Reaching Reluctant Young Readers

262p. bibliog. further reading. illus. index. Rowman & Littlefield. Apr. 2017. Tr $78. ISBN 9781442274402; pap. $35. ISBN 9781442274419.
Known for compiling appropriate read-alouds for a variety of listeners and occasions, Reid, who teaches children's and YA literature courses at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire and has contributed to publications such as American Libraries and School Library Journal, offers a wonderful resource for anyone working with reluctant (or not so reluctant) middle grade readers. The introduction describes the characteristics of reluctant readers, along with a list of book features that will appeal to these kids (for example, clear writing, a straightforward plot, relatable characters). Reid then presents 150 selections, grouped by genre. Each entry includes the book's recommended grade range, its attention-grabbing opening sentence, a succinct booktalking script, a suggested excerpt to read aloud to a group, and several similar titles. Chapters on science fiction, fantasy, and animal fiction are typical for volumes on readers' advisory, but the sections on "Humor Hybrid Chapter Books" (e.g., Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath; Tom Watson's Stick Dog), novels in verse (Margarita Engle's Mountain Dog; K.A. Holt's Rhyme Schemer), and mildly frightening horror (for instance, David Lubar's The Gloomy Ghost; Dr. Roach's Night of the Zombie Goldfish) add significant value.
VERDICT A definite purchase for youth services professional collections.

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