Providing Books for Gifted Readers

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by: G.L. Cronin


Gifted readers comprehend books two or more years beyond their grade level. How can educators offer titles that challenge these students yet remain age-appropriate? Consider these approaches.


Turn to Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Mystery. A genre-reading approach often fulfills gifted readers’ needs. With inventive world building, creative minds will be piqued through the Fantasy genre. Budding Futurists will ponder tomorrow’s technology. Aspiring detectives will apply problem-solving skills and previous knowledge to decipher mysteries. These genres also offer series books that will satisfy the most voracious readers.

Go on a fact-finding mission. Nonfiction books and biographies encourage gifted readers to pursue topics of personal interest with an in-depth approach.


Offer relatable books. Where are the gifted characters? Readers need to discover individuals like them within the books they read.  Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page provides valuable information, including a list of titles that feature gifted characters.


Let’s discuss. In addition to seeking out books that contain lyrical language, enhanced vocabulary, and abstract ideas, discussable books will transform reading from a solitary venture to an opportunity to debate and synthesize ideas. Select titles that challenge readers’ thinking. School book clubs also help to meet gifted readers’ emotional and social needs.


G.L. Cronin earned her MLIS degree from Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois and her BA degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. For the past eleven years, she has worked as a school librarian in a suburban Chicago junior high school. To best serve her gifted readers, she completed the Illinois Gifted Education Seminar.


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