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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:47 pm 
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I know that several people on here have recommended William books so I took my copy of Just William off the shelf for my year 4 DD who has in the past been addicted to Horrid Henry and the Ramona series. Another enfant terrible could be a good thing.

However, the first chapter of Just William I thought would not be to the taste of many children these days so I skim read it out loud. The second chapter I read out loud and she enjoyed. The third chapter she read to herself and is on to the fourth. I'm just not sure she will stay the course as there are many words she has never read or heard before and either can't pronounce or understand. Unfortunately she doesn't like to read with a dictionary either.

Am I starting too early in the series (I understand that the first chapter was a story written in 1922 actually for adults not children)? Which books would you recommend and what age group have you had success with these books with?

Do you think I should let her just get by with missing out the words she doesn't "get", which presumably must be what she is doing now she is reading it to herself?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:49 am 
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Hi mystery

Mine (DS12, DD 10) love the audio books with Martin Jarvis, but DS has only read a couple of the books and haven't tried with DD yet.

I clearly remember trying a few years ago with a supposedly simplified version which had about a dozen multi-syllable latin derived words on the first page and thinking "this is a joke". I think that they are very hard for modern children on the page, but they come to life in the audio version.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:06 am 
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Hi mystery, Dd (also in year 4) has not read any William books. At the moment she is enjoying lemony snicket - series of unfortunate events. The books help build up vocab as difficult words are defined within the text. I would think the enchanted tree series would be very age appropriate as well. Other recommendations would be Morpurgo's Butterfly Lion, and Kensuke's Kingdom.

Personally, I would let DD decide if she's enjoying/understanding the book. My DD has in the past put a book away after a few chapters as it was "too difficult" and she just couldn't follow the story. I would be weary if there were several words DD didn't understand, but with your support, and taking the chapters in turn, this would be minimised. happy reading!

SH


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:01 am 
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We haven't tried Just William but DD has really struggled to get along with 'My Family and Other Animals' because of the language used. Mind you she is enjoying Life of Pi at the moment and that has loads of unknown words. She is reading it on an ipad though so the app can look up the definition very easily. She got an electronic dictionary bookmark for Christmas which she does use for proper books.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:20 am 
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What I've found with 'series' books (though we've not managed Just William: DS just didn't take to it) is that the vocab is often repeated throughout the series: favourite words or expressions that the author likes to use for those characters/ situations tend to come up again and again. Gradually, your DD will either glean the meaning through this repetition and the scenarios within which they arise, or you can occasionally mention it, almost under your breath, as you are reading. We were reading a book about world religions at the weekend (homework research!) and everytime I read out the word 'deity' I would say 'or god', so that the meaning could be immediately understood in relation to the new word.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:16 pm 
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But you are a good parent. I send her up to bed with the book.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:43 pm 
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:lol: I do that too but I've also started reading to him and him to me because, now we've started on the VR/ NVR, I realise how important the vocab stuff is. :evil:

Actually, for us, it's the spelling that's playing on my mind more. I'm having trouble fitting everything in, what with after- school sport and music, cooking ....

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:33 pm 
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If your DD is enjoying Just William, then let her read them! My DD read many when she was in Year 4 onwards. I think they are entirely suitable and such great stories and as for having a few words she doesn't understand, well, if most of us read a Victorian novel we'd have to pick up a dictionary too, or gloss over a few words!

She is reading and that is great.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:36 pm 
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Yep I agree, but I have reasons to think she will probably give up because of the more challenging vocabulary. Also even with an electronic dictionary I think she will not look up the right part of speech and not succeed e.g. Look up shrouded and not shroud any you will get directed to Shrove Tuesday. Any magic solutions?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:44 pm 
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A problem that MFL teachers face all the time - a lack of dictionary skills. I think that this improves with improved understanding of grammar. I must confess that I taught DS myself how to use a dictionary properly when he was in Year 6, I think, but his knowledge of grammar is good. DD is in Year 6 now, but she's a bit giddy iykwim.


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