Finding Good Reads at Reading Level 5

Reading level 5 is always the hardest to get through.

They're reading now, compulsively, fiercely. They're burning through books, moving easily back and forth between fiction and nonfiction. But there are only so many good adult titles out there.

"Adult" is important. The Paul Kropp books written for and about teens work for some readers, but not many. What to read, then, after the Tony Whatsihsname series (you know, Double Back, Broken Trust, etc)?

The Grass Roots Press biography series is excellent, but the books are brief (perhaps 1600 words?) and not to everyone's taste.

There are a few self help titles - Living With Stress or the FYI Staying Well book - but the content and message can make for heavy going.

The Quick Read series is just out of reach (they're usually 6+). So too the Saddleback classics and the Macmillan classics. (And, anyway, just because its a "classic" doesn't mean anyone wants to read it, even in abridged form - I mean, have you actually tried slogging your way through 20,000 Leagues, Jekyll and Hyde or The Scarlet Letter? These are not pot-boilers.)

I need 40 to 50 top notch level 5 books to build fluency.

Any suggestions?

Yes, there are the Gatehouse books - Working Lives, Song for Carrying Water, Listen To Me - but they aren't... grabbers. (Is that fair?)

I confess to not having tried New Island's Open Door Series "brilliant short novels ...written for adults with low-literacy skills." Has anyone else? The same is true of the "Novels For Adult Learners" though I suspect The Mailbox is an interesting read.

Maybe the issue is length. I can breeze read through the shorter, lower-level books, and so recommend or avoid with confidence. The Quick Reads are longer, but they're just soooooooo good I read them for myself.

Maybe what I really need to do is go read The Mailbox. Or, if I'm going to be whiny, maybe I should write my own books. Mmm... yep. I guess I need to do some reading.

And maybe stop spending so much time online - LOL.


Karen said...

Have you read "I Am a Taxi" by Deborah Ellis? It's labelled a children's book for gr. 4-6 but the story is compelling enough for any adult. It's about children living in South American prisons, and one boy who is lured away to pick coca leaves to make cocaine. There is a sequel, as well, called "Sacred Leaf."

Wendell said...

No, Karen, I haven't. Thought the name Deborah Ellis rings a bell.

Thks for that.

Books labeled "Children's" can certainly appeal also to adults. I think of The Hobbit, Little House on the Prairie, or the Harry Potter books. Of course, those particular books are at a much higher reading level.