Do you remember the first time you fell in love with a book? Sadly, many my students often reach my classroom without being able to name a book they enjoyed. They see books and reading as daunting or boring, rather than as the opportunity for adventure I know it can be.
My sixth-graders come from a rural community, and the majority are from low-income families.
Studies show that 61% of low-income children have no age appropriate books at home, and my students are no exception. Their lack of exposure to exciting reading materials puts them at a disadvantage academically, but it also denies them the joy of being able to explore the world through reading. I have seen the difference that finding the right book makes for a student. Reluctant readers become entranced, and are soon recommending books to their friends. Watching that transformation is incredible, and it's something that all of my students deserve.
To make this possible, our classroom library needs an infusion of high-interest books. With these books, students will able to find new favorites. They'll relate to Jeff and Wiley in Gordan Korman's "The Sixth Grade Nickname Game." Cornelia Funke's "Inkheart" will transport them to world where books literally come to life. "The Boy who Saved Baseball" answers the familiar complaint "Why aren't there any good books about sports?"
These books, which were recommended by other sixth-graders or asked for by my students themselves, will help my students find their own favorites, and set them on the path to being life-long readers.
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