such as Little Women, Sarah Plain and Tall, Charlotte's Web, books by Avi and Andrew Clement, etc. There are some books you don't want to skip over just because they are at a lower reading level. Sure some of these books she might read in a day, but that is okay. Get them from the library so it won't cost you as much or have you running back to the book store every other day to keep up with her. If you can find out what books the third graders are going to be covering or expected to read. Read them or re-read them yourself and then discuss the books with her. She'll get more out of them especially if you ask questions such as what do you think would have happened if the main character did this instead of what she did in the story? Why do you think they did that? etc.

If she liked Harry Potter, has she tried the Charlie Bone series? To me those are not as dark or mature as the Harry Potter books yet they are still fun to read. Harry Potter was really geared towards upper elementary and middle school kids not 2nd graders, especially the later books. I know tons of 2nd graders have read them but I also know a number of 2nd grade teachers who feel the content level is too mature for 2nd graders.

dawn200608.jpg picture by cariadlawn

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2007
Tue, 06-24-2008 - 1:58pm

I agree with Dawn -- there are lots of good books that are 4th-6th-grade level and are totally worth reading. It's easy to get hung up on reading level and worry that kids should be reading at their level all the time, but really if you think about it, adults don't do that either. I got my degree in English literature, but when I want to relax, I don't read Shakespeare, I read decorating magazines. :)

One thing to watch out for if you're concerned about content is authors who write for both children and young adults. My daughter is crazy about the Spiderwick Chronicles series and wanted to read the author's YA book "Tithe," so I checked it out at the bookstore, and while it was easily within her reading level, the subject matter was a bit much for a 9-year-old. Had I just gone by the author's name, though, I probably would have bought it for her, because the other books are fine. (Another author like that is Judy Blume -- her kids' books and her young adult books are light years apart in terms of content.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Tue, 06-24-2008 - 2:15pm

"This book talked about drugs, sex, and abortion and I only read a few pages!! In small print on the back it was marked ages 14 and up. Who would write a book for a 14 year old CHILD about things like that??"

You don't know many teens do you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Tue, 06-24-2008 - 2:24pm
Well, for starters go and get her the entire Anne of Green Gables series.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 06-24-2008 - 2:37pm
I agree that kids are facing those things today, but I also remember that when I was that age I was reading RL stine books and maybe some VC Andrews. I think VC Andrews was the worst I read at that point. Just because there were sexual parts to the book. I was just shocked to see that this book was out and being targeted for children in the front display marked children. If the book wouldve been a movie it wouldve been rated R so why is it being displayed for younger children to pick up?