Reading Requests

Reading Requests

by Jill Philby 

We get lots of requests at Ames Public Library.  Sometimes it is a simple request, like needing a study room.  Other times, it’s a bit more complicated, like putting an item on hold or a purchase request.  And, occasionally, it is for something that may take a bit more time and thought, such as title suggestions for advanced young readers—children who are reading quite a bit higher than their grade level. 

When we have an adult talk to us here in Youth Services about their advanced reader, we get excited.  It’s exciting that your child has learned how to decode language and loves books and reading!  It’s wonderful that they are zooming though books faster than you can bring them home!

But what we also hear from parents is that their child has read so much that they don’t know if there is anything else left to be read. 

And we get it. You want them to keep reading, but it can be a challenge to find new titles that will intrigue your child.  They may need more elaborate plots, well-developed characters, or a more complex writing style to keep their interest.  Or they may need a nudge in a new reading direction.

Here are a few ideas that may help you help your advanced reader keep reading and stay motivated:

  • Let your reader lead. Use what your child already loves and find books about that subject. Got an athlete, an historian, or a chef in the making? Ames Public Library has both fiction and non-fiction titles that feed all those interests and keep their readers’ attention.
  • Explore new formats. Encourage your child to browse a newspaper or magazine, whether it is the print version or the electronic version. How about a comic book or graphic novel? Ames Public Library has all these available in both print and online. Read them anywhere by using your library card to access them through the library’s website.
  • Try some non-fiction. Non-fiction ain’t what it used to be! If your reader is one who likes to challenge themselves, non-fiction may be right up their alley. Non-fiction is vocabulary rich and idea dense, plus some of the most popular and intriguing titles are in the non-fiction section. With a variety of topics and reading levels, DK and National Geographic Kids are great places to start.
  • Allow them the right to not read. Did you know that there is a Reader’s Bill of Rights?  Yes, there is!  And one of the rights every reader has is to not finish a book. Maybe it’s the wrong book at the wrong time. Maybe it will never be the right book! And that’s okay. Why spend time on a book you don’t like when there are so many others to choose from?
  • Read aloud to others. What better way to have them hone their wonderful reading ability than to read aloud to a younger child?  Reading aloud to someone younger gives your child a chance to read at or below grade level for a change, allowing them to experience the simple joy of a story and the appreciation of an audience. 

So, come and talk to us. Make a request. Ask a librarian. Seriously, ask us! We know what is new, what has been loved in the past, and what has been well-reviewed by other readers and professionals. While our selection of books may vary a bit from day to day, we’d love to walk the stacks with you or your child and see what books we can match to them! If you don’t have time to come in, go online and use the library’s Personalized Picks form ( to get individualized recommendations that can be put on hold and picked up later. 

We’ll see you at the library!