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Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« on: July 08, 2017, 10:14:57 pm »
I have an adult that would like to read books in English. The goal isn't really to improve her English - more important is just being able to read for pleasure in English. We just got through the Boxcar Children (lexile 490L, DRA 34) which was the right level for her. Previously we tried reading The Giver, which I had seen recommended for ESL students, but it was much too hard - we don't want to have to consult the Korean/English dictionary more than 1-2 times a page.

Any recommendations for novels at this low level? Bonus if the themes aren't childish, if such books even exist. Also great if they are available for pdf/ebook format download for free or cheap.


  • Kolao
  • Veteran

    • 201

    • July 04, 2017, 05:11:57 pm
    • South of Snow
Re: Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 11:09:36 am »
Hardy Boys mysteries. Nancy Drew mysteries.
When the wicked are confounded, and consigned to flames of woe, call me.


Re: Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 08:08:06 pm »
Mockingbird - Kathryn Erskine: it's about an autistic child dealing with the death of her brother. I didn't think it was amazingly brilliant but it made me think and I also sobbed like a baby through parts of it.

Asterix comics - I like the humour in these and all the easter eggs. Like a small star is an Asterix and Asterix is the name of the small protagonist.
https://asterixonline.info/comics/index.php?manga=Asterix_Comics&chapter=01

Little House on the Prairie
series - Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams

Roald Dahl

If she can, anything by Rick Riordan. He's an amazing author. It'll help if she has a little knowledge about ancient Roman and Greek gods.

Meg Cabot - she has cute children's book and she writes for adults as well.

Charlotte's Web
- E.B. White


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1432

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 08:25:57 am »
J.R.R. TOlkien, "The Hobbit" or "LOR"

Watership Down by Richard Adams

What types of movies does she like? Many movies are based on books. She can read the book then watch the movie or movie then book.

 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 08:30:35 am by thunderlips »


Re: Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 11:42:47 am »
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I've looked up the books, and most are too hard for her, with the exception of Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew. Even Roald Dahl books would be a struggle, there are many words above her level, though she could do it if she really tried. For now we'll go through some ESL storybooks I found. Hopefully, in time, she'll be better able to tackle more advanced books. It really makes me wonder if there are novels written specifically for beginner ESL adults...


  • ecbalamut
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • August 30, 2016, 06:44:22 pm
    • Ulsan, South Korea
Re: Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 11:54:04 am »
I would try the "Dear America" series. They are diary style books of girls from different periods of history. There is a spin-off series called "The Royal Diaries" (includes girls from other countries) which I devoured as a late elementary student. I think they are not too childish and have simple enough language for an adult ESL student to enjoy.

There are also books in a series called "I Survived" that tell different people's stories from different disasters in history. When I worked at a bookstore, these might have been the most requested book from elementary school parents and teachers - they are informative to satisfy parents and exciting to satisfy students. I have never read this series personally, so I'm not sure how childish they are.


Re: Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2017, 07:04:22 am »
Have you tried graphic novels? For example, the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi? My 3rd-4th graders love them.


  • travelinpantsgirl
  • Moderator - LVL 2

    • 2045

    • September 09, 2010, 06:00:18 pm
    • Seoul
    more
Re: Novel recommendations for an adult at a low reading level
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2017, 09:18:08 am »
Must it be a novel? I find short stories are much better for lower level adults so as to not feel discouraged. I find with short stories you can push the level up a bit to challenge them and they'll likely try (by using a dictionary) because the story is so short. If you want to try this, here are some links.
https://www.fluentu.com/blog/educator-english/esl-short-stories-for-adults/
This one gives word counts so you can see which ones are really short. Anything under 2800 words seems to be less intimidating.
http://www.classicshorts.com/bib.html

Generally, I try to use a more popular story like Poe or Marquez or O'Henry because there are already discussion questions available online. Also, are you giving the student the questions in advance? I find this helps to relax them. Then I am able to prod them more beyond those questions because their mind is more relaxed and they've had time alone to think critically about what they've read before they're in front of me.
Think of it like reverse design lesson planning.
I hope that helps.
Ignoranţa este adesea o boală fatal şi cretin nu poate fi vindecata.