It's often really tricky to find the right match of book to a particular child. As parents we're usually really pleased if our child is advancing through various reading levels and making those steps towards becoming a 'Free Reader' (that's what they call it in my children's school anyway). The tricky part comes in when they are able to read longer length books and are drawn towards gorgeous covers and exciting blurbs. As busy parents, I can't believe that many are able to pre read chapter books that have caught the eye of our young readers. Through my experience teaching and doing this job, I know that not all 'middle grade' books (suitable for 9-12 year olds) are in fact appropriate. There are many topics and themes covered that you may not be comfortable with your child uncovering especially independently and often at bedtime. This is even more concerning when a younger child, say 6,7 or 8 is considered able at reading. They may well be able to read the text but some of the concepts are very much above their maturity and it can often lead to confusion, upset and an array of questions you may not be ready to answer!
"If we want our children to thrive, teaching them to read is not enough – they must learn to enjoy it" Cressida Cowell
If the above is true we must match the content to the reader. Children will be turned off reading if they are faced with text that's not suitable for their current level of maturity. And again, here's the problem. How can we get ahead of the game and make sure that a book is the right fit? Well here's a few suggestions:
Use a local library and ask the librarians that work there. They have a wealth of knowledge and can be a valuable resource.
Use recommendations from your child's friends that may have already read the book - this works well if they are similar in personalities and maturity. Not so reliable when there's a mis match!
Talk to your child's teacher or even better the English lead at the school - they may be better placed to offer advice and provide recommendations.
Use a trusted website such as BooksForTopics
Use Bring a Book to Life!!!!
I read a wealth of children's literature daily and each and every book that is included within the boxes. If you know that you're child is a competent reader but don't want to expose them to anything that may cause upset or may be beyond their years please do get in touch. I'm always here to advise which box may be the right fit - in fact it's what I class as one of the fun jobs! Equally you may feel that your child is struggling with reading but don't want them to feel patronised by the content included - I've got great book box suggestions for that too!