Hi-Lo Readers for Children Having Difficulty with Reading and Reluctant Readers
Last Saturday night a friend asked me if we sold any Aussie Nibbles on Bookbubble for her daughter. I have an Aussie Bite, but this reading level is too high for her daughter who is having trouble reading. This Mum is not the first mum who has talked to me about books for children who have struggled with reading, or who plain just do not enjoy it. Their children want to read the same types of books as children their own age, but often cannot cope as the books get more descriptive and the story gets lost as they try to decode the language. They also get put off as the number of words on the page increases and pictures are dropped. When confronted with a page full of words their automatic reaction is to put the book down.
Never one to let not knowing something put me off, I decided to do some research, and I came up with lots of information on why children find regular books difficult and what they can do to over-come this. I also found some sites that provide books specifically to help struggling readers – these books are called HI-LO readers (high interest and low reading reading levels). Most of the work and research has been done in England and America, but I did find one site in Australia. And, funnily enough, none of the main Australian and New Zealand bookshops had a selection of HI-LO readers except Fishpond (I think because they source books from the US and UK), and amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. You just put HI-LO readers in the search and the books appear.
In general many of the books have a low volume of words per page, images to assist with the story-line and lots of white space on the page to encourage children to read. The stories are high on action and low on description so that the children are kept in the story rather than having to decode a lot of information that does not assist with the telling the story. Some mainstream books that do this well are The 13 Storey Tree House and the follow up books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The How to Train Your Dragon Series – the books with the drawings in, and I am sure you can think of many others like this. If you can please put some in the comments below to help people looking for these types of books who read this blog.
If you want to do some more research, or look for other books, the links below are the ones I managed to find. I hope they help.
Blake Education has some books available in Australia for high low reading, and a chart yo help you choose what is appropriate.
UK and US Book Sales
BarringtonStoke are a specialist UK publisher and have a wide range of books available.
HIP-Books has a rage of different types of books.
lovereading4 kids in the UK also has a range of books you can buy from them, but many are mainstream so can be bought in Australia.
UK and US Book Information and Link to Books Sales
Oxford Owl has a range of information and resources to help with reading
childrens.about.com has an interesting article on HI-LO reading that has lots of links to different types of books.
Teachers.org.uk has some information and links to books
Reading rockets has some useful information.
This is by no means an exhaustive list so please feel free to add information in the comments that you think may help mums, dads, teachers and careers looking to share their love of books with children.