A while back I came across this really good advice around how to find books for pre-teen children who are reading well beyond their age. Mary St George blogs regularly at 'Creating Curriculum for Gifted Children' about subjects and ideas for engaging and working with gifted and talented learners.
Mary's original (full - this is only an extract) post can be found here
I was asked (again) recently what I recommend for gifted children to read in their leisure time. It can be quite challenging to find material in our bookshops and libraries that suits the pre-teen gifted child with a reading age well beyond his or her years.Books written for older children and teens are more sexualised, more violent, darker and more spiritually diverse than books published when most of today’s parents were growing up. Put books like these in front of a gifted kid, and the awkward questions will flow… usually in front of guests, or when parents feel too tired to do all that explaining! Also, little minds will worry, in ways that parents of gifted kids are all too familiar with, so it is no wonder that the “what to read” question comes up often.
Gifted kids often do get a kick out of reading things written for children their age (or even younger), especially if they are humorous or use words in beautiful ways. The best children’s books appeal to adults as well as children, and these same books will interest gifted kids of all ages. Such books are a relaxing rather than a challenging read, but relaxation is important. Some children will happily read young-but-wonderful books to themselves just because they are there. Others will read them when they are offered as models for the kind of writing which the children themselves aspire to produce, or when they have the opportunity to read them to younger children.
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