I have an interesting conundrum and an interesting proposition for a solution. I’d be interested in input from the two of you who actually read my blog…
My daughter (henceforth referred to as “The Bean”) was an early reader. She read early and often. As a result, she now reads at a level well beyond her school years. To be precise, she reads at a 9th grade level, but is in second grade. “What’s the problem,” you might ask. There is plenty of material out there for her to read that will continue to challenge her comprehension.
Well, the problem is that she is still in second grade. She still opts for books that are about fairies and puppies. She still thinks Cinderella is a bit too scary for her taste. The problem is that there aren’t many books written in her subject matter wheelhouse that also challenge her abilities. The market for books about magical puppies written at a 9th grade level is (I imagine) pretty small.
So… Since you probably wouldn’t sell to many books if you split your demographic on story (aimed at 2nd graders) and vocabulary (9th graders), is there a way to do both? I propose a framework for telling the same basic story, but do so in a way that pulls in different levels of vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, etc..
Given today’s technology, that shouldn’t be too difficult to do. At the most basic level, it could replace “red” with “crimson” with “vermilion” as the slider progressed. It’s not too much of a stretch to envision the grammatical equivalent of the way Garage Band increases syncopation on a rhythm as more complexity is specified. A book like this could still tell a story of a magical puppy who is assisted by some fairies and a little girl who is miniaturized by those fairies, but do so in a way that could challenge a more advance reader.
In fact, this book could grow with The Bean. As she reads it and begins to advance in her comprehension levels, the book could adapt to re-tell a favorite story in a way that doesn’t seem like “a little kids book.” Not only could we help target books to more specific interest/ability groupings, we could use a favorite story as a tool to continuously push on the upper limits of the reader’s comprehension.
If you make this happen, I will buy it. No question. If nobody’s going to build it, maybe I need to.
So, those reading… Is this worthwhile? Any additional input/ideas?