Hands up if you’ve told your bored (and dyslexic) kids to go read a book? Reading a book when you’re bored is great advice except for the fact that for many struggling or reluctant readers, reading is too much of a chore to be enjoyable. Choosing a few High Interest/Low Readability (hi-lo) books for your bookshelves may be just the remedy for this problem.
Use Hi/Low Books for Struggling Readers
Hi-Lo books can motivate struggling readers by providing books on topics that are engaging and that are targeted toward their reading level. Hi-Lo books can help build reading fluency, vocabulary, background knowledge and interest in reading. Hi-Low books have the advantage of looking like chapter books and are written about interesting topics with easy readability.
What a great find these books have been for our family! Many companies offer Hi-Lo books for struggling readers.
Here are some of our favorites:
Great Illustrated Classics
Great Illustrated Classics are just that. With large print, an illustration on every other page and excellent classic stories such as Treasure Island, Oliver Twist, Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice, our kids eat these books up. Written at approximately a 2-3rd grade level, they are excellent for both the young reader and the older struggling reader. Some of these are available on Kindle with Whispersync technology. Out of print. Search Amazon for used versions.
Similar to the Great Illustrated Classics. I look for all of these books at yard sales, used curriculum sales and thrift stores but they can be purchased fairly inexpensively in paperback via Amazon as well.
The website allows you to browse books by reading level or subject/genre. In addition, High Noon Books offers many resources for teaching kids with reading struggles.
HIP Books publishes novels that are written, edited and designed for struggling and reluctant readers from age 8 to 18. The company also offers print and online teacher resources to help educators teach reading strategies, boost comprehension and improve students’ general reading skills.
Perfection Learning carries Hi-Lo books and resources for teachers.
High interest books with delightful story lines and controlled vocabulary.
From the Capstone web site, “Dynamic, riveting action captivates the reluctant reader in these age-appropriate and illustrated tales. The high-interest topics offer an array of genres. Short chapters, smooth dialogue, and adrenaline-soaked subjects will help turn struggling skimmers into excited book lovers.” Reading Level: 2-3 Interest Level: 5-9
Many of these books can be found at your local library.
The Association for Library Services for Children recommends these high/low titles for reluctant readers in grades 3-6.
The children’s librarians at the Logan (Utah) Library developed a High Interest/Low Reading Level Book List for children in grades 3-12. The list indicates both the independent reading level (by grade) and the interest level (by grade).
How to Determine Your Child’s Reading Level
Need to figure out at what level your child is reading? Read this article on using the Fry’s Readability Graph.
Graphic Novels for Struggling or Reluctant Readers
Similar to comic books, graphic novels use lots of visuals with a limited amount of text to tell the story. Graphic novels can be especially appealing to readers who are reluctant to pick up a more traditional book. Graphic novels are a great way to help struggling readers strengthen vocabulary, build reading confidence and stamina, and develop a deeper appreciation of storytelling.
Do you have any Hi-Lo book or graphic novel resources to recommend?