There are many amazing books appropriate for 4th-8th graders within the 700-950 Lexile range, to include Newbery winners and best sellers. Lexile only measures text complexity (sentence structure, words per sentence, etc.), not content. Consider that Grapes of Wrath and Charlotte's Web both have a Lexile of 680, which is a "3rd-5th grade" score. With this information, you can ask teachers to reconsider the 1000 point cut-off. I've had some success with that.
But sometimes it doesn't matter. Sometimes, you just have to find a book for class that is over 1000 Lexile. (And sometimes teachers don't have any choice, either.) I recently found a couple of wonderful resources that will hopefully make your life easier.
Here is an excellent collection of books from the Brownsburg Public Library that includes classics, YA, and adult fiction and fantasy. I started reading adult fantasy in 8th grade, and it can be quite age-appropriate. For a 7th or 8th grader, I'd definitely consider Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and maybe try out some of the older fantasy books by classic fantasy authors like Mercedes Lackey (Owl Flight), Anne McCaffery (Renegades of Pern), and Terry Brooks (Sword of Shannara.) The pacing may be slower, but if you like any of these, those authors have tons of other books for you to enjoy, set in the same world.
And the Elkhorn Library has this incredible list for 5th and up of books that are 1000 Lexile and up. It gives a tiny blurb about each one, too, as well as Reading Counts points. Some of these would be fine for fourth graders, as well. If you haven't read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, this is your chance to enjoy a fantastic book that is over 1000 Lexile, along with his biography GUTS! Bad Beginnings by Lemony Snicket is good for those elementary kids being told to read 1000 Lexile, to include fourth graders.
You can also ask for help from your local school or public librarian to find suitable books. Librarians excel at helping readers find the perfect book--and created both of the linked lists from this post. WE LOVE YOU, LIBRARIANS!
Another excellent option for 3rd and 4th graders is The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron, which won the Newbery Award. It's not on these lists, presumably because it's not technically over 1000 on the Lexile site (it's listed at 950L), but it is also sometimes rated as 1010L, as evidenced by its Junior Library Guild page. Either way, it's a fabulous book if you can persuade your teacher to allow that apparent 50 point difference (mention that it was a Newbery Award winner.)
These two lists were more effective for me than searching on Lexile's site, but you can do that, too. Lexile's site is more useful if you have a title that you need to check for its level, rather than searching for a title, in my opinion.
Happy hunting for your next required reading, and best wishes!
Today I shared briefly about what happens after you type THE END on your first draft!
**Please note that this video DOES have closed captioning, but I can't seem to make it work here on the blog right now. Please click through to Facebook (it's also on my Youtube channel) if you would prefer to read along. Apologies and I'll work on that!
I'm so happy to share this news! Jolly Fish Press has signed PARIS ON REPEAT and its sequel (tentatively named WHEN IN ROME)! Right now, it looks like PARIS ON REPEAT may be out next summer, so it'll be here before we know it! More news to come!
Graphic text reads: When one psychic diva clashes with another, sparks fly and threaten to ignite an uncontrollable blaze that could destroy everything Parker and her friends love!
More information to come--stay tuned!
If you are in the San Antonio area, I hope to see you at The Twig Book Shop this Sunday! I'll be hanging out at a table, available to sign copies of SHORTCUTS but also happy to visit with people about their questions on writing, publishing, creativity, and more. Stop on by! There's a farmer's market during that time at the Pearl where The Twig is located, and it's a really fun experience. Make a day of it! Hopefully I'll see you there!
Saturday Oct. 5-- Boerne Book and Arts Fest, between 10-4:30. Exact time TBA.
I'll be on the panel, "The Magic of Children's Books"along with Mari Mancusi and Cori Putman-Oaks. The whole day will be full of speakers, panels, books, and art!
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 10-11am. Banned Book Week expo at Northeast Lakeview College.
The awesome library team has been working with the art and history departments to put on an amazing exhibition including student work and an "Ask the Artist" table and an "Ask the Author/Librarian" table-- that's where I'll be. Come ask your questions on censorship, publication, or writing. All are welcome to this free event!
I will update here as needed. I hope your summer is relaxing and fun!
And if you enjoy the story, please take a moment and leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, and/or Barnes and Noble. Even a short review helps other readers know if this is a book they would also enjoy, and lets my publisher know that this is a series worth continuing! You can make a big difference. Thanks so much!
There were so many sessions I wanted to attend, but several of them were in conflict with each other or with events I was participating in. I was fortunate to be included in the Texas Authors Speed Dating event, in which authors rotated among tables of librarians to share about books. I loved my table mates, two incredible picture book authors, and I met a room full of fabulous librarians. The next day, I was on a panel with Texas middle grade and YA authors--and the room was bigger than I expected! It was my first panel and I was nervous, but everyone was such fun that the time flew by. Before I knew it, I was running to my book signing! We gave away one hundred signed copies of SHORTCUTS in thirty minutes to librarians and teachers! YAY!!
It was such a dreamy moment-- I had walked by those author signing events at the last TLA I went to, when I was in library school, wishing so much that one day I'd be there as an author. And this week, I was! Thank you SO MUCH for being a part of that!
Here are a few images from the week. If you've never been to a big conference like TLA or ALA, they are hard to describe, but this year, I noticed that being involved in my writing community made a big difference. The last time I went, I saw only a couple of people I knew, briefly. It was great, but a little lonely. This time, I visited with many people I knew from online and real life, and got to meet new friends through those connections, too. Get involved, and you'll find your writing journey a lot more fun!
Friday March 29-- Mountains and Plains conference in New Braunfels
Breakfast with the Authors, from 8:45-10:15
Texas Library Association Annual Conference, in Austin April 15-18th
I'll be participating in some specific events at TLA as well:
Tuesday April 16
Wednesday April 17
I attended a delightful workshop this past weekend called THE AMAZING IDEA OF PLAY. The workshop was led by the fantastic author Charlotte Sullivan Wild, author of the picture book THE AMAZING IDEA OF YOU. She spoke about the value of play in a creative person's life, and we spent some time playing with art and other practices meant to help us think outside the box.
I realized that I had not made much time for play in my life lately. I wanted that to change, so I dug through my resources and found three great books I could use to help feed my creativity! Here's a short video about them, which is also posted on Facebook and Youtube. For those who prefer to skip right to the key stuff, the books are:
1. The Artist's Way
2. The Trickster's Hat
And you can find more information on Charlotte's beautiful book here.
I hope you'll give some of these resources a try! If you are looking for books on the craft of writing, I have several that come to mind. I can make of those if that would help anyone. And I also have a video on revision resources already posted over on my Youtube channel. I hope these help you on your journey! Have fun!
To those of you in 4th-8th grade and older, I hope I can offer a smidgen of help & encouragement as you traverse the waters of intermediate school, middle school, and high school.