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Summer Challenges for Emerging Readers: Valuing Eye-Reading and Ear-Reading

Children with learning differences in reading face an uphill battle to claim their place in the literary world. On the one hand, they have the same interests as other children their age and the desire to carry around thick copies of Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. But, their struggle with decoding the written word can make these books feel unattainable. In a world where these students already feel alienated, the gap between what they wish they could read and what they actually can read can create feelings of inadequacy. How can we bridge this gap and make stories accessible to children who struggle with reading?

One very important leap to make is to change our perception around the use of audio books. Audio books provide a link to literature that children want to read on their own. Ben Foss, author of The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan and inventor of the Intel Reader, uses the terms eye-reading and ear-reading to distinguish between the two types of reading that audio books and traditional print provide. When we use these terms with children, it will build their confidence in utilizing books in either format. They can then say with pride that they are reading The Lightning Thief as they listen on their ipod or on a CD before bed. Valuing the use of both of these terms equally is important. It is not “cheating” to read on audio for children with reading disabilities. It is creating a ramp to the book that might not otherwise have been there. We eagerly create ramps for students with mobility differences, why would we not do this for other disabilities as well?

It is a myth that the child with learning issues is lazy or unmotivated. Most of these children are working harder than the average child just to tread water in school. The terms eye-reading and ear-reading give students confidence. Confidence is the key to fostering a love of books and stories in this population of students. This summer make sure you provide high interest books on reading levels that your child can eye-read as well as opportunities with ear-reading books on audio. Children need access to books that interest them, whether they can eye-read them yet or not.

Need a hand getting started? Join us in the Children's Room at the Main Library for the Emerging Readers Café on Saturday, May 31, at 11:00 a.m. We will get your child signed up for the Summer Learning Challenge and help you find a great selection of materials for eye-reading and ear-reading that will ignite the summer learning spark in your child, no matter his or her reading level!


Laura R. Says: This fantastic audio book is a parent's handbook of helping your child with reading differences feel empowered. Also available in the eye-reading version.
Amazon Says: Finally, a groundbreaking book that reveals what your dyslexic child is experiencing—and what you can do so that he or she will thrive   More than thirty mi more...
Amazon Says: Finally, a groundbreaking book that reveals what your dyslexic child is experiencing—and what you can do so that he or she will thrive   More than thirty million people in the United States are dyslexic—a brain-based genetic trait, often labeled as a “learning disability” or “learning difference,” that makes interpreting text and reading difficult. Yet even though children with dyslexia may have trouble reading, they don’t have any problems learning; dyslexia has nothing to do with a lack of intellect.   While other books tell you what dyslexia is, this book tells you what to do. Dyslexics’ innate skills, which may include verbal, social, spatial, kinesthetic, visual, mathematical, or musical abilities, are their unique key to acquiring knowledge. Figuring out where their individual strengths lie, and then harnessing these skills, offers an entrée into learning and excelling. And by keeping the focus on learning, not on standard reading the same way everyone else does, a child with dyslexia can and will develop the self-confidence to flourish in the classroom and beyond.   After years of battling with a school system that did not understand his dyslexia and the shame that accompanied it, renowned activist and entrepreneur Ben Foss is not only open about his dyslexia, he is proud of it. In The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan he shares his personal triumphs and failures so that you can learn from his experiences, and provides a three-step approach for success:   • Identify your child’s profile: By mapping your child’s strengths and weaknesses and assisting her to better understand who she is, you can help your child move away from shame and feelings of inadequacy and move toward creating a powerful program for learning. • Help your child help himself: Coach your child to become his own best advocate by developing resiliency, confidence, and self-awareness, and focusing on achievable goals in areas that matter most to him. • Create community: Dyslexic children are not broken, but too often the system designed to educate them is. Dare to change your school so that your child has the resources to thrive. Understanding your rights and finding allies will make you and your child feel connected and no longer alone.   Packed with practical ideas and strategies dyslexic children need for excelling in school and in life, this empowering guide provides the framework for charting a future for your child that is bright with hope and unlimited potential. Praise for The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan   “A passionate and well-articulated guide that puts to rest the idea that dyslexic people are unintelligent . . . This extremely practical and motivational book will be welcomed by parents of dyslexic children.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “I study dyslexia in the lab and am a parent of a wonderful daughter who fits this profile. Ben Foss’s book should be considered essential to any collection on the subject. It was extremely useful, especially for a mom. Thank you!”—Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology, UCSF, Memory and Aging Center   “As someone with a learning profile that made school tough, and as a parent, I know kids need the right support. Ben Foss knows how to get access to education because he’s been through it. I was thrilled to read this book. It offers a wise collection of insights that are both practical and touching. Buy it today if you want a get a plan for your child.”—James Gandolfini, actor, The Sopranos From the Hardcover edition. less...
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The Missing Fang by Michael Dahl
Laura R. Says: This high-action series is easy to read and the perfect choice for older students who need a lower eye-reading level book.
Amazon Says: Carr is looking for a tooth. It's no ordinary tooth--it is a dragon's fang. In his search, he hears that these fangs can be found on Snair Island. A little boy on the island o more...
Amazon Says: Carr is looking for a tooth. It's no ordinary tooth--it is a dragon's fang. In his search, he hears that these fangs can be found on Snair Island. A little boy on the island offers to show him one, but Carr will be shocked when he discovers where the boy found it . . . less...
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Laura R. Says: Try a graphic novel version of a hot title for students.
Amazon Says: You've read the book. You've seen the movie. Now submerge yourself in the thrilling, stunning, and action-packed graphic novel. Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Ol more...
Amazon Says: You've read the book. You've seen the movie. Now submerge yourself in the thrilling, stunning, and action-packed graphic novel. Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking out of the pages of twelve-year-old Percy Jackson's textbooks and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now, he and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. Series creator Rick Riordan joins forces with some of the biggest names in the comic book industry to tell the story of a boy who must unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. less...
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Laura R. Says: Ear-reading is the perfect way for your child to read a book they are interested in, but maybe wouldn't be able to eye-read yet.
Amazon Says: Read by Jim Dale 8 hours 17 minutes, 7 CDs Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable muggle aunt and uncle who are terrifi more...
Amazon Says: Read by Jim Dale 8 hours 17 minutes, 7 CDs Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable muggle aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny. less...
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Laura R. Says: This series of books has a main character with dyslexia.
Amazon Says: For Hank, fourth grade does not start out on the right foot. First of all, he gets called to the principal's office on the very first day of school. Then the first assignment more...
Amazon Says: For Hank, fourth grade does not start out on the right foot. First of all, he gets called to the principal's office on the very first day of school. Then the first assignment his teacher gives him is to write five paragraphs on "What You Did This Summer." Hank is terrified-writing one good sentence is hard for him, so how in the world is he going to write five whole paragraphs? Hank comes up with a plan: instead of writing what he did on vacation, he'll show what he did. But when Hank's "living essay" becomes a living disaster, he finds himself in detention. Strangely enough, however, detention ends up becoming a turning point in his life less...
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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Laura R. Says: The hero of this series has dyslexia and ADHD. In fact, this fact gives him extra power to read Greek and fight the bad guys! Check it out!
Amazon Says: Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be more...
Amazon Says: Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself. Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp. Suddenly, mythical creatures seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he's coming to realize, are very much alive in the twenty-first century. And worse, he's angered a few of them: Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy has just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. On a daring road trip from their summer camp in New York to the gates of the Underworld in Los Angeles, Percy and his friends–one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena–will face a host of enemies determined to stop them. To succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of failure and betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. less...
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Hard-To-See Animals by Allan Fowler
Laura R. Says: Try this easy reader non-fiction series for older readers who need to eye-read at a lower reading level.
Amazon Says: From friendly dolphins to giant pandas, from icebergs and glaciers to energy from the sun, from magnets to solids, liquids, and gases, Rookie Read-About Science is a natural a more...
Amazon Says: From friendly dolphins to giant pandas, from icebergs and glaciers to energy from the sun, from magnets to solids, liquids, and gases, Rookie Read-About Science is a natural addition to the primary-grade classroom with books that cover every part of the science curricula. Includes: animals, nature, scientific principles, the environment, weather, and much more! less...
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Mouse Guard : Fall 1152 by David Petersen
Laura R. Says: Graphic Novel fun!
Amazon Says: In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldier more...
Amazon Says: In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers that fight off intruders, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one hidden village to another. The Guard patrol borders, find safeways and paths through dangerous territories and treacherous terrain, watch weather patterns, and keep the mouse territories free of predatory infestation. They do so with fearless dedication so that they might not just exist, but truly live. Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam, three such Guardsmice, are dispatched to find a missing merchant mouse that never arrived at his destination. Their search for the missing mouse reveals much more than they expect, as they stumble across a traitor in the Guard’s own ranks. less...
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Fashion Kitty by Charise Mericle Harper
Laura R. Says: Graphic Novel fun!
Amazon Says: FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. After a stack of fashion magazines falls on Kiki Kitty's head while she is blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, Kiki turns into more...
Amazon Says: FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. After a stack of fashion magazines falls on Kiki Kitty's head while she is blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, Kiki turns into Fashion Kitty, a feline superhero who saves other kitties from fashion disaster. less...
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Laura R. Says: Ear-read this children's classic!
Amazon Says: A 4-CD unabridged audiobook of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, book two in the classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Narrated by renowned actor Michael York, more...
Amazon Says: A 4-CD unabridged audiobook of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, book two in the classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Narrated by renowned actor Michael York, you can also put the CDs in your computer to view a gallery of classic full-color illustrations by the original illustrator of Narnia, Pauline Baynes.Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie— step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.Open the door and enter a new world with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the second book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, which has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years. This is a stand-alone novel, but if you want to return to Narnia, read The Horse and His Boy, the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia. less...
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  • Headstrong Nation
    This website is an excellent source of information about empowering your student with a reading challenge.
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