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Finding Books for an Advanced Reader

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Noreen H. Joslyn, LISW, ACSW

Q: According to a diagnostic reading test, our second-grade daughter is reading at a sixth-grade level. However, she is having a hard time finding books that interest her. She loves animals. She may find a series, but only likes one or two books from the whole group. She is extremely particular, and doesn't always choose challenging books. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Finding topics of interest is a common problem when you have a young reader with an advanced ability. Even though they have an advanced skill, their interests are usually at age level. It's also not fun reading a book where all the characters are 12-years-old, and you are only seven!

I have just heard of a new book that may interest your daughter: Lucy and the Liberty Quilt by Victoria London. It is the first in a series for gifted girls. Since she likes animals, have you looked at the Misty of Chincoteague horse series? Saddle Club books are also a popular series, but I am not fully familiar with the story line. The Babysitters Club: Little Sister Series has a young main character, Karen, who is gifted (I believe she may be grade-skipped) and solves a different problem in each book. The original American Girls series (Felicity, Samantha, Molly, etc.), are also a good read for young girls and gently combine fictional stories with history. Gifted children often love non-fiction, and there are many animal books and magazines for your daughter's interest. The Zoobooks Magazine series, or National Geographic World (the kids' magazine) are great and all kids like to get stuff in the mail! I hope you find this helpful. Good Luck!

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Noreen Joslyn is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Ohio and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She has a master's degree in Social Work, specializing in family and children, from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a psychiatric social worker in private practice with Ken DeLuca, Ph.D. & Associates, where she counsels parents and children.

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