In research it has been argued that series fiction can support reluctant and early readers to develop confidence in their reading ability, due to its predictability and formulaic nature (Gutierrez, 2012). Research has shown reading series fiction aids in the development of reading for pleasure. Once a student finds a series they enjoy, the pleasure derived from reading these books can motivate them to want to read more of this series. Reading more often helps to build the skills needed for competent readers (Truby, 2003, pp. 21-22). It is essential that the school library has a variety of series fiction as part of the collection. In this way the TL can support the literacy needs of reluctant and early readers, and the whole school community.
It is essential for school libraries to include indigenous literature that is written by indigenous authors and illustrated by indigenous illustrators, in their collection. It is vital for “black voices” to tell their own stories so all students can have a truer understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s stories, histories and culture. The school library can promote and provide easy access to indigenous literature (print and digital) to support the cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014). Aboriginal publishing houses such as Magabala Books can support TL’s to locate indigenous literature written and illustrated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Picture books for older readers
Picture books support students with learning difficulties, EAL/D students and reluctant readers through the combination of the images and text. Readers can more easily make connections between the images and text, which supports successful reading (The National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools, 2013, Advantages section). Picture books lend themselves to opportunities for group discussions amongst readers. These discussions can help readers to gain greater meaning. The images in picture books can aid in engaging readers and can create many layers of meaning; teachers and TL’s can use this quality to encourage students to critically reflect on the narratives. Picture books for older readers often address and promote discussions on complex issues.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Australian Curriculum: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/crosscurriculumpriorities/Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-histories-and-cultures
Gutierrez, P. (2012, July 4). The R.L. Stine interview, part 2: The value of series fiction [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.slj.com/connect-the-pop/2012/07/english/the-r-l-stine-interview-part-2-the-value-of-series-fiction/
The National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools. (2013). Sophisticated picture books. Retrieved from http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/creating-readers/genres-and-read-alouds/sophisticated-picture-books#advantages-of-using-sophisticated-picture-books
Truby, D. (2003). A fresh look at series books. Instructor (1999), 112(8), 20-22,62. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/instructor