Before I recommend reading for students, I want to say that if your child is reading, that is half the battle. But how do you know if they are understanding what they are reading? How do you know it is not too difficult for them to read? There are some things parents can do to help their child choose an appropriate book.
First, parents should find out what their child's Lexile level is; a lexile is a tool used by educators and students to determine which books fall into the student's range of "readability." Lexile scores range from 100 to 1200, where 100 is a first grade level book and 1200 is a 12th grade level book. A Lexile will have additional numbers following the first one or two numbers; these numbers indicate what month of the year the book would fall into, for example a book with a lextile score of 1150 would be appropriate for an 11th grader during their fifth month .
While the Lexile score is a helpful tool to determine what your child is capable of reading, parents should remember that the Lexile score is based on vocabulary only. For example, a John Grishman book may be rated in the 800-900 range based on the vocabulary. Parents should also keep in mind the other factors found in books and their child's maturity. Violence, mature situations, adult scenes, and language may be a few of the other issues found in books that parents and educators need to take into account before choosing a book for their child.
One of the best ways to recommend reading for students is to actually have read the book before the student does. Parents can also read the book with their child.This will help your child with vocabulary, comprehension, and content information. Sharing the love of reading with your child will help them develop their own love of reading as well.
I have several favorite recommended readings for students; one is the trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games. This trilogy is appropriate for students in 6th grade to 12th grade. One of the best reasons to read her trilogy is because it includes mythology and Roman gladiator ties, as well as a link to Julius Ceasar, by Shakespeare. In addition, I recommend reading for students to learn about a variety of topics included in the trilogy; these subjects include politics, government, and morality issues.
Another one of my favorite reads is called Soldier X. This fictional book touches on the feelings of a young boy who is forced to join the Hitler Youth and fight against his native Russians. A great boy book, for any student grades 6 - 9. For the older grades, 11th-12th, I recommend reading Pa Chin's, Family, and The Poisonwood Bible. Both are interesting and will hold students attention while they learn a great deal about other cultures and time periods. These are just a few examples of recommended readings for students. Other recommendations will follow.