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Texas ISD School Guide
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ESL Books & ESL Materials

Book List for At-Risk Students
By:Bill Feaver

Teaching language arts in a juvenile detention facility, I have observed a marked improvement in reading ability just from reading. First, obtain a student's reading level through one of several testing methods such as a Scan-tron test or a reading inventory. Once you have the reading level help each student find a book of interest at that level.

As student ability progresses they will seek books at the higher level. The secret is practice, practice, practice. In addition to reading have students work on improving their vocabulary levels. This can be done individually or in groups.

Concentrate on academic vocabulary. These words are found in textbooks, expository texts and standardized tests. Vocabulary improvement in this area will be a huge benefit to your students.

The following books address some very serious issues that are relevant in every teenagers life and they are excellent for kids' pleasure reading:

Books by Chris Crutcher: Ironman, Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes, Chinese Handcuffs, Crazy Horse Electric Game, Stotan, Running Loose, Angry Management, Deadline, The Sledding Hill and Whale Talk.

Books by Mildred Taylor: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Let the Circle Be Unbroken: The Land.

Book by Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers: The Freedom Writer Diary.

Books by Art Rodriguez: Eastside Dreams, Those Oldies But Goodies, Forgotten Memories and The Monkey Box.

Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.

Books by Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.

Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Anne Frank: A Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

Whirligig by Paul Fleischman.

The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Cay by Theodore Taylor.

This list is a sample of the huge assortment of book titles available to ignite the reading interest in young adults, stimulating them to grow in knowledge and understanding provided by the written word. Here is wishing your students great reading.

The author's blog features a variety of different comments and information. Visit http://www.todaysfreedomwriterteacher.com

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