Striving Readers: Hi-Lo Books for Reading Intervention

Striving Readers: Hi-Lo Books for Reading Intervention

These high-interest books make it possible to offer your striving readers a selection of titles that they will enjoy and want to finish. Even reluctant readers will be curious to crack open books about vampires, aliens, skateboarding, basketball, and natural disasters. With fiction, nonfiction, and multi-genre titles, these books are a natural fit for upper-grade students who need compelling, not-too-difficult books for assignments, reading classes, and more. GRL range: M–Y.
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Help Striving Readers with Hi-Lo Books for Reading Intervention

When a literacy intervention is necessary for struggling readers, it is important to have a good selection of high-interest, low-level books, or hi-lo books as they are sometimes known. The main two problems that reluctant readers have are issues of interest and issues of difficulty, which is understandable—if a student feels they are not good at something and it seems a little boring to them, what motivation do they have to continue doing it?

High-interest, low-reading-level books solve both of those problems! Books for reluctant readers must be attention grabbing and engaging, with topics that students would want to learn about on their own, not necessarily the kind of content-area topics they're expected to have to read.

Reading strategies for struggling readers can work only if the focus is there. High-interest, low-reading-level books, for boys especially, can make all the difference in retaining that focus. Nonfiction books on topics such as predatory animals, natural disasters, history-making sports heroes, skateboarding, and martial arts will be easy sells to kids who want to know more about these exciting topics. And fiction narratives can pull them in, too, when the storylines are about zombies, werewolves, and killer robots.

It's also important to choose reading levels that your students won't find too challenging. Many middle school and high school students might be reading several grade levels below their peers, but find books at their own reading level too babyish. Combining a low vocabulary level and low reading level with “older” topics and aesthetics is the key!

The trick is to choose books that students will want to pick up—and books that students will want to finish! Students who feel bored by reading may have just never met a book that they really liked. You can change that with these intervention books for striving readers.