If you’re raising an advanced reader, you may find that they eventually get bored of books that are at their grade level. Even though they have high comprehension skills, they may not be emotionally ready for books geared toward older kids or teens. How do we find a balance between providing books that are challenging enough for kids but appropriate for their age, sensitivities and maturity level? Check out our tips for helping your child make the transition to books above their grade level.
Let your child choose books that align with their interests.
Kids will enjoy their reading more and make reading a habit when they have a say in what books they read. Follow their interests and find out what they enjoy about their favourite books. Keep in mind that they may still return to old favourites once in a while, even if their reading abilities have advanced beyond.
Read reviews online.
Review sites such as Kirkus Reviews publish book reviews for children and teens. These include an in-depth description of the plot, as well as a recommended age range. Keep in mind that this is only a suggestion and age recommendations vary from one review to another. Look for more review resources at the end of this article.
Use our Next 5 Reads service.
Did you know our staff can create personalized reading lists for patrons of any age? Simply fill out the Next 5 Reads form on our website. Make a note of your child’s age/grade level and any sensitivities or dislikes they may have.
Keep an open dialogue.
Let your child know that if they do read something that gives them negative feelings (shock, anxiety, fear, etc.), it’s okay to put the book down. Encourage them to talk about what makes them uncomfortable and be ready to listen non-judgmentally.
It takes trial and error to find books that are a good fit for your advanced reader. Rather than feeling like you have to research every book, it’s perfectly acceptable to learn with your child as you go. Even if your child selects books that are “too easy” for their reading level, bear in mind that it’s important for reading to become a regular habit for them, rather than a constant challenge to improve upon. We want to encourage kids to read challenging books, but also read for enjoyment—at whatever level that may be.
- How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers (books4yourkids)
- How to Find Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers (Scholastic)
- Reading Beyond (The Children's Book Council): Booklists created for advanced readers from kindergarten to grade 5
- What to Do If Your Child Is Interested in Books With Adult Themes (Brightly)
- When Precocious Readers Want Mature Books: It's Your Call, Parents (Brightly)