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Book recommendations for 9 year old boy

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Hi everyone,


I tutor a fantastic, creative, brilliant, dyslexic 9 year old boy, and I need some great book recommendations for him. He is pretty severely dyslexic, and I'd estimate he's reading at an early 2nd grade level. He's going into 4th grade this year, and I really want this summer to be THE SUMMER where things finally click. He goes to a wonderful supportive school, but he needs to get reading! He already feels out of place with his peers. His attention span is really short, so part of the problem is that he's just not getting enough practice time. I hope with the right book, he'll stick with it a little longer and make more progress.


Besides his attention issues, the main trouble is that his comprehension is sky high, but his reading is not. It's a challenge for me to find books that capture his attention, yet are easy enough for him to decode. He is a very visual-spatial thinker, so sounding out words does not come naturally to him, and he'll only try hard if the book is really interesting. He tends to guess rather than try sounding out a word. We're using a mixture of repeated oral reading, sight words, typing and Davis methods this summer.


He loves The Hobbit, Harry Potter, ninjas, and Minecraft. Any recommendations would be so welcome! Thanks!

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The easiest comics at our library are Tiny Titans and DC Super Friends.


My son loves Franny k Stein and they are a fairly low level (too high for my son but maybe good for yours).


Some Calvin and Hobbes is easier -- I go through and pick out easier sections for him.


Animorphs are too hard for my son -- but he loves them and maybe they would work for your son.


Babymouse is a lowish level but my son is turned off bc the covers are pink.


There are "making of the movie" Harry Potter movies at our library, some look on the easier side, but my son just looks at the pictures.


All my kids love Fly Guy and the level is low.


My son also does the Look and Find books and will read in them.


My son is happy to read lower-level materials for his reading time, but for being read to, he is at a higher level. But quite a few story books are okay with him. He likes the Bad Bears by Pinkerton -- they are a fairly difficult reading level. He likes Kellogg.


I am still setting a timer and making him read though -- he is not at a point where his bedtime books are books he can read... But I do think that is true for a lot of kids.



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I have a son who just turned 10 and sounds similar to the young man you tutor (similar reading level also). We second the Fly Guy books (LOVE them), any of the Blaze books (although some he has trouble with, so we usually read them together), All About Reading books (he is currently working in level 2 Vol 1), he likes the TAG phonics books (but you may not have access to those), Usborne puts out a series of books called Very First Reading and we LOVE them (one of his faves), the series starts out having you (the parent or tutor) read the small print and they read the large print (simple CVC words, but the book still has a story line) and continues until they can read the entire book (my son can fluently read any up to #10) they have large print and nice illustrations (unlike other readers we own). He enjoys any of the Little Critter books (and those are easy to find), we have also started reading some of the Clifford books, and Amelia Bedelia (we just started those; the levels vary so you may want to check). What about Legos, does he like them? They offer a free magazine that his parents could subscribe to, to help promote him reading (even if only very small chunks). My son also likes most of the Non-Fiction easy readers at the library, but your student may think those too “babyish†(we homeschool so that’s not an issue). Maybe some Eye-Spy books, they aren’t really reading books but my son loves them and they still offer him the ability to decode words he doesn’t know. Hopefully that gives you some ideas, good luck!

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Also I realize you did not ask this, but is there any use in looking back at phonemic awareness? If he is having trouble sounding out words ---- that might be a good way to try to get him sounding out.


It was very difficult for my son but worth it b/c he can sound out now if it is a one-syllable word.


I like a lot of things about Davis, but for sounding out a word ---- I think there are things that are focused on that skill.

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Thanks for the wonderful ideas! We do like Fly Guy, and I checked out some Bad Bears books which look adorable. I will look into the others, too!


CraftyHomeschool, yes, the boys do sound a lot alike! Our favorite books by far have been the Cork and Fuzz series by Dori Chaconas. They are SO cute, and funny. We're also reading some Tom and Ricky books, although they don't have many illustrations. The books are almost entirely "decodable," and use really common words. There is a lot of repetition which is great, but they're also pretty good mysteries! You can buy them really cheaply on Amazon.


Lecka, I'm not sure if there are phonemic awareness issues. He has no trouble saying a word in sounds, so on the one hand it doesn't seem like that's the problem. His spelling is not very good though. He can spell a word aloud much better than he can write it. When he reads, it's as though he doesn't see the separate letters in a word unless I specifically tell him to look closely - they are just a big mush. Lindamood-Bell was an absolute disaster for him, and it didn't really help much at all. His reading specialist at school told me we just need to abandon any sequential teaching method and instead teach him sight words, prefixes and suffixes, and how to visualize and guess the word accurately from context. I'm with her most of the way, but I still want him to sound out words... We are doing repeated oral reading, choral reading, typing, and lots of sight words this summer. I think Davis would help a lot, but he doesn't like building words with clay, with Legos, writing with chalk or any of that. He just wants to be a ninja and that's it! :-)


Thanks again!!

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Bad Bears are cute, I love them myself. I hope he will like them.


Sounds like you have already worked on phonemic awareness :) Sorry it is not the solution for him.


You might ask if it sounds like a vision therapy thing to anyone?

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Ricky and his Mighty Robot might work.


At some point you might want to help him get into the Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abbott. It is recommened as a top pick series for fans of Harry Potter.


But the first 8 books in the series are only 80 pages each and contain maybe 5 full page illustrations. The series then goes on, and on, and on for a total of 44 books. The reading level does increase with the books as does the length.


My son who just turned 9 read the series this year. (Well he did read the first 6 books in 2012). His ability and willingness to tackle books by himself sky-rocketed.


I'm sure if you search these boards for "Droon" you will find many posts I have made.


As a added bonus the author Tony Abbott struggled to learn to read as a kid, and is great about replying to fan mail quickly with personalized letters. He even mailed Eldest a map of Droon.

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