My students seek a "good book" but many do not know where to start. During the last school year, I found that my more hesitant or self-identified uninterested readers fell in love with Margaret Peterson Haddix's Shadow Children series. I had students that once stated that they "didn't like reading" turn into students that couldn't wait to check out the next novel in the series or ones who excitedly discussed the dystopian themes with their friend before class.
One good book can hook students into becoming lifelong readers which in turn exposes them to higher level vocabulary, reading comprehension, other cultures, and powerful themes.
Last year I saw my students desperately reach for the next book in the Shadow Children series. In turn, this led students to hungrily explore other dystopian novels in our classroom library. The Shadow Children series captured the interest of both my self-identified uninterested readers and my accelerated readers.
These novels will be read as a class set for our 6th grade students near the end of the school year. The Among the Hidden novels will support our 6th grade students by introducing them to new and challenging dystopian themes before they read The Giver in the 7th grade. Additionally, the genre is different than our other 6th grade class novels and has a strong male and female protagonist. It is important to introduce students to various kinds of books so that there are multiple opportunities to catch students' varying interests.
Among the Hidden will encourage students to continue to read independently throughout the summer.
Summer is a time of significant reading loss and hooking students on a series or genre before school ends can encourage summer reading. As a result, summer reading can significantly impact students' retention of skills and reading levels.
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