[Yes, the same kid as the MathsTeacherDoper advice thread!]
This boy is bright enough, but hard to engage in reading anything substantial. So far he will only voluntarily read funny or scary kids books, so things like the Goosebumps series. He started on the Harry Potter books, but their increasing size and complexity have daunted him I think and he hasn’t picked one up for about a year. Our best success so far has been with the Tintin and Asterix comics, he eagerly devours those in a flash! But they’re running out and they’re a hard act to follow.
His comprehension when read to is very good; his mother reads him books like The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, both of which he understood and loved (also Harry Harrison’s Captive Universe). But his reading comprehension is not good, he stumbles constantly and I think that reading to himself is hard work, not fun, so he never does it unless forced to. And no, he doesn’t have dyslexia or ADD.
He cannot compose a coherent paragraph describing what he did today, or how he feels on a particular matter, although the individual sentences are not too bad in general. His spelling was awful but is improving rapidly - his strengths are in Maths and Japanese, so I suspect the spelling is done more on memorisation of word lists than by learning from reading.
His mother was, like me, a kid who read everything she could get her hands on from about the age of 6 and is frustrated that he’s not like we were. I’m trying to reduce her expectations so she doesn’t put him off further by making the whole topic of reading a source of stress, friction and anxiety for him. I think I’ve got her to understand that making him go to his room and read for 15 minutes, as if it were a punishment, is counter-productive.
So I’m asking for suggestions of what we can move him onto after Tintin and Asterix, hopefully a tad more advanced but not so much as to put him off, and just as amusing. I’d prefer something timeless rather than too contemporary; also preferably not a comic book unless it’s as literary as they are. And any other suggestions to make him want to read rather than lying around doing nothing would be extremely welcome! Thanks in advance, folks.