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How to Choose Books for Your Middle School Student

Choosing books for your middle schooler to read is a challenging task that can reap delightful rewards.
The faculty at Alsion Montessori Middle School emphasizes reading. Our curriculum requires each student to read a variety of books during their middle school years.
Reading should extend beyond the classroom, however. In general, youths who are enthusiastic readers are better writers, achieve higher grades, and have broader perspectives on life.

How to Pick Books Your Child Will Enjoy

Parents may discover that finding books and other reading materials that command a young student’s attention requires some work. Adolescents are too old for Dr. Seuss but are often not prepared to read from the New York Times bestseller list.
Many parents also must overcome middle school students’ preference for social media or video games to reading a book.
To help parents instill a love of reading in their children, Alsion offers these guidelines to select reading material that motivates private school students to learn:

  • Focus on your child’s reading level. Choose books that are at or slightly above your student’s reading level. Consult with the child’s teachers to learn your child’s reading level. One quick method of determining whether a book is appropriate: Scan a few pages with your child. If there are five or more words the child does not understand, search for another book.
  • A range of books is best. Parents certainly should encourage their children to read what they like. Alsion Montessori teachers, however, recommend introducing young readers to new genres. When students explore unfamiliar topics, they widen their horizons. It may even spark a lifelong interest in an unexpected field.
  • Be resourceful. Your student may balk at the idea of reading books. Don’t give up. An abundance of reading material is available through the internet, local libraries, and bookstores. Other parents are a terrific resource. Ask them what their children are reading.

Seek Out Newbery Award Winners for Your Middle School Student

Each year since 1921, the John Newbery Medal honors the author of an outstanding book for elementary and middle school aged readers. The Association for Library Service to Children, which gives the Newbery award, also cites additional worthy authors.
Consider a Newbery winner for your child. Read the book yourself to judge if it is right for your child. Recent Newbery winners include Hello, Universe by Erin Estrada Kelly, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena.
For additional assistance in choosing books for your middle schooler to read, contact Alsion Montessori in Fremont, near historic Mission San Jose. Call 510-445-1127 today.
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