I have taken it upon myself to try and encourage my young 2nd grade nephew/cousin. I found a young reader of Robin Hood stories. I think it's a great beginning. We read the first chapter yesterday. The first chapter was about 8 pages long. And actually, since this was his last week of school (and he whined that "summer means fun, not schoolwork"), I talked him into me reading to him and then quizzing him on reading comprehension. Later, I'll have him read to me.
He's behind where his potential lies, and I can see it. He's smart, but unpracticed. At his age, I read books on an 8th grade level, like Swiss Family Robinson and Robison Crusoe and Lord of the Rings. Granted, I was too young to fully apprecaiate many things in those books, but still I did. And here he was complaining that this childish reader was above his level.
He knows practically nothing of medieval Europe and castles and knights. At least he knew what a bow and arrows were. He hadn't heard of England before.
Well, he hasn't seen the old Disney Robin Hood (he's sadly deprived like that) and I don't want to introduce him to it until he's finished the book.
Robin Hood and Little John, walking through the forest...
Intro credits "The Story of what really happened..."