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Recently my youngest daughter (9) found book number 1 of the “Series of Unfortunate Events” in my oldest daughter’s (12) room. She read it and immediately fell in love with the book. She is not a very strong reader, so I encouraged her love of the book. Once she finished it, she told me she was going to find the 2nd book at the library during her next visit at school.

The next day I received a very bummed out 4th grader off the school bus. As she was telling me about her day, she said the library WOULD NOT let her check out the next book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. Apparently she is on a 4th grade reading level, and the book is a 5th grade reading level book, so they would not let her check it out to read.

This was appaling to me. The child was excited to read a story. She was denied access to the book because they don’t think she’s a strong enough reader… WAIT… WHAT? If she’s on a 4th grade reading level, and you only ever allow her to read 4th grade and below books… how does she get better?  Not only that, she went into the library searching for a book, which means she was excited to read it. You…. LEARNING CENTER…. DENIED her! Told her to go pick a different book.

I am very liberal in my children’s reading. I’ve never denied them access to a book they wanted to read. Granted they aren’t reading Harlequinn romance novels or Satanic practices, but I’ve never denied them a book they’ve requested. I damn sure wasn’t about to start now. I went to Amazon and ordered her the next book in the set. It was delivered yesterday, and a very ecstatic 4th grader ran to her room to cuddle up with her new treasure.

To deny a child a book is pure insanity to me. Then they stand around wondering why everyone’s reading levels are so low to begin with. Challenge them. Show them the world of books.

Was I out of line? Do you think that children should have to remain in their reading levels when they check out books?

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