Keep Your Learning Abled Kid ON TRACK with Hi Lo Books.
High interest, low reading level books, also called hi lo books, can help your child study the same content areas as peers even if your child struggles with reading. The providers listed below sell materials that provide your child learning content that is on grade level, but uses low reading-levels to explain the topics. These specialty curriculum providers also sell multisensory, specialized instruction materials which can be used for direct remediation of learning difficulties.
To select Hi Lo books for your child, look for the RL (Reading Level) and IL (Interest level) designations. You will select books based upon your child’s chronological grade level (what grade he should be in) using the IL designation, and your child’s current reading ability level (the grade level he currently reads at) using the RL designation. For example, if your child is in the sixth grade, but reads on a second grade level, that will be an “IL 6, RL 2” book, usually written as IL6/RL2.
The Hi Lo books are FABULOUS for giving your child good reading practice without him feeling like his intelligence is being insulted through the use of “See Dick Run” kinds of books. The Hi Lo books are written about topics of interest to older students, using a level of language that is easy to read, but which explains more detailed concepts. When I was trying to inspire my son to practice his reading skills, we couldn’t buy enough of these types of books!
The easiest place to look find materials is to look for Hi-Lo Reading Books on Amazon.com. You may also find helpful materials on our “Home School Curriculum for Learning Disabilities” resource page for a wider variety of options.
**Wieser Educational Resources for Struggling Learners – Since they are focused on educational publishing, they have a wide variety of non-fiction books you can use for efficient reading practice while studying science, social studies, history, etc. Wieser has a very easy search method–simply check the boxes at the top of their webpage for your child’s Interest Level and Reading Level and press “search.” You’ll find it very easy to locate Hi Lo books suitable for your child’s reading needs. As far as non-fiction, Hi-Lo book providers go, I love Wieser for their wide selection and easy-to-search selections.
**AGS Globe Textbooks – A Provider of Hi Interest – Low Reading Level textbooks for middle and high school students. AGS Hi Lo books cover content comparable to standard curriculum, however the reading level is specialized for those students who struggle with their reading skills. AGS books offer colorful, high-interest graphics to engage and motivate students to succeed.
**Bright Apple – Unique products designed to improve the basic skills of students with special needs as well as those performing below grade level. High-interest, low reading level books about a wide variety of topics, games, teaching/learning tools and more.
**Capstone Classroom – This publisher is a great one for providing social studies and science content books that cover the same topics as other grade-level books, but with a lower reading level. You can use their “Leveling Tool” to obtain a list of Hi Lo books that fit your child’s specific needs. This tool can really help cut down on the time you spend searching for books that meet your needs.
**Remedia Publications – Each of the Hi Lo books has the Interest Level and Reading Level clearly specified at the beginning of the book description. Remedia’s books are created with the needs of special education and struggling students in mind. Focus is placed upon essential skills students need to master reading. The books are of high interest, with sequential steps, short exercises, repetition, a variety of formats and use simple, non-distracting art.
**Sundance Publishing – Research based reading instruction and high interest, low reading level books. They have been around for years. They have thousands of leveled reading books on a wide variety of topics that you can chose from. Their hi lo books are classified as “Reading for below-level readers,” so look in that category within the middle school and high school tabs for books of interest.
**Bearport Publishing – Provides books specifically targeted to children with a Middle School Interest level. The Hi Lo books for reluctant readers are provided at a variety of reading levels below the middle school level, but with topics and concepts suitable for children in middle school. Thus, if you have a child in middle school, Bearport may be your quickest and easiest resource for Hi Lo books of interest to your child.
**Critical Thinking Press – PreK–Grade 8 products develop critical thinking skills in highly effective lessons that teach Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Science. These engaging products are fun, challenging, and easy to use. In particular, I recommend the Language Mechanic and Reading Detective series for easy to use, step-by-step instruction that is easy for the child to understand and fun to use.
**Language Tool Kit & Manual, Grades K-5
By Paula D. Rome & Jean S. Osman / Educators Publishing ServiceThe Language Tool Kit teaches reading and spelling to students with specific language disability. Based on Orton-Gillingham principles, it is designed for use by a teacher or a parent. This set contains 163 cards (4″ x 6″) in a white cardboard box along with the 32 page manual. One group of cards has spelling units printed in large type on one side, with the common and rarer sound equivalents on the reverse side in small type. Key words and spelling patterns are also listed. The salmon-colored cards are for the teacher’s reference, and the yellow cards are for extra practice with consonant blends. Grades K-5. (These are NOT hi lo books –just a good program to use!)
**High Noon Books – Appropriately formatted hi lo books for students in upper elementary and junior high; low-level readers a student can carry around without being embarrassed. These are hi lo books that students can get all the way through and find pleasure in reading with high interest topics.
**Learning Abilities Books – Lesson Plans, Children’s Books, Other Educational Resources for parents, teachers, & homeschoolers (regular & special education Pre-K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th grade) focusing on the ability to learn and developing learning Abilities.
**LinguiSystems – Started by speech-language pathologists to provide better speech, language, thinking, and reading materials. Products are not just more practice but skills, strategies, and activities to engage every type of learner. Comprehensive, affordable hi lo books that help kids think and learn.
**Perfection Learning – The provider of Accelerated Reading; Provides an extensive line of hi lo books for reluctant readers includes such popular series as Passages by best-selling author Anne Schraff; the Retold line of classic novels, short stories, and myths and folktales. They also offer Cover-to-Cover chapter books, novels, informational hi lo books, and timeless classics.
**Pro•ed – Offers a wide variety of learning products for special education, gifted education, and developmental disabilities. PRO-ED, Inc.’s products are used by professionals, parents, and students around the world. Pro•ed does not employ field reps, and are able to provide competitive pricing in the areas in which they publish.
Reading Curricula Based on Hi Lo Books Format
**Sopris West Educational Services – Seeks to impact the education of children and youth, particularly those at risk for school failure, by providing educators and parents with practical, affordable, and theoretically sound products, programs, and professional services that promote safe, civil, and achieving environments. Their products, Language! and Rewards, are highly recommended for remediation of true dyslexia and reading comprehension difficulties respectively.
Alternatives to Hi Lo Books
**Recorded Books – Huge selection of complete, unabridged books on tape. They allow you to provide a multisensory approach to reading which is particularly beneficial to struggling readers. The recorded books can be used to provide critical content knowledge when a student is overwhelmed by too much reading or struggles to read high level material, yet comprehends advanced content. These aren’t “hi lo books”, but they are accessible books.