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As your child becomes a fluent reader, he'll discover an entirely new – and often overwhelming – world of books. How do you choose the right ones? Here are five suggestions from reading specialists, teachers, and experienced parents:
Explore different subjects. Your advanced reader is ready to move on from simple storybooks. Go to the library and bookstores and browse by subject area. This is a great time for your child to use books for learning about special interests: horses, outer space, ice skating, dinosaurs – whatever appeals. Don't worry if they're not classics; the idea is to develop a love of reading, not a love of reading a certain kind of book.
Look for winners. You can find lists of annual Newberry Medal, National Book Award, and other award winners online. Browse bestseller lists for popular books and authors, and ask for recommendations from librarians, teachers, and other parents.
Share your childhood favorites. The Ramona books, James and the Giant Peach, Just So Stories: Yes, they're still around! Browse through the library or bookstore and look for the books you loved when you were starting to read. Find out whether your parents still have your first books packed away. The classics never go out of style.
Ask the school for a reading list. Many school districts approve a list of books for elementary classrooms. You might also be able to meet with a reading specialist at the school to discuss which books your child would enjoy.
Look for books that provide information. Your child will enjoy reading instructions for a craft project, details about how machines work, or facts about a city before you take a trip there.