As a long-time parent and teacher of gifted kids, I am often asked by kids (and their parents) about those transitional years for gifted readers, the years when these readers have outgrown reading many of the “younger kid” books, but aren’t quite ready for the teenage and beyond books. These transitional readers may be capable of reading at very high levels, but may lack the emotional maturity to deal with some of the subject matter of advanced reading, and so finding “good reads” for them is often difficult.
Some things that we know about gifted readers are that:
The author of this article, Ness Riedel, describes the difficulty in finding a good read for transitional readers in this way: “It can be hard for 10-, 11-, and 12-year-old readers who read at a high school (or higher) level to find books that meet their reading needs but are still appropriate for their age and experience. For readers like this, I worry less about what Lexile or Guided Reading level a specific book is and look for books that will offer them a chance to go deeper in their thinking about characters and situations. Here are 14 books that are loved by young readers on Bookopolis.com that offer unique character voices, complex plots and themes, and high page counts to engage fifth and sixth grade advanced readers.”
The article goes on to describe 14 “good reads” in four categories -- fantasy and science fiction, mystery and realistic fiction, historical fiction, and nonfiction.
As a practitioner, I have read and enjoyed many of these books, and have shared them with parents,teachers and kids. I hope that you and your gifted middle school readers will enjoy them, too.
As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Thank you for joining me in this foray into using other perspectives to helping us understand giftedness.
Past President, WATG
Gifted in Perspective
A column designed to link the gifted perspective to other perspectives, and to make you think.