Should a book contain words that are challenging to readers?

Discuss the May 2017 Book of the Month, Farmer Beau's Farm by Kathleen Geiger.

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apulliam
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Re: Should a book contain words that are challenging to read

Post by apulliam » 27 Jun 2017, 20:17

Without a doubt! I teach 3rd grade, and challenging vocabulary words are one of the fastest ways to increase a student's comprehension. I read aloud a lot more than my curriculum actually allows time for, and I emphasize the unknown words.

As an adult, I can appreciate the opportunity to Google unknown terms and unfamiliar places within text.

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Post by Kalin Adi » 27 Jun 2017, 21:56

I really think it's beneficial when a reader encounters challenging/new words in a book. It's true, you won't stop reading to look for the meaning of each new word, but it's also true you will look for key words while or after reading, and you can remember them in the future.It doesn't matter if it is a child's book, it's advantageous for the child to see those new words in order to increase his/her vocabulary. This process is part of the magic when reading!

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Post by Mohamedkheir » 28 Jun 2017, 05:41

I personally agree that a book should contain challenging words however challenging words should not be over used in a book. A number of challenging words will help the children open up and understand critically the content of the book however excess usage of challenging words might be boring and might draw the attention of the reader.

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Post by Naval Aulakh » 28 Jun 2017, 05:59

According to me there should be some challenging words in a book so that readers can get a chance to improve their vocabulary. But as a whole, the language should be easy to understand for the readers.
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Post by raikyuu » 03 Jul 2017, 08:40

A book shouldn't try to be pompously sophisticated by adding challenging words. We have a lot of [challenging] words not because we are show-offs, but because those words express specific thoughts in our heads that we want to share to others. It's easy to say that we are "happy", but we can't use the word "happy" if we want to express the joy of watching others, say, getting tripped (the Germans call this Schadenfreude).
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Post by Keri wood » 04 Jul 2017, 17:29

I believe they should challenge readers but they shouldn't put words in their story that nobody would know. I mean seriously if they had to look it up themselves they should put it in their book it just makes it too much of a hassle to read.

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Post by sophiemer642 » 04 Jul 2017, 17:53

I believe books should contain words that are challenging to readers. Whenever I read a book, and I stumble upon a word that I do not recognize, I get a dictionary and look it up. This has greatly increased my range of vocabulary, and has helped my achieve greater scores on schoolwork and standardized tests.

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Post by Ssinghal » 04 Jul 2017, 19:29

In a story, the number of complicated words should be kept to a minimum since they irritate the reader in a few cases, and may even diminish interest in the book. This is one of the reasons why I do not like John Green. he uses a lot of five syllable words which are unfamiliar and it is frustrating if you have to get up and check the dictionary after every line.
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Post by Emmaky » 05 Jul 2017, 03:28

Personally I like reading books with difficult words this way I learn new words every time I read.
As for children books they should include abit of difficult words since this is the easiest way of introducing new vocabulary to a child.

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Post by Papercut » 06 Jul 2017, 04:09

When I was a child, I stumbled on books about anatomy or medical related, bibles and "adult" stuff. Yep. I know that this is embarrassing to say this but often adults can't see the line between "challenging" and "appropriate" that depends on the comprehension of the reader.

I prefer simple and meaningful words for children. It would be not hard to understand and recall but it will make the young readers to be exposed to widen their vocabulary.

Sharpening our tools as a wordsmith is what I like. You can take it slow and deep one book at a time. Or read a lot at the same time. It depends on what suits ones' needs and wants.

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Post by PRAXIDES » 07 Jul 2017, 05:11

Thanks for that question. Yes a book should contain words that are challenging since each time a child meets a new word they learn it's meaning. It expands children's vocabulary and are able to build on there grammar provided their is someone around to explain to them the meaning of those challenging terms.

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Post by Manali_DC » 08 Jul 2017, 04:02

One of the benefits of reading is that it increases your vocabulary. Reading about new and challenging words is therefore always a good thing. However if a book has too many unknown and difficult words and the pace of reading is hampered by having to look up the dictionary all the time it takes the joy out of the story. So a balance I think-

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Post by 22kcox » 10 Jul 2017, 10:15

I think its great that words challenge readers. Challenges allow for growth. However, I don't think the author should really focus on that. If a writer is concerned with including challenging words, then the main ideas of the book would be altered for superficial reasons. The writer should focus on the story elements especially in children's books.

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Post by jimthorne2 » 11 Jul 2017, 10:56

Books often do and should include words that we must ponder and look into a dictionary to understand. However, good writing includes some kind of explanation in the context for unusual words that the reader may not commonly know.
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Post by indubitabubbly » 11 Jul 2017, 11:41

It depends on the author's writing style. I have read some books where they use those difficult words repeatedly in order to flex their brain muscles and show-off. That is off-putting and the story does not flow well. However, if the words are naturally spaced throughout I thoroughly enjoy learning new words when it doesn't disrupt the flow of the story line.

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