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Ride a Pale Horse
Helen MacInnes
The Samurai's Wife
Laura Joh Rowland
The Incredible Hulk (Marvel) - Billy Wrecks, Golden Books, Patrick Spaziante My niece actually read this one out loud to her brother tonight. David Banner/Hulk's story was all there, Hulk was shown defeating the bad guys, it was exciting, and colorful, blah, blah, blah.

As I listened to my niece read this book, it struck me, possibly for the first time, how much these superhero books can contribute to the language development of children. The words in this book were challenging for my niece to read(among them, abomination, radiation, and bombardment), and new synonyms were introduced to the kids (e.g., thug instead of bad guys). In every case the kids asked me for a definition to the word, too (honestly, how do you define "radiation" to a little kid?!). Really, before my nephew really got into superhero books, I kind of looked down my nose at them. This was a very wrong thing for me to do before actually reading them. The stories excite my nephew, and sometimes my niece, too, and they introduce language to the kids all wrapped up in an action-packed present. My niece was working on her tone and voice with this book, too, so she's using them to enhance her ability to read aloud with expression. My nephew picks up these books for the superhero, and in the process the kids learn new words and gets exposed to the richness of storytelling and language.