More Challenging Literature Choices for a Younger Reader

Reading came easy to my oldest child. In an effort to seek to challenge my young reader, I researched classic books that would be appropriate for a younger reader.

I ended up choosing eight different books to read and eight books for read alouds. I ran most of these books by my child in order to give her a synopsis to see if she was interested in the story. I even had her read a paragraph or two to see if it was easy or difficult to read.

These are the books that we ended up doing.  There were a couple reading books that didn’t fit and a couple read alouds that didn’t work either.  They didn’t work because the content was inappropriate or my child found them boring.

Reading Books

Alice In Wonderland – 12 chapters – Grade Level: 5.9 Lexile Level: 860
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – 47 chapters – Grade Level: 4.7 Lexile Level: 1030
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ – 550 pages, 5-10 pg chapters, Grade Level: 10 Lexile Level: 990
The Hobbit – 19 chapters – 12-15 page chapters, Grade Level: 8.1 Lexile Level: 1000
A Christmas Carol – 5 chapters, 25 page chapters, Grade Level 7 Lexile Level: 1080
The Pearl – 90 pages, Grade Level 5.4 Lexile Level: 1010

Read Alouds

Helen Keller: The Story of My Life 23 chapters, Grade Level: 7.9 Lexile Level 1100
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 42 chapters, Grade Level 5.9 Lexile Level 810
Ring of Bright Water 14 chapters, 200 pages, Grade Level 7.3 Lexile Level 1490
Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington Grade Level 9 Lexile Level 1320
One Hundred and One Famous Poems
The Prince and the Pauper 34 chapters, 4-8 pg chapters, Grade Level 8.4 Lexile Level: 1160

To find out the grade level and lexile level I used two different websites. To find the grade level I used the Scholastic website. I typed in the name of the book and it gave me a grade level. To find the lexile level I went to lexile.com. Lexile levels look at how difficult the book is to comprehend, sentence length, and word frequency. If you compare the grade level with the lexile level you will find some discrepancies. I think if you consider both measures along with your child’s interest in the book you can find the right fit.

We will also enjoy watching movies after we read the book. While not every book has been made into a movie, it gave an added dimension with a touch of film analysis to our studies.

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