Tips for Picking Books Gifted Children will Appreciate
By: R. Renée Bembry
Choosing the right books could determine whether gifted children reads or shuns the titles.
Taking gifted children to libraries and bookstores and allowing them to pick out books for themselves makes an excellent start to encouraging them to read. Talking to children about books they read to find out whether or not they liked them; and if they do, would they like to read more books by the same author is also an excellent tactic. If a book is one in a series would the child like to read the entire collection? When you find authors a child likes, stick with them and allow children to look forward to upcoming titles in the author’s repertoire.
Parents of gifted children know the gifted often start reading at younger ages than their peers, and reach advanced reading levels faster than their peers. In addition, gifted children tend to read a lot of books quickly. Going through books as quickly as gifted children do may be problematic for parents inclined to satiate their gifted children’s reading appetites. Moreover, parents must learn to select books their gifted children will appreciate, while at the same time, exercise control over age appropriate material for these advanced readers.
Criteria parents should consider when selecting books for gifted readers include:
- Appropriateness of Material A fifth grader capable of reading High School books about life in a teens world, more than likely would not have the maturity to understand potential near adult material, i.e. sex and violence, that may be found in ninth grader books.
- The Child’s Interests Does she like art, science, sports, nature…? Buy books on her subject interests.
- Child’s preference for fantasy or reality? Many gifted children prefer fantasy books over reality books because the unreal situations in fantasies allow gifted children to hang out in their already creative imaginations.
- Does the child prefer fiction or non fiction? Gifted children who enjoy literature and novels and would more than likely have a higher appreciation for fiction than gifted children more interested factual books.
- Does the book encourage thinking? Make certain books you pick for gifted children will give them something to think about or else they may become bored and not want to read the books.
- Other tips for picking books your gifted child will appreciate along with a few recommended books are listed below.
If a child is a bookworm who’d rather read than watch television or play outside, books like “Archibald Frisby” an easy reader about a child who prefers reading to just about anything except science which he mostly enjoys reading about; and “Morris and Boris” that plays with words throughout the story, may interest him. Reading Level 1
If a child is a perfectionist, he may appreciate “Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!” in which the main character discovers a book about becoming perfect; an idea he likes because he believes perfection prevents problems. Reading Age 9-12
If a child likes adventures, books like “The Phantom Tollbooth” in which a kid enters an adventure via a tollbooth, and finds himself in the midst of a war between words and numbers may interest him. Reading Age 9-12
If a child likes math, books like “The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat”, “The Number Devil” (Reading Age 9-12), and “A Gebra Named Al”, (Reading Age Young Adult), may interest her.
Books like “A Wrinkle in Time” and “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” are great for kids who like space and/or time travel. Reading Age 9-12
Children trying to learn about, and better understand their giftedness, will most certainly appreciate “The Gifted Kids Survival Guide”, which was written, in part, through words of gifted children. Reading Age 9-12
There are many books written specifically for gifted children. These tips for picking books gifted children will appreciate will aid any parent’s quest to find these special books.