Authors to Grow With

One of our goals as school librarians is to create lifelong readers and by extension lifelong learners. There are many ways to instill and inspire a love of reading in a child. Think back to when you were young; who were your favorite authors? Why did those writers and their stories stick with you? For me, that author was Judy Blume. I grew up with Freckle Juice and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, moved on to Deenie and Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, then as an adult I put In The Unlikely Event on my Christmas list.

Introducing your students to authors they can grow with gives them a literary friend for life. Developing a literary relationship that can continue throughout their reading journey provides them with someone familiar, especially during those tumultuous times, like middle school. Middle school can be a challenging time for students to find appropriate reading materials due to the age range, the desire to read up, as well as the selection of books that may be too low or too mature.

When students come in search of their next book, I recommend that if they enjoyed the book they just read to seek something else written by the same author; while this may seem like a logical next step, I’ve found it’s not always something students think to do. Oftentimes it is the author’s writing style and voice that a reader connects with, in addition to the story being told; therefore, there is a chance the student will enjoy other books by the author even though the story is different. I encourage them to find an author they can “follow” throughout their academic career.

Some examples of authors that students can grow with include:

Matt de la Pena
Last Stop on Market Street  (K-3)
LOVE (K-3)
Infinity Ring (3-6)
Mexican Whiteboy (YA)
We Were Here (YA)
Ball Don’t Lie (YA)

Beverly Cleary
Two Times The Fun (K-3)
The Mouse and The Motorcycle (K-3)
Ramona series (3-6)
Henry series (3-6)
Dear Mr. Henshaw (3-6)
Fifteen (5-8)
Jean & Johnny (5-8)
A Girl From Yamhill (5-8)
My Own Two Feet: a memoir (YA)

Roald Dahl
The Enormous Crocodile (K-3)
Dirty Beasts (K-3)
The BFG (3-6)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (3-6)
James and the Giant Peach (3-6)
Boy: Tales of Childhood (5-8)
More About Boy (5-8)
Going Solo (YA)
My Uncle Oswald (YA)
Skin and Other Stories (YA)

These are obviously just some of the titles from these authors and only a handful of authors who have books with a lifespan worth of reading materials. There are so many more to explore!

Author: Sarah Letts

Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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