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    How about encouraging him to start w/ a series that may be below his ability level, but may be what it takes to "hook" him? My third graders love the Hank the Cowdog series as well as most anything by Matt Christopher. The Matt Christopher books range in difficulty from 3rd to 5th. Another shorter series that my boys always like is the Marvin Redpost books. Jean Craighead George has some excellent non-fiction chapter books dealing w/ animals.

    When my son was in the 5th grade he refused to read anything but biographies, which were limited in our school library. After he read all of them, then the fights began. For fiction books his interest level was way below his reading level. He was on a 7th grade reading level, but wanted to read the Berenstain Bears chapter books that were about 3rd grade level. We had a battle w/ teachers that wanted them to stay on their reading level. I see nothing wrong w/ reading below level if it helps the child learn to love to read. Instructional reading is a different story, but for recreational reading--to get the child hooked--in my book, anything goes.

    Good luck.

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