Let me give you a little hint about something that took me longer (than it should have) to figure out.
You want kids to read, right? Reading = end goal. So let them read...without judgement.
I cringe when kids check out Captain Underpants or Goosebumps or Spongebob, Disney TV show books...cringe. But I keep that cringe on the inside.
And to be honest, the Disney Fairies Books and High School Musical, iCarly chapter books - are usually written around a 4th grade level or so, but often appeal to younger kids...kids that watch those shows, that have the background knowledge, that can be more successful with the text because they can predict what is going to happen - they are so familiar with the characters and the outline of the shows...
I have also found that often (especially with boys) they aren't drawn to fiction. But they like hunting and football and dirt bikes and dinosaurs and snakes and big foot. And I have those books in the library - and they will read them. They look for them. They are excited about them. And here's another secret...nonfiction (unless its a rookie reader type book) is often written at a middle school level or so. But they have the background knowledge and the interest...
I have also found over the years that if you honor their interests and help them find what they want, they will come to trust you, to see that you care about them, they will be willing to take a risk when you make suggestions later.
I want every child to read award winning books, books that provoke great dinner conversations, books that will stay with them forever and ever...
But my true bottom line is that I really just want every child to read. To enjoy reading.
That's my two cents. You can take it or leave it. :)
Great insight and I definitely see the boys checking out non-fiction or those comic books right now. I read in that Daily 5 book that for fluency purposes, students shouldn't read comics or magazines. If they are enjoying it, I say let them read it!
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