Hi-Lo Titles for Middle-Grade Reluctant Readers
Now I’m older, wiser, and a professional librarian who understands more about why a child may be reluctant to pick up a book and read. To help these reluctant readers find their “next great read,” there is a type of book often called “Hi-Lo,” which actually means “high interest, low level.” In order to be called this, Hi-Lo books need to be well-written and engaging, but also easy to read, in order to keep readers’ attention.
Hi-Lo books can be found in any genre or format, ranging from well-known graphic novels and fiction, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney or Smile by Raina Telgemeier, to young adaptations of popular adult titles, like Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain or It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by, of course, Trevor Noah.Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is extremely popular with young readers, even spawning movies and the Rowley Jefferson spin-off books. The books are formatted to look like a middle schooler’s diary or journal entries, covered in handwritten font and doodles throughout, and chronicle main character Greg Heffley’s exploits in navigating middle school.Smile by Raina Telgemeier, is part-autobiographical and part-colorful adventure that talks about the author’s personal drama with her teeth and middle school woes. Telgemeier’s graphic novels are fun and colorful reads that are surely engaging to a middle grade reader. Born a Crime is both funny and informative on the topic, written from a personal perspective that pulls the reader in and makes them think. Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts might sound more appealing. Similar to the adult version, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Cain’s book discusses the introvert’s life, how they relate to the world around them, and social relationships.
These are only a small selection of Hi-Lo titles, and there are many more to explore. You can check out any of these books through eLibraryNJ, hoopla, or at your local branch.