Question Detail

Best Novels for 9th Grade Low Level English?

Jul 18, 2013 1:51pm

I have been teaching 9th grade for a while now and have been very successful with my low level 9th graders, but for the last year or so, I have noticed that I am getting more and more reluctant readers. I presently use "Of Mice and Men" as our novel of study and usually one other (we have used: "The House on Mango Street" "Knight" and "So Yesterday") but my reluctant group just fought me the whole way. I want to improve their scores, while getting them to read and write to the text. I am interested in learning what other 9th grade English teachers around the country use to inspire reluctant readers to step up to the plate. Thank you for your wisdom. :)

  • English Language Arts
  • 9-12
  • Common Core / Differentiation / Planning


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    • Jul 18, 2013 6:26pm

      Thanks Teri!

      I am also considering the Percy Jackson books. They are lexiled between 740 and 820. I also do "The Odyssey" with them later in the year and thought that might also spark some interest. What are your thoughts?

      Thanks! :)

      • Jul 21, 2013 7:29pm

        In the past, I taught Flowers for Algernon with remarkable success to two different groups of freshmen who struggle with literacy. As many of my students are Special Needs, they often identified with the narrator, proclaiming this aloud in class. It became a point of strength for the narrator and my students in reading the novel. This time around, I will begin the year with Hunger Games. I would also highly recommend trying graphic novels, as this engages reluctant readers on multiple levels.

        • Jul 18, 2013 3:53pm

          Obviously my proof reading skills are off this summer. I just noticed that I typed "Knight", when it should be "Night". Sorry!

          • Jul 18, 2013 4:52pm

            Other good options include "The Outsiders," "Witch Child," or "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." While a lot of 9th graders may have already read them, I doubt low level freshmen will have. (Most of the low level students I've had--11th grade, not 9th--brag that they've never read any book all the way through. I did Harry Potter with my juniors this year; they hadn't read it before. It went really well and several of them went on to read the next book.)

            • Jul 20, 2013 10:59am

              ask the reluctant readers to stand before the teachers table and read atleast two pages a day and explain the meaning. Make this announcement the previous day in front of the classroom. The students who all distract the classroom has hown considerable improvement in their studies and i have also gained res[pect from them in the course of the month. the first two days the plan may not work properly. but insist the plan for atleast a month. No child wants to remain unattended or avoided is the basic want in these reluctant readers. when opportunity given, they shine more than gold. Best of luck.