It's We Recommend, in which we use our superpowers to find readers the perfect book. Got a kid who needs a recommendation? Write us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot. And really? All the good suggestions are in the comments.
We've talked about dyslexia, and about reading with audio books. Because for some people reading the words on the page is tough, but they're ready for complex, compelling stories. The thing is, kids like this are reading on two levels—one for audio books, and another on the page. How do you find books for a kid that appeal to their understanding, while working with their decoding challenges?
So here you go: the following question was posed to me by a friend we were riding in a car, so I don't have it written out, I am just going to try to get it down more or less as I heard it:
My son is 10 years old and loves to listen to big, great stories on audio books—Percy Jackson, Gregor Overlander—but he's dyslexic so dealing with the words on the page is much tougher. That's where he likes great stories, but with visual cues. Things like Bone and Diary of a Wimpy Kid (though that one is maybe a little too easy for him now). What audiobooks can I get him, and what can I get him in paper form? He likes all kinds of stories, lots of excitement and thrills, though Septimus Heap, for instance, was not a hit. Also? No interest at all in The Hunger Games. [Editor's note: he's a really great kid.]
I wish I knew what to give him. I think Gregor Overlander is perfect, and of course now that it's in my mind I can't think of anything else. Ooh! Except I just did!
Chestnut and Diana both LOVED this book, they had that sort of avid, invested relationship that you envy when you're toiling along with your own not-so-loved book. OK, audio book down.
But the reading book? The one that's maybe part graphic novel, complex story, compelling everything?
How about this crazy thing?
I saw Scott Westerfield speak most wonderfully at a KidLitCon in Seattle two years ago, and he was particularly riveting about the relationship of story and image. I would think, too, of his later series, though I think it would be too tough on paper. But this? This is a manga version of Uglies, and it looks pretty awesome, and I trust him as a writer, though I have not read this.
But that's just me. I know you guys can do the double deal on this one, right? Help a kid out.