Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Should Kids Read Ahead of Grade Level? Conversation continued… June 13, 2009

Filed under: reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:27 pm

By the time I read Jen Robinson’s post and the related Babble post, I had had conversations with three different individuals this past week on versions of the same topic. I think it was Kylene Beers who started her book When Kids Can’t Read with a story about her daughter reading To Kill a Mockingbird three years in a row. By the third time she read it for school, she thought the first version was an abridged version.

So should my entering fifth-grade daughter read Twilight? She wants to read it since she has classmates who have read it and raved about. I have seen students as young as third grade walking around with it at school, proudly turned cover out so they can show everyone what they are reading. For me the answer is no, not right now. That won’t be the decision others make for their child and that is their right. Neither do kindergartners need to be reading Moby Dick, just because they know the words.

There are a great deal of books that families can enjoy together, picture books, children’s books, classics. There’s no need to rush them through the great books for young people into books intended for adult.

My two cents.


4 Responses to “Should Kids Read Ahead of Grade Level? Conversation continued…”

  1. Jen Robinson Says:

    Sounds reasonable to me, Kristine. This sure is an issue that a lot of people are struggling with. I do think that it’s probably a bit easier for parents such as yourself, who actually read many of the books in question, to know what’s likely to be ok for your child.

    • Emily Says:

      are u kidding me?! i’m eleven and i have to say twilight series is the greatest book(s) on this earth! parents, ask your sons or daughters about twilight they will heard of it i’m sure….. parents make your choice, or make your child happy.

  2. rlgibson Says:

    Hi Kristine,

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot too! Here is my response:

    missed you at book club yesterday!

  3. Yana Says:

    I was a precocious reader and read ahead of my grade level almost always. That doesn’t mean that my parents let me read romantic novels which were inappropriate reading for a child and had no true literary value (which is where I might place Twilight). On the other hand, novels I read at a very young age often dealt with topics which might not be appropriate for young children, but somehow, those things I couldn’t process, I really didn’t notice at the time. I often re-read books I enjoyed repeatedly, and as I grew older, I would sometimes find books I had read several years ago to have completely different meaning for me.

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